terça-feira, 31 de julho de 2007

Jacques Tourneur

by Tag Gallagher

Jacques Tourneur (Paris. 1904-77) Son of Maurice Tourneur, one of the finest silent filmmakers, Tourneur came to the US at ten and stayed, except for six years in Europe in his twenties.

As a contract director who hardly ever refused an assignment, Tourneur often had little control over his films. Way of a Gaucho (1952), for instance, was produced and scripted by Philip Dunne, Henry King was set to direct until three days beforehand, and Tourneur was obliged to accept genteel Gene Tierney rather than feisty Jean Peters. Nonetheless Way of a Gaucho is a Tourneur film visibly and, due to his accent, even thematically.

Tourneur's accent is first on the way light falls on objects, on how light bathes a scene in ways that recall nineteenth-century French paintings rather than English, Italian, Spanish or American paintings. There is almost a hint of sfumato in the way characters absorb atmosphere around them: Kathy (Jane Greer) walking into the bar in Out of the Past (1947); the magical materialization down the street of a circus in Stars in My Crown (1949) or cattlemen in Wichita (1955); a gaucho riding proud or a long column of tired cavalry in Way of a Gaucho. Tourneur insisted on visible light sources in interiors and refused to use fill lights on actors' faces in exteriors, with results both realist (recalling Flaherty, Vidor and Renoir) and abstractly modern (recalling Cézanne), because Tourneur's natural lighting defeats the illusion of reality and turns everything into flat geometric shapes.

With Tourneur, however, effects are rarely obvious or striking. His style is deceptive, apparently matter-of-fact, underplayed, never demanding that we take him seriously the way Renoir, Ford, Welles or Rossellini demand that we take them seriously. Only Tourneur would deliberately film a fashion show without a single fashion-style photo (Nightfall, 1956), for example, and it is an example that defines him. His art reveals itself only with contemplation. "Everything has to come from the inside," he said. "You have to know how to paint with light, and I must say that the pictorial culture I received from my childhood has helped me a great deal....I hate weird angles [even though] it's much more difficult to create a strange atmosphere while staying very close to the actors and never using tricks." In Out of the Past, for example, "The village you see is the one where I go to fish trout. I knew everyone there and I knew exactly which parts of the landscape had to be used."

Why "HAD to be used"? The views Tourneur selects, like Nightfall's fashion show, are never postcards. But like Monet's waterlilies, they become aesthetic the more one looks and feels Tourneur's emotions. Eventually it is clear that everyone is speaking poetry and moving with grace and that, even if it's a dumpy grace like Robert Mitchum's and Jane Greer's in Out of the Past, Tourneur's pictures are always ballets. Tourneur accented the delicate but also the epic in any project he was assigned. The kiss Aldo Ray gives Anne Bancroft as she falls asleep in his apartment (Nightfall) may be one of the most chaste kisses in Hollywood cinema, but in its tenderness (and Tourneur's quick fade) it is arguably the most erotic moment a Frenchman has filmed. Similarly Wichita is both more straightforward and at least as mythological as any western made by an American. Tourneur's Wyatt Earp is a superman hero, who never hesitates or misses (even with a six-shooter from a galloping horse), and who never indulges the tainted motives of Ford's Earp (My Darling Clementine), the whining fear of Zinnemann's marshall (Gary Cooper, High Noon, 1952), or the sexual dawdling of Hawks's (John Wayne, Rio Bravo). Nor, when it comes to Law and Order does Tourneur evince even a glimmer of the requisite American Doubts. Neither his lawmen nor his ministers (Stars in My Crown) nor Tourneur himself question their righteous duty to impose justice; whereas Ford omits Earp's swearing-in as marshall entirely, Tourneur gives the ceremony an almost sacerdotal air. Tourneur truly believed in the supernatural. He is a Jansenist; evil is excess; excess is always hubristic and licentious (the cattlemen whose "free" frolicking in Wichita kills a five-year-old; the gaucho whose "freedom" kills his friends). Tourneur's pictures continually fashion dreamlike communities of peace and fellowship where a Blaise Pascal would be content, but the communities he actually depicts are lacerated with immoderation. The conflicts in Wichita and Way of a Gaucho between freedom and constraint (or wilderness and civilization; or wandering and settling), like all the many tremendous issues of the coming Civil War in Great Day in the Morning (1956), are suppressed into the one conflict, self-reflective at that, of immoderation. In Out of the Past the succession of varied melodramas that transpire in a dozen changes in location are only the external signs of the single real drama, which is the purely internal drama of Mitchum dealing with the kharma of his life's single hubristic act -- not his betrayal of his employer but his unbridled passion for Kathy. Similary the zombie in I Walked with a Zombie (1943) and the the Indians in Canyon Passage (1946) materialize magically, supernaturally, dangerously, attractively. And thus Tourneur's heroes generally spend their film trying to pass from outcast alienation to communal integration. And should they achieve this, we shall quickly withdraw, out the door and across the yard in Stars in My Crown, outside watching the fire burning on the hearth of the newly-raised cabin in Canyon Passage (1946). Tourneur's distance is the respect he accords his people, for their space, their privacy, above all their mystery, at the point in their lives when, willy nilly, wisdom finds them. Perhaps this is why his colors and graytones remain in memory as pastels. Watching Out of the Past we may think of the young priest in Robert Bresson's Journal d'un curé de campagne who accepts his fate, except that Mitchum never does accept his fate until, after his death, his friend accepts it for him. No less remarkable is the simplicity with which Vera Miles in Wichita tells Wyatt Earp, "I'm going to go with you," and the look of wonder we barely glimpse on his face as he turns around and leaves the frame with her. As Roger McNiven wrote, Tourneur subverts stories into mysteries.

