sexta-feira, 29 de fevereiro de 2008

quinta-feira, 28 de fevereiro de 2008

« (...) alors que la parabole du Garçon aux cheveux verts (1948) rendait au contraire à Brecht toute sa poésie. Sans parler du fantastique social à l'oeuvre dans ses films américains (Lawless, 1950; M le maudit, 1951; la Bête s'éveille, 1954) et ses films anglais d'après le maccarthysme (Temps sans pitié, 1957; Gipsy, 1958), qui témoignent d'un sens du détail mizoguchien. »

"Born as poetry, language was afterwards twisted to serve as a sign."

Esse papo de "filme-problema" é coisa de crítico que quer se eximir das responsabilidades do ofício e se isentar de quaisquer dificuldades que acaba por encontrar pelo caminho, a manifestação fatal e insidiosa de uma incapacidade em extrair de uma obra as conseqüências naturais de suas premissas originais.

Coisa de menininha chorona.

quarta-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2008

« Yes, sure there is a certain rhythm that comes, through one’s existence and by travelling on foot once and a while. It’s a question of rhythm and that is not established during editing. We establish rhythm while we are shooting. It’s a myth when filmmakers tell you: “I put the rhythm in the editing”. It doesn’t work like that. It is about some sense of timing and musicality. As an example, in terms of musicality, sometimes a shot has to be very long, out of proportion. Very early in the beginning of Aguirre there is a shot of the ferocious river, boiling. You see it for a long time. Seeing it for three seconds would be enough to know it is an angry boiling river. But I believe you see it for thirty seconds or so. It is completely out of proportion. But having seen that so early in the film, you accept more easily as an audience all of the disproportion to come, the disproportion of a character, the disproportionate fever, the disproportion of losing orientation, the disproportion of grandiose designs of conquering the continent with 30 starving men. It prepares the field. You plough the fields very carefully to sow and then you harvest. »

Amanhã, 20h35, BLUEBEARD do Ulmer no Telecine.

"You're either with us or against us!"

E depois essas coisas acontecem só nos Estados Unidos...

terça-feira, 26 de fevereiro de 2008

"Parece que o filme é feito de deslizamentos sucessivos que o fazem balançar plano a plano, como se fosse empurrado levemente pela imagem que ele apresenta de um mundo ao contrário. (...) Que este filme seja feito, que ele tenha sido concebido, que nós sejamos atores espantados e espectadores desorientados, isto é o primeiro passo em direção à materialidade da fábula."

segunda-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2008

"He often begins with the act of discovery, between chance and necessity, always rooted in the concreteness of creation, and it's only later that he derives the lessons of his discovery, extending them in another scene or weaving them into another film"

quinta-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2008

Making the right enemies.

VIENNALE: Do you think that life is getting faster and faster these days?

PEDRO COSTA: There is an impression of things, I don't know if it's the reality. One of the things I like about the work with Vanda in this film, is that it's a very slow thing, nothing moves. For me it's still very quick. If you look closely, you can see the walls move. Sometimes the colours change, light changes and that's the speed of the sun because I don't use artificial light. You see the speed of the planet, the universe, the sun turning. My friend Jacques Rivette says, when you shoot a film you're going along with the planet. The film is rolling like the earth is rolling. You should be in the same speed. With some filmmakers I like, you have that impression that they are in the same speed. A film like Vanda, which is a very long film, 3 hours, I felt it should be 3 hours because if it was only 10 minutes or half an hour people wouldn't see it the way I wanted them to see it. Some things are very slow today. You go very fast in a plane or a train but you go very slowly in your head. I think people used to be faster in a way that they went with the world, with the movement. Today, it's fake movements, it's artificial things, like drugs. You want to be in a state of going very slow or very fast but not your natural thing. You want to forget your situation, you don't want to talk to a person, to the world. So you put yourself in very transformed states. For me, it's not Vanda who is drugged, it's the world. Sometimes I go to the cinema and I really don't understand what's happening on the screen. When the camera moves around and goes very fast, I don't see anything. Probably it's to give an impression of the speed of life today but I think you should do this in another way.


quarta-feira, 20 de fevereiro de 2008

Redacted, un film classique


Na Itália

Le coffret Volume 2: La période italienne.

