sexta-feira, 1 de junho de 2012

new awakening

Without doubt, there was an underlying sense of gnawing depravity that surfaced in Certified Copy and took me by surprise. I was sure that I already had a good understanding of the work of this film-maker that I have been lucky enough to come across so often in the past 25 years. So I was not expecting his latest film to outstrip the already high opinion I have of his work. Some people like to feel that they can describe and pigeonhole his films as ‘pseudo-simplistic modernism’. But Abbas’ films have never failed to surprise and now here, not for the first time, is a new wake-up call, for me, and I am sure many others. With this film, Abbas propels his filmmaking into another dimension.

Like Someone In Love dissects the very spirit of human beings, delves into their most private feelings, feelings that even they are unaware of and reveals the fate that inextricably takes hold of each one of them. A fate that seems to have swept them all up on the same high-rolling wave, before spitting them out, naked and frozen. I had already felt this tide of emotion when reading the pages of Alfred Hayes. His words could have swallowed me up, swept me away and dragged me off course. They frightened me, and the more I was gripped by fear, the more lucid I became. I should also mention the black light with which Carco thought he could spectrograph his characters’ inner life and the life around them.

The more feelings of fear and lucidity come to the fore in films such as Like Someone in Love, the more opaque and mysterious the film becomes, in a similar way to the lesser known films of Jacques Tourneur, They All Come Out, Circle of Danger, The Fear Makers. Such subtle and clever film-making all shows the almost intangible uniqueness of their director.

Like Someone in Love is an outstanding example of “mise-en-scene”, an almost forgotten art in cinematography that has gradually been replaced by different aesthetic values. Here, one is reminded of the masterful skill of Preminger, at the height of his career, but Like Someone In Love is not just a show of masterful craftsmanship. The film is concrete, physical and profoundly enigmatic.

One leaves the cinema knowing a little bit more about life.

Abbas, I did not see this film coming, I thank you and I know others will too…

Pierre Rissient, 25th April 2012

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