Le film qui m'a inventée



He has not had good fortune with filmgoers; a cursed filmmaker for ten years, here he is the filmmaker in fashion. That is to say quite as under-appreciated or at least quite as misunderstood. Publicity makes him out as the man of the new frisson just as a short while ago it made him out as Ingmar Bergman. In fact, Antonioni’s work is strangely secret. Beyond its immediately discernable qualities -- the quavering of the writing, the sense of being stripped bare, a pathetic relentlessness to express oneself, the morbid will to show man’s compulsions.

From “Story of a Love Affair“, this man has devoted his life to his art and his subsequent work will be the deeper for this relationship and its elucidation. In order of the appearance, the admirable intelligence of “Tentato Suicido” (a sketch in “Love in the City”), which let’s say in passing our more intransigent Brechtians will do well to meditate on, is equaled only by the remarkable sense of rhythm which “Il Grido” and “L’Avventura” bear witness to. This sense which consists of adjusting the rhythm of his work to the rhythm of the pace of man. Yes, rhythm here is a spiritual affair and if this work, at the end of accounts, breathes, it is at the exact level that this man has himself chosen to live. One thinks of what Flaubert confided to his friend Poittevin, “I believe I understand one thing, it is that happiness for the people of our race is in the idea and not elsewhere. Do like me, break with the exterior.”

André S. Labarthe - Cinquante-quatre cinéastes italiens, Cahiers du Cinéma no. 131 (Situation du cinéma italien), maio de 1962 (pág. 52)

L'Ecole du MacMahon

What is «MacMahon», objectively? It’s a cinema located on MacMahon avenue, near the Etoile. Original versions of films were shown regularly at that cinema, the best in Paris. That’s an objective «MacMahon». But objectivity bores me. I much prefer my personal sense of MacMahon. Indeed, the MacMahon I’m talking about was never the «MacMahon». Instead, it was an arbitrary, gone legendary, theater, where I discovered the majority of the films I love, in both the public and the private screenings, which we owe to the eclectic kindness of its director, Emile Villion.

[…] What the «MacMahon» found itself locus of, was not cinema, but an idea of cinema. Clearly this commits to nothing, except perhaps friendship. Perhaps friendship is nothing but a shared need. Consequently, «MacMahon» is by no means a school which narrows like a funnel, but rather, a starting point, a reversed funnel.

Around 1954, «MacMahon» was the fortuitous meeting, near the Etoile, of persons I loved and others I would come to love; of films we knew, or that we were waiting for, or that we discovered, and that we would love together.

So, is it a new form of snobbishness to be a «MacMahonist»? There are always labels ready for whoever seeks beauty, this other name for truth. One day it’s an honest man, another day the son of the king. Now that the cinema exists, why can’t it be a «MacMahonist»? The name will surely pass, all names pass. The beauty remains.

It doesn’t seem important to me to ask: how can you be a «MacMahonist»? The important thing is to try: how can we be Raoul Walsh? Like Fritz Lang? Like Joseph Losey? I don’t know yet. I only know that they are, that’s all. Beauty is proof of beauty, that’s precisely where the paradox lies. «MacMahonism» is not an easy answer, too easy; it’s a demanding question. The question, gentlemen, remains open.

Trop modeste !

par Jacques Lourcelles

Qu’une revue savante comme 1895 s’intéresse au grand artisan que fut Christian-Jaque et qu’une quinzaine de chercheurs, de générations différentes, reconstitue le parcours de cet homme actif et peu loquace n’est enfin que justice. Christian-Jaque a peu parlé, c’est-à-dire a peu cherché à se donner de l’importance par la parole. L’important pour lui, c’était ses films, la continuité de sa carrière où il a démontré, en plus de cinquante ans, une énergie et une santé peu communes. On voit cependant, notamment grâce à Rémy Pithon et Jean-Pierre Bertin-Maghit, qu’interrogé avec précision et intérêt, il ne répugnait pas à commenter son œuvre, mais sans jamais s’attacher à se mettre en valeur.