Dvd 1: De la nuée à la résistance (1978) - 101 mn Couleur

Dvd 2: Ces rencontres avec eux (2005) - 66 mn Couleur

Dvd 3: Sicilia! (1998) - 64 mn N&B et Sicilia! (version théâtrale) sans sous-titre

Dvd 4: Fortini / Cani (1976) - 83 mn Couleur

Como é bom não ter o que falar - e melhor, não ter a obrigação de ter o que falar - sobre os favoritos da temporada.

terça-feira, 19 de fevereiro de 2008

Un art de laboratoire

Losey is above all a researcher, his mise en scène a method. His declared objective: knowledge. His only apparatus: inteligence, or rather lucidity. His approach is modelled on that of the scientist. The same basic attitude to the phenomena under observation, the same procedures: discover lived experience in its totality, record it like an object, make this object the field of investigation, in short, place lived experience in laboratory conditions. Losey restores the camera to its original function as scientific instrument. That is the mark of his originality.

Does this mean that other film-makers are not fired by the same ambition? The a priori concept of reality, the ideal and filtered reality of a Fritz Lang, who creates an abstract universe in which passions pared down to the essentials confront each other, of a Mizoguchi, haunted by the perpetual oscillation of an external and a personal world, of a Raoul Walsh, who glorifies adventure, shows that these film-makers don't have the same concerns as Losey, even though their mise en scène is similar and very often superior to his. But what of Nicholas Ray and Rossellini? They too consider lived experience as a whole to be respected a priori. Knowledge, for them, thus consists of the sudden intuitive penetration of a reality that has first been laid out for examination. The process is the same for both: going from the outside to the inside, through affectivity.

This means that, in spite of a common point of departure, their procedures are radically opposed to Losey's, since he always goes from the inside to the outside. To an instinctive knowledge that is purely artistic in the traditional sense of the word Losey prefers a logical knowledge, one in which intuition and deduction are subordinated to intelligence. This kind of attitude raises the problem of modern cinematic aesthetics which goes far beyond the scope of this article: 'It was one of Brecht's principles, and the only one I am in entire agreement with', Losey told us, 'that the moment emotion interrupts the audience's train of thought, the director has failed.'

If one term can characterize Losey's mise en scène, I think it must be that of bursting open to view. It isn't quite true to say that he goes from the inside to the outside. He sticks to appearances, scrutinizing objective relationships and refusing to interpret them. Any other attitude would be unscientific and thus, in his view, unartistic. Because the outside is for him the reflection of internal phenomena, the projection of an interiorized conflict. The gesture refers to what motivates it and to nothing else. Effects reveal only their causes and what generated those causes: the person stripped naked. Losey is the first film-maker who has taken as his only material for investigation - without any reference to morality, metaphysics or religion - the truth of human beings. (The aesthetic argument that Jan, the young Dutch painter, expounds in Blind Date is, in this point, very clear.)

But if the skin is to burst, if the person is at last to be revealed to the light of day, reality has to be placed in laboratory conditions, that is, shut in and subjected to a high enough pressure to produce the split. That presupposes a dramatic situation pushed to the brink of theatricality. There has to be an acute crisis, a feverish temperature, an emergency operation. Hence that style that is so particular to Losey, a style that is raw, tense, strained, incisive. A style that shocks. For, like Time Without Pity and The Criminal, Blind Date is indeed about an upheaval. An earthquake shatters every illusion of stability. It's the observable manifestation of the tremendous pressures that have built up beneath the earth's crust.

If that is accepted, everything in Blind Date becomes clear, gestures and setting, plot and narrative structures. The story begins thus: Jan is hurrying along to his mistress's apartment. It's the first time she has allowed him to go there. The door is open. He goes in. No one there. He makes use of the opportunity to discover what kind of decor his lover has, as if it will help him get to know her better. He laughs at her untidiness, is surprised by the garishness of the bathroom, reassured by a small Van Dyck and, stretching out on the settee, mystified to find an envolope stuffed full of banknotes. He waits. The police arrive. His mistress has been murdered while he has been looking round the apartment. He becomes the prime suspect.

Let's pause for a moment on this opening sequence and Jan's discovery of Jacqueline's apartment and thus of Jacqueline herself. The camera just observes scrupulously the sequence of events, the manifestation of phenomena and their objective relations. First of all Jan's own personality. Excited by his adventure, his true self reveals itself in his attitudes as well as in his reactions, and is apparent in each of his gestures. And because they are the reflection of that true self, his gestures are as rare as they are precious (and sometimes, I admit, verging on preciosity). Like the way our young lover stops suddenly on one leg in the doorway of the bedroom, a position that is emphasized still more by a change of angle. Everything in Jan betrays an unsullied innocence, the unbroken heart of a child eager to be enchanted by love.