De 1930 à 1960, Christian-Jaque est un pilier fondamental du cinéma français, le moins étudié sans doute jusqu’ici, mais sans lequel la connaissance de ce cinéma serait gravement incomplète. Le maître mot de son œuvre est éclectisme, une autre façon de se cacher derrière ses films (les cinéastes les plus éclectiques sont en général les plus longs à se faire reconnaître à leur juste valeur) : éclectisme au cours des différentes périodes de son œuvre, éclectisme à l’intérieur de chacune d’entre elles. Quel genre de films en effet n’a-t-il pas illustré : outre ses nombreux vaudevilles, la fresque historique, la comédie et le drame de mœurs, le récit onirique et semi-fantastique, le film biographique et hagiographique, la fantaisie historico-érotique, le film à sketches et de multiples adaptations littéraires ? On irait plus vite à énumérer ceux qu’il n’a pas traités !

Formé par le journalisme, la décoration, l’assistanat, il s’illustre d’abord par une incroyable série de vaudevilles, comédies lestes et burlesques, qui frappent par leurs aspérités, leurs inégalités volontaires ou non (mélange de nonchalance dans la conduite du récit et de précision dans la recherche de certains effets de surprise et de comique), et surtout par leur très grande audace de situation et de texte (voir par exemple la Maison d’en face). La fin des années trente et la période de l’Occupation révèlent chez lui une ambition accrue, la découverte de ses véritables thèmes et ce qu’on pourrait appeler un lyrisme plastique exprimant parfois la gravité secrète de certains êtres tourmentés (cf. Sortilèges). Associé ou non à l’œuvre, qui lui est fraternelle, de Pierre Véry, l’esprit d’enfance, lié chez ce jouisseur gai, faussement roublard, à une sorte d’ingénuité foncière, va rendre ses films de plus en plus attachants. Cet esprit ne se limite pas à la description d’un âge de la vie mais est une caractéristique diversement répartie selon les êtres et qui, chez certains, ne les quitte jamais, comme on le voit dans le charmant et méconnu Premier bal. C’est grâce à son ingénuité profonde, cachée sous son habileté et sous sa verve, que Christian-Jaque a pu, je crois, si bien tirer de Fernandel l’essentiel de sa personnalité de base: inventivité burlesque délirante et inépuisable, chaleur humaine, puissance illimitée de sympathie. À partir de là, d’autres cinéastes ont pu se risquer, avec ce grand acteur, à des contre-emplois, à des audaces insolites qui eussent été, sans l’apport de Christian-Jaque, à peu près impensables.

L’œuvre de Christian-Jaque est jalonnée de titres glorieux qui, selon la formule consacrée, auraient mérité d’être anonymes, tant ils ont adhéré de manière immédiate, puis peu à peu permanente et finalement intemporelle, aux goûts instinctifs du public: François 1er où le cinéma est utilisé, autant dans le registre comique que dans le registre fantastique, comme machine à remonter le temps, les Disparus de Saint-Agil, épopée universelle des curiosités de l’enfance, Fanfan la Tulipe, avec cette habileté rare à harmoniser dans le même récit aventureux personnages sympathiques et inquiétants, caricatures fantaisistes et ridicules, innocents et monstres froids. Une grande part du talent de Christian-Jaque venait aussi du fait qu’il considérait avec le même respect et la même acuité du regard une silhouette passant brièvement dans une scène, un second rôle bien rodé et solide ou une vedette d’immense renom. Secret presque intégralement perdu de ce cinéma français des années trente-soixante.

On n’oubliera pas non plus que dans le film biographique (la Symphonie fantastique, D’homme à hommes), où il a connu des triomphes, il a fait entendre une discrète mais vibrante note humaniste, à la limite de l’utopie, qu’on relèvera, pour la dernière fois, dans ce qui est sans doute son dernier film vraiment personnel, Si tous les gars du monde...

Beaucoup, presque tout, reste à dire sur ce cinéaste plus complexe dans sa diversité qu’il n’y paraît au premier abord et cet ensemble de textes ne se veut rien de plus qu’une étape entre le travail pionnier de Raymond Chirat et Olivier Barrot dans Travelling en 1976[1] et la vaste biographie critique qui, espérons-le, sera entreprise un jour par un exégète.

J’ajouterai une dernière remarque. À Éric Leguèbe qui lui demandait pourquoi il maintenait une « cadence ininterrompue de tournage », il répondit: « Il faut être là. Je sais que je pourrais m’arrêter un an ou deux mais alors je ne reviendrai jamais et je ne tournerai jamais plus. »[2] Cette réponse, pleine de sens, montre que chez certains cinéastes (comme Allan Dwan, aux États-Unis, dont l’œuvre, sauf sur ce point, ne saurait évidemment être comparée à la sienne) la prolixité est une condition sine qua non de la création. Les moins bons films sont nécessaires, d’une certaine façon, à l’élaboration des meilleurs. L’œuvre est un tout continu à l’intérieur duquel c’est au critique, non au créateur, de créer des hiérarchies, d’analyser des courants. C’était là la dernière modestie de Christian-Jaque, et non la moindre.

En résumé, Christian-Jaque possédait les caractéristiques principales qui font, au cinéma, les méconnus: la modestie, l’éclectisme, la prolixité. Puisse cet ouvrage contribuer à le remettre un peu à la place qu’il mérite, tant sur le plan historique qu’esthétique.

1. Sans oublier le chapitre très novateur pour l’époque de l’excellent livre de Pierre Leprohon, Présence contemporaines. Cinéma, Paris, Debresse, 1957.
2. Éric Leguèbe, Confessions: un siècle de cinéma français par ceux qui l’ont fait, Paris, Ifrane, 1995, 2 vol.

For seven or eight years now, there has been a strange plot between the author of these words (classified as «leftist»), the MacMahonists in their innocence (labeled as «right wing»), and young cinephiles (even more avid because they’re younger), to establish the name of Vittorio Cottafavi in Paris as a great filmmaker. […] I’m not afraid to say it: if Cottafavi reaches the essence of cinema, it’s because he has understood its discontinuous nature. Perhaps in the entire world, including Bois d’Arcy, there are no more than a hundred sound films in which every scene and every moment is effective and beautiful in itself. Even Messalina, which the author disowned, contains beautiful things, such as the narrowing of the space during the final bloody orgy. […] Emotion is the key to this cinema, in which carelessness is only an appearance, and economy of means is the paradoxical desire for luxury and sensual pleasure (since the Baudelairesque calm is always result of some decisive crisis, even though the endings are often melodramatic or tragic). The intelligence and precision of Cottafavi’s aims furthermore excludes, as far as he is concerned, any resorting to «chance»: if a devil guides him, he is aware of it. The true drama in his films is the Goethean drama, par excellence: «Stop, right this instant, you’re so beautiful!» But secret mutation of quantity in quality requires a certain persistence of the raw material. In the absence of unimaginable «remakes», Cottafavi’s tenacity forces us, despite him and despite ourselves, to limit ourselves simply to memories; and finally the arising of I cento cavalieri!

Gérard Legrand, in «Positif», nn. 100-101, Dec. 1968- Jan. 1969

Meu herói

segunda-feira, 30 de julho de 2007

I think that The Adventures of Hajji Baba is one of the fifty best films in the history of cinema – I will discuss the illegitimacy of this sort of hierarchy at another time – and, in any case, the masterpiece of films with «oriental» settings, without even excluding the amusing Son of Sinbad (1955), which has the same bawdy «warriors» as Hajji and which can boast of some great striptease scenes. For me though, after a few years wait, Hajji has meant a rediscovery of one of the freest, most refined and fascinating talents in Hollywood. In the past I saw Remains to be Seen by chance, and managed to catch I Love Melvyn! during its brilliant eight-day run in Paris. […] The sense of humor, the comedy, and the abundance of invention combined with a dryness in the images, are not, in Don Weis, indications to his temperament. They are instead the tools of passionately balanced research between horror and fascination, satire and lyricism, in view of the less superficial aesthetic perfection of someone like Douglas Sirk.

In respect to the moire waved ceaselessly by this other hearty director, while not neglecting fabrics (Hajji), Don Weis nonetheless prefers the brightness of the steel used for the coffins (Remains to be Seen), or the emerald in which Hajji sees not so much the symbol of riches as the symbol of his domination over Elaine Stewart. Though fitting it to his own needs, we could think that he applies the rule of the great Buster Keaton: «Drama makes the comedy better». This would explain the clearly evident knife which no one sees on the corpses, or the uselessly eloquent assaults between the two funeral home owners (Remains to be Seen). And again, the ostentatious nature of the torture in Hajji: slaves thrown into a pool, or beaten on the soles of their feet, prisoners hanging by their wrists and left to be eaten by vultures. It would however be wrong, in respect to the happy ending of this fable, to interpret it as a parody of the sadomasochist arsenal of «pirate stories», for example. This is made clear by the brutality seen in many moments (the captured bandit executed by the ferocious Nur-el-Din himself, with a stroke of his scimitar). Even the innate seriousness of the initial intention: having verified the absolute ferocity of ambitious men and female warriors, the Princess renounces her own cruelty and abandons herself to a free man.

Gérard Legrand, in «Présence du cinéma», n. 12, March-April 1962

Isolated. Initially this might amaze, Freda is, and above all was, isolated in the country where directors fought the hardest, precisely against isolation. They fought to come together around common notions, around what is called neo-realism. But it is precisely this movement, for its very substance (decidedly more verbal than creative), which definitively set aside all those who did not openly show a connection with it. In reality, I know few filmmakers, besides Freda, who at a certain time in their career did not have something to do with the doctrine, to a greater or lesser degree. We must obviously keep in mind that, curiously enough for a movement of its kind (neo), the number of filmmakers who claim to have prepared for or invented it, is distinctly higher than the number of filmmakers who acknowledge to have followed it. Then the trend changed: neo mythologism arrived. The fate of Italian cinema in general, in some way caught up to Freda; and it is within the vast legions of his imitators that we must now ask that he be recognized. […] This cinema is naturally spectacular: all human relations are resolved in terms of space. Separations, alliances, lacerations, groupings, betrayals, escapes, adherences, conversions, these are the substance of his direction; and this is his application: everything must become readable, firstly deep in the heart, within an option based on defending a value, and above all on the same grounds as the struggle in which the action finally expresses itself, coming forth and freeing itself from expectations, from preparations, from its own cloudy, choleric, and melancholic motivations. Dragged along for kilometers, finally taken from the sheath, the shiny blade might come in handy. Emotion is thus not absent, but real and tenfold.