Too eager, in fact, for an impartial observer like us, and we can't help thinking there is a hiatus between Jan's nature and the kind of woman he loves, as she is betrayed by her apartment. It visibly belongs to a high-class tart. Some of Jan's reactions make it clear that he is aware of this, but then a tastefully chosen object reassures him. He is in fact willing to let himself be taken in. He is blinded by his love and his trust. He is on the verge of submission, his innocence is threatened. That is the heart of Losey's subject-matter. Jan has to weigh up to what he has, take an exact account of its value, sum himself up, in short, study himself, i.e. attain lucidity through a critical self-examination in terms of his relationships with the outside world.

The murder creates the conditions necessary for an experiment of this kind. It constructs an enclosed world in which maximal pressures are brought to bear on him. They bear down with increasing intensity on people shut up in these conditions and lead to a kind of tearing apart that is rendered visually by the mise en scène and which is, it seems to me, the basic dynamic of Blind Date. This tearing apart comes into being with the hiatus between Jan and the setting. It is developed as soon as the police arrive, when Inspector Morgan also looks round the apartment. This time it is a cold, clinical inspection that leaves no possible doubt about the fickleness of Jacqueline's character or about Morgan's down-to-earth brashness and tactlesness (his gestures, his Welsh accent, his reaction to the mirror in front of the bed, etc.).

The confrontation of two divergent visions of the same interiors and thus of the same woman brings about an even more violent tearing apart, the flashback. This is opposed visually, through its harsh, white, Nordic lighting and bare sets, to the grey photography and the cluttered apartment in the first part. The flashback, generated simply by the logic of the situation, is as much a sensual evocation of a love affair as an exact analysis of the relationship between the two lovers and a judgment of their love. As an investigation made necessary by the internal logic of the situation, it brings out the obvious incompatibility between the Jacqueline Jan loves and the owner of the apartment as she is pieced together by the police on the basis of evidence and objects.

That is what Morgan can't help noticing - he has a good nose even if it is blocked. Losey likes to overlay the struggle for lucidity with this kind of physical handicap (Redgrave's drunkenness in Time Without Pity, Morgan's cold in Blind Date), a handicap that is matched by the blind infatuation of the partner. You have to fight against the fog in your own mind. For Morgan too is involved in this affair, even as much as Jan is. He finds himself caught up in the same quest for truth and thus for his own truth. Hence the pressures he has to submit to. Social pressures that impose a split between his careerism and the more imperative issue of his own self-respect. A simple question of dignity. The problem for Morgan and for Jan is the same: resisting corruption, preserving their integrity. Once they have realized this, after the short struggle that Jan's wounding question provokes in Morgan's office, the resolution isn't far off. The woman - Jacqueline/Lady Fenton - is rediscovered; under the double pressure exerted by Morgan and Jan, her duplicity is blindingly clear. The lie curses the truth. The self has conquered appearances. Innocence goes free.

We would, then, be misjudging Losey, we would indeed be completely misinterpreting his work if we refused to link his aesthetic to a rationalism of the Left. Even, as Domarchi has suggested, of the extreme Left, since Losey categorically refuses any appeal to the sentimentalism the so-called artistic Left is so attached to. His art is a laboratory art. You place a complete lump of lived experience in a jar. You create the most favourable conditions for the experiment. Then you meticulously analyse all the objective relationships that form themselves and you discover that struggle is the vital source of all reality. The struggle of individuals (Jan and Jacqueline, Jan and Morgan), the class struggle, etc. But since the knowledge of the observer is always determined by that of the person observed, the struggle allows this knowledge to develop. In this climate of dramatic conflict, justified violence breaks down ossified structures, pushing the self out on the surface.

Seizing hold of the inner vibrations of the self: this demand that Jan makes of Jacqueline while she is drawing (whereas she, reflecting her class, seeks only to conceal it) is what Losey demands of his art. An art that despises ornamentation, that uses lucidity to destroy the myth, that grates and shocks. An art that hurts because it allows no compromise. But an art that thirsts after truth. That is why it still repels so many people.

Jean Douchet

Cahiers du Cinéma nº 117, março de 1961

segunda-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2008

« Je risque cette remarque: le cinéma, qu'une exigence de totalité - surtout dans les grands sujets - définit et empêche d'être le plus insignifiant des arts, a peu à voir, n'a rien à voir, avec l'originalité, avec la fidélité des auteurs à eux-mêmes. »

sexta-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2008

quinta-feira, 14 de fevereiro de 2008

The base is the camera eye filming with an angle of vision that Mizoguchi identifies with the spectator. The right line of this angle of vision will be taken as the axis of desire and of agressivity, therefore of action. The other line will be the defensive axis confronting that desire, namely, the axis which folds onto itself, therefore the axis of contemplation. The V of the angle of vision becomes the V which serves as the device for mise en scène on the screen. Frequently the screen closes the V opened by the camera in such a way that if one made this combination into a figure, it would form a lozenge. In the V visible on the screen, the axis of agressivity and desire is occupied by the male, and the other is ascribed to the woman trying to protect herself from attack.