Jacques Lourcelles, in «Présence du cinéma», n. 17, Spring 1963

De l'influence des insectes sur les pubertés difficiles (parte 2)

"Des yeux sans visage, des enfants maléfiques et blessées..."

Vontade de poder, capacidade de possessão: se algum cineasta contemporâneo é digno da comparação a Méliès, é sem dúvida alguma aquele que busca num único movimento recomeçar o mundo e o cinema.

E em 84, era exatamente isso o que Argento estava fazendo.

De segredos atrás de portas...

«Eu vi Deus.» (raccord falhado)

Anotações - Bergman...


Bergman et les acteurs

(...) chez Bergman cinéaste, l'acteur est souvent un acteur de théâtre. Mais il a compris que le cinéma est une façon de faire de l'art dramatique autrement. Autrement c'est-à-dire par la dramaturgie plastique. Le cinéma permet de fermer le quatrième mur par la caméra. Les acteurs sont enfermés, jouent face à la caméra, presque regard caméra. Ils jouent non pas face au public mais enfermés en eux-mêmes. Les personnages sont pris dans des conflits internes et enfermés par la caméra.

Jean Douchet sobre Bergman.

sábado, 28 de julho de 2007

"Fomos os filhos do James Bond dos pantanais de Mato Grosso"


(...) Neste caso leva-se ao limite a noção de que a cena se produz em frente à câmara, a cena é uma performance. Em César, a fotografia não tem discurso, a fotografia mostra. Neste caso estamos mais perto do teatro e mais longe da televisão. A idéia de que o cinema é feito em frente à câmara está tão levada ao limite que o filme - feito para ser visto depois da morte do realizador - assume uma forma mediúnica. Uma obra feita do lado de lá da câmara e da vida. Julgo que o cinema de Lynch ajuda a resolver o dilema de Cimino, na medida em que mostra que não há um determinismo irresolúvel do medium que o condicione a um tipo único de discurso. A maneira que cada medium, nas suas infinitas cambiantes, tem de se adaptar ao meio não o condena ou salva à partida.

(...) Em 2005, o realizador Michael Cimino esteve na cinemateca de Lisboa. Em conversa com cineastas e estudantes de cinema, chamou a atenção para um pormenor: durante as filmagens, os realizadores contemporâneos assistem às filmagens através de um minúsculo monitor. Isto quando, diz o realizador de Heaven’s Gate, a cena está “toda lá”, à frente deles, à frente câmara. Como se estivessem a fazer apenas televisão, algo para ser visto pequeno (...) O alerta de Cimino é extremamente pedagógico e expõe uma espécie de "tique" industrial por oposição a uma cena que exista de fato e não seja apenas simulada.

(...) Em Comédia de Deus é como se nem tivesse que dirigir. A propósito das cenas com Joaninha, disse-o claramente: “já não sabia quem estava a dirigir quem”. É um voyeurismo que se vê, o olho que se olha e que nos olha da morte para cá.

A este propósito é interessante recordar a passagem de Cimino pela cinemateca portuguesa em 2005. Em conversa com estudantes de cinema referiu como repara com perplexidade que os jovens cineastas, sem exceção, acompanham a rodagem olhando para minúsculos ecrãs quando têm o cinema todo a passar-se logo ali à frente. João César, arrisco, estaria completamente de acordo. Está muito presente na
Comédia de Deus a sensação de que a transcendência se produz em cena, durante a filmagem.

quinta-feira, 26 de julho de 2007

quarta-feira, 25 de julho de 2007

Eu acho que o problema passa também pela falência das video-locadoras... E o surgimento da internet como esse tipo de banco de dados despersonalizado que eu tava te falando.

Idéia interessante que surgiu numa conversa com um amigo sobre blogs, cinefilia, crítica, cultura e o diabo a quatro.

Ou ainda...

Por exemplo...

A recordação e a contemplação de objetos refinados e sem preço.

Já a televisão... Nada mais que um depósito de dejetos.

terça-feira, 24 de julho de 2007

(...) la cinéphile (...) était la recherche des films, c'est tout, et comme il n'y avait, ni extraits de films, ni fiches, ni dictionnaire, cette recherche se faisait FORCEMENT dans des mauvais lieux, avec ces VF qui sentaient le foutre et la pisse et sans lesquelles BIETTE (l'homme ou son cinéma) n'existerait pas.

sexta-feira, 20 de julho de 2007

quinta-feira, 19 de julho de 2007

«No creo indispensable tomar un sueño por realidad, ni la realidad por locura»

Fidélité à certains cinéastes et détachement de la mode, intérêt pour les questions contemporaines et méfiance envers l’actualité, attachement à une conception humaniste du cinéma et goût pour l’examen concret de son mode de fabrication, la revue Etudes cinématographiques fait sienne, mine de rien, une certaine modernité.

quarta-feira, 18 de julho de 2007

... e ninguém fala nada?

É pra acabar.

'94 (intermezzo)

O primeiro blog.

terça-feira, 17 de julho de 2007


"(...) j'ai mis trente ans à comprendre ce qui ne s'était pas passé là bas, à comprendre qu'en 63, c'était déjà un cimetière..."

Louis Skorecki, há poucos dias atrás, no seu blog.

(Skorecki entrevistou Fuller em 63, no momento em que este escrevia o roteiro original de The Naked Kiss, então intitulado The Iron Kiss; mais sobre o assunto aqui, aqui e aqui)


Comme blessé...

La complexité émotionnelle de la moindre scène, la sensibilité de l'interprétation, la parfaite construction de chaque plan autour d'un éblouissant assemblage de couleurs subtiles, l'intelligence de chaque mouvement de caméra (...) font naitre finalement une nostalgie poignante pour la beauté de ce qui est presque un Art perdu...

segunda-feira, 16 de julho de 2007

sexta-feira, 13 de julho de 2007

Museu da amnésia #1

"Sangue Ruim é um filme que ama o cinema, mas que não ama o cinema de hoje" - Leos Carax, 1986

It flows on like a river

(mas atenção: sempre tomar cuidado com as enchentes e inundações)

A CinemaScope picture


“In this case, I have made a selection where, as you observe, there is not one film by a living film director. I have done this with all intention. Which does not mean that I admire only the film directors of the past. I regret not including contemporary films and directors I love (Godard, Rohmer, Jean Eustache, Straub-Huillet, Oliveira, Kiarostami, Aki Kaurismäki, et al.). . . . All the films I mention here matter a great deal to me, without a doubt.”

quinta-feira, 12 de julho de 2007

Preeminência do ator

"Um dia, sobre a tela, pela primeira vez, eu vi soluçar um homem. Decerto, eu não falo dessas brumas que percorrem de tempos em tempos os olhos virginais de Gary Cooper. Falo de soluços de homem, uma coisa bastante rara. O filme se chamava The Prowler. Eu não podia falar dele, pois as palavras o trairiam, como trairiam The Big Night. O que eu sei é que ele não esquematizava, como Lang, não se dispersava, como Preminger, não se deixava corromper, como Fuller. O que ele mostrava, e sua franqueza, sua honestidade desconcertava como um soco, era um ser maior que os heróis, mais belo que os deuses; era um homem."

Jacques Serguine, Education du spectateur, Cahiers du cinéma n° 111, setembro de 1960

Coro & piano (O Tempo Redescoberto)

... quando vontade de potência e capacidade de criação são valores absolutos que crescem com o tempo e sobrevivem a todas as mudanças.

O cosmopolitismo, aliás, nada mais é que uma forma um pouco mais segura, um pouco mais acomodada, um pouco mais confortável, e portanto um bocado mais covarde, do bom e velho provincianismo.

As coisas não evoluíram muito desde A Cozinha Maravilhosa da Ofélia.

quarta-feira, 11 de julho de 2007

terça-feira, 10 de julho de 2007

¿Por qué filma usted? (parte 2)*

Joaquim Pedro de Andrade (Brasil)
“Para joder a los imbéciles. Para no ser aplaudido al final de las secuencias de efecto. Para estar al borde del desastre. Para correr el riesgo de ser desenmascarado por el gran público. Para que los amigos que conozco y los que no conozco puedan deleitarse. Para que los justos y los buenos ganen dinero, principalmente yo. Porque de otro modo la vida no vale la pena. Para ver y hacer ver lo nunca visto, para mostrar lo bueno y lo malo, lo feo y lo bello. Porque he visto Simón del desierto (…)”

Nelson Pereira dos Santos (Brasil)
“(…) Cuando filmo, quiero decir el acto físico de la escritura, el rodaje, el montaje (allí tocamos la película misma), me creo capaz de cambiar algo en el mundo que me rodea”

Michael Snow (Canadá)
“¿Por qué hago películas? Porque no existían. No me intereso por las películas en general. Las hago para ver las películas que tengo ganas de ver. Ver lo que yo quisiera ver y pensar los que quisiera pensar. Mis películas son para todo el mundo pero sobre todo para mi”

Valeria Sarmiento (Chile)
“Siento un gran placer imaginando una película. Y la realización para mi es una prueba de esfuerzo. Es necesario, es necesario que me mantenga lo más cerca posible del sueño que tuve”

Michael Cimino (Estados Unidos)
“Si supiese el motivo probablemente no filmaría”

André de Toth (Estados Unidos, de origen húngaro)
“Porque es la forma de arte más fácil. Basta con utilizar el material más despreciable –el dinero-, combinar lo visual, lo oral y las pequeñas manías de los que colaboran, para lograr que un sueño se realice. ¿Qué hay de complicado en eso?”