Jean Douchet

Menos um movimento de câmera, uma solução algébrica, uma operação conscienciosa ou um procedimento mecânico que um movimento no e do universo.

Cinema is not about the artist. It’s about being in the world, our world, choosing a place and figuring out elements of time and space and limits that are common to all of us.

("Julian Schnabel must have assistant painters. Anyway he’s an awful filmmaker.")

quarta-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2008

terça-feira, 12 de fevereiro de 2008

« A coisa mais concreta do trabalho do cineasta é saber como vamos filmar algo, obedecendo a uma espécie de retórica do cinema. Acho que a coisa funciona pior quando se filma como hoje em dia, quando se filma de todos os ângulos, de todas as perspectivas, com a câmera no ombro, na mão. É a história da dispersão, vamos baralhar a visão, fazer a dispersão para ganhar qualquer coisa. Acho que é muito mais difícil adoptar uma única ideia de perspectiva, uma única idéia, de manter um só olhar até o fim sobre uma coisa. Eu tento manter essa segurança, essa tensão. Depois é possível fazer pequenas variações. Em No Quarto da Vanda, por exemplo, é um filme onde há duas maneiras de se olhar. De um lado as garotas e de outro os rapazes, eles quase nunca se tocam e quando se tocam há um choque, talvez por causa da droga, ou da sexualidade que não existe. Há ali um desconforto entre rapazes e garotas que existia na realidade. Nas garotas, a maneira como filme foi filmado – não gosto muito de falar em enquadramentos – os planos das garotas parecem ser muito mais teatrais, mais distantes, o espaço tem a ver com um pequeno teatro, onde somos a quarta parede. A própria exuberância delas, há ali qualquer coisa de teatral, é assim que dizemos na vida, quando há algo mais dramático, dizemos teatral. A parte dos rapazes, ao contrário, é muito mais decupado, mais cinematográfico, há diferenças de pontos de vista, de escalas, há mais planos abertos, cortes para diferentes pontos de vista. Isso surgiu no decorrer do trabalho, talvez seja consciente, porque o trabalho é muito consciente. Pois estamos ali a trabalhar e o trabalho trabalha. O trabalho é inteligente, sem mesmo nos darmos conta. Ele nos faz fazer coisas que são inteligentes per si. Com o esforço e as pequenas regras, a câmera vai procurar o estilo mais adequado a uma certa situação. »

sábado, 9 de fevereiro de 2008

Primeiro texto realmente interessante que leio sobre o filme. Alguns excessos retóricos aqui e ali, alguns preciosismos conceituais, mas é provavelmente o primeiro texto que chama o filme pra briga - ou melhor, aceita o convite que o filme faz para esse confronto.

Já o texto do Burdeau... Brega e senil para dizer o mínimo. Esse mesmo cara escreveu os textos sobre De Palma nos anos 90?

(o Delorme, aliás, é de fato dos poucos que se salvam hoje da redação do Cahiers)

Após vários anos passados na América, que não constituem sob o plano criativo um período crucial de sua obra, Renoir não retorna diretamente à Europa (onde realizará os quaisquer filmes essenciais que encerrarão sua carreira). Ele faz um atalho pela Índia sobre a qual não se esquiva de exprimir um olhar de ocidental, e nos confia esse filme magnífico que marca em um só tempo uma pausa na sua obra e uma dilatação filosófica de suas perspectivas. O Rio Sagrado é representativo da dupla ambição que anima os maiores cineastas do pós-guerra: ir ao mais profundo da intimidade dos seus personagens e ressituá-los - eles e suas experiências - numa visão global e planetária da realidade. Sob esse ponto de vista, O Rio Sagrado é o mais rosselliniano dos filmes de Renoir. Graças a um roteiro refinado e sólido que une com uma maravilhosa fluidez um grande número de elementos díspares, o filme instala sua proposta numa multitude de níveis: sentimental, familiar, social, racial, filosófico, espiritual e metafísico. Da mesma forma, os espaços onde se situa a história vão do mais íntimo ao mais cósmico: o coração de