Claude Chabrol (Francia)
“Las razones por las que filmo no son muy razonables. Deben incluir –no estoy seguro de nada- partes de infantilismo: construir un universo paralelo con sus leyes propias y sus milagros. Una parte de idealismo: moralizar este universo hasta convertirlo en utópico. Una pequeña parte de cinismo: confrontar este universo utópico a supuestos identificables como realistas, y cuanto más brutal es esa confrontación más aparente es el cinismo. Una enorme cuota de humor: todo eso, en definitiva, nos debe hacer reír o al menos divertir. Pero yo no filmaría si no pudiese agregar a este cóctel una pizca de desesperanza indispensable para recalentar el corazón (…)”

Marco Bellocchio (Italia)
“Hacer una película es una búsqueda individual y colectiva de imágenes originales que nadie ha descubierto o creado aún. El realizador debería ser como un científico que tiene al inconsciente como territorio privilegiado de investigación. Hacer cine no es describir lo cotidiano, lo banal, lo repetitivo de la vida, ni limitarse a contarla “tal como aparece en los sueños”. El que vive sólo de sueños no tendrá la capacidad de realizarlos, y el cine es por el contrario un arte que exige una identidad personal vivaz, sexuada, resistente, que permite convertir los sueños en realidad y la realidad en sueños (…)”

Ingmar Bergman (Suecia)
“Yo no filmo”

*Pourquoi filmez-vous ? (choisissez votre cinéaste)

Marienbad introduced to a generation of filmgoers the idea of the film as a self-contained world where past, present, real and imaginary images coexist without reference to external reality. Like the great films of Italian neorealism, Marienbad fractured the flow of narrative images with a musical gamut of discontinuities that freed film from the conventions of action/reaction, seeing/seen, perception/emotion that governed classical cinema, substituting for a 'common reality' entirely composed of cliches a mental world like the one we inhabit every day. Turning Bertolt Brecht's 'estrangement effect' into a source of pleasure, as surrealists like Tex Avery had done in their seven-minute cartoons, the film's feats of cinematic legerdemain - vanishing characters, characters who appear to be in two places at once, changing backgrounds and games with sound and image, like the uncanny moment when the stage actor's lips begin to move in time with X's voiceover - revolutionized the relationship of audiences to cinema.

In addition, that revolution transformed the once largely unconscious activity of interpreting films by inviting the spectator to attach multiple and contradictory meanings to the film's action and characters. Here are a few: 1) X is lying, trying to seduce A by describing an affair that never happened. 2) X is telling the truth, and A is in denial. (These two opposed interpretations were trotted out for the press as the conflicting views of Robbe-Grillet and Resnais respectively, a marketing device with a praiseworthy didactic intent.) 3) X and A are puppets controlled by the masochistic M. 4) As in a Breton legend Resnais knew from childhood, X is Death, come to claim A after granting her a year's reprieve. 5) A is ill, and the hotel is a sanatorium. 6) X is Orpheus, come to bring Eurydice back from the land of the dead, where the cadaverous M is king. 7) The three leads are figures in the dream of a woman struggling to liberate herself: A symbolizes the ego, X the Id, M the superego. 8) X is the only real person in a castle filled with phantoms like those in Alfredo Bioy-Casares' La invention de Morel - three-dimensional images mechanically repeating actions that are registered once and for all, like the images of a film. The question of conflicting interpretations is raised within the film by the enigmatic sculpture, which like the film itself has no referent in reality: Resnais had the sculpture made to match Robbe-Grillet's description, suggesting that the sculptor model it on minor characters in a painting by Poussin.

Marienbad nonetheless tells a story with a beginning, middle and end: A does leave the hotel with X. For Robbe-Grillet, who sees any film as a succession of present moments with no past or future, Marienbad tells the story of all his novels, an attempt to 'make an annoying void disappear.' 'What happens is just the opposite,' he told Andre S. Labarthe and Jacques Rivette in 1961. 'The void invades and fills everything. In Marienbad you think that there was no "last year," and only later do you realize that "last year" has invaded everything: you're in it. In the same way, you believe that there's no Marienbad, only to realize that that's where you've been from the beginning. The event which the woman refuses ends up contaminating everything, so that even though she thinks she has never stopped fighting, and has won since she has always refused, she realizes at the end that it's too late - she has accepted everything. Just as if it were all true, even though it probably isn't.'

For Resnais, however, Marienbad takes place in mythical time, like the stories of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Orpheus and the Breton maiden's bargain with Death, because he has constructed his film as a castle haunted by the great storytellers of cinema: Welles, Lang, Hitchcock (seen in silhouette in one shot), Cocteau, Pabst, Epstein, Gance, L'Herbier, Ophuls, Sternberg, Renoir, Disney, Lewton, Feuillade, Guitry, Bunuel, Bresson, Visconti, Antonioni, Bergman, Rossellini. Because his film is an original creation within which all those influences resonate, it is 'open to all myths,' as the director told Labarthe and Rivette. And although it is as singular an object as cinema has produced, it will be a long time before we see the last of its descendants.



segunda-feira, 9 de julho de 2007

Ou ainda, isso...

Quais cineastas, nos últimos 30 anos, tiveram a paciência, a capacidade de contemplar o rosto do ator com esse halo que encontramos nos filmes de Mizoguchi, von Sternberg, Preminger, Bresson, Fleischer?

Manoel de Oliveira
Jean-Claude Brisseau
Michael Cimino
Claude Chabrol
Pedro Costa
Philippe Garrel
Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet
Paul Verhoeven
Catherine Breillat
Edward Yang
Paul Vecchiali
Blake Edwards
Jean-Claude Guiguet
Leos Carax
Jean-Luc Godard
seriam os meus absolutos front rankers.

Y a-t-il eu une adaptation littéraire ou cinématographique avant LA FILLE COUPÉE EN DEUX ?

Dans son roman Ragtime, E.L. Doctorow y fait allusion, de même que Milos Forman dans le film qu'il en a tiré. Mais il y a surtout eu LA FILLE SUR LA BALANÇOIRE de Richard Fleischer en 1955 qui retrace fidèlement le fait divers.


O Chabrol, por exemplo: exemplo perfeito de alguém que ainda se preocupa.

Hoje talvez ainda mais que na época em que escrevia pro Cahiers.

P.S. sobre o blog do Skorecki: mais uma prova incontestável de que Jean-Michel Frodon é um merda.


club skorecki

O curta do Luc Moullet lembra um pouco, não?

sexta-feira, 6 de julho de 2007

Deslumbramento impressionista de redação da 7ª série.

É tudo o que tenho a dizer.

Perdão, mas é por essas e por outras que dificilmente teremos - e eu iria além, eu diria que simplesmente não teremos - um Jean Curtelin, um João Bénard da Costa, um Adriano Aprà, um Louis Delluc, um Edgardo Cozarinsky... Ou, se preferirem (e eu sei que muitos preferem, os provincianos de sempre), outros Jairos e outro Rogérios.

E são de homens desta envergadura de que precisamos. Como na revista do Eisenschitz; a preocupação não é outra.


quinta-feira, 5 de julho de 2007

par Michel Mourlet

quarta-feira, 4 de julho de 2007

(...) Dans ce marais de studio, en six minutes, il y a deux morts et une histoire d'amour. A la suite d'un des plus beaux fondu-enchaîné de l'histoire du cinéma, on passe d'une lumière qui s'éteint dans une chambre, un prélude à une histoire d'amour, une couleur plutôt sombre à une explosion blanchâtre du marais avec l'eau éclairée par en dessous qui donne un côté très irréel. On passe du tout noir ou tout blanc. (...)

terça-feira, 3 de julho de 2007

De l'influence des insectes sur les pubertés difficiles

segunda-feira, 2 de julho de 2007

« … le zoom n’est plus un art de l’approche mais une gymnastique comparable à celle du boxeur qui danse pour ne pas rencontrer l’adversaire ; le travelling véhiculait du désir, le zoom diffuse la phobie. Le zoom n’a rien à voir avec le regard, c’est une façon de toucher avec l’œil… »


domingo, 1 de julho de 2007

« Après le péplum scandinave (La Ruée des Vikings), Mario Bava, sous le pseudonyme de John Old, passe au péplo-western. Ce qui frappe alors celui qui s’est égaré à voir le film est la volonté de faire vrai à tout prix, le désir de faire oublier l’artifice de l’entreprise. Les petits détails l’emportent mais ne peuvent renvoyer à un ensemble qui n’existe pas. Ainsi, saisis de l’extérieur, péplum et western se renvoient leur image mais c’est une image folklorique et sans profondeur. Si la carte fut tracée pour l’armée nordiste, le territoire a été piétiné dans des milliers de pepla. De ce décalage rien ne naît, ce qui est scandaleux et prouve que Bava croit de moins en moins à ce qu’il fait » (Serge Daney, à propos de La strada per Fort Alamo/Arizona Bill, 1965, La Maison Cinéma et le Monde – 1.Le Temps de Cahier 1961-1981, P.O.L. Trafic, 2001, p.52).


Page dédiée à Jacques Tourneur

(...) It reflected a concept of the reader as a busy Parisian on the metro, wanting snappier prose and with little time to indulge in the kind of articles that required the ‘reading pace of a cruiseship’, in Toubiana’s disparaging terms. (...)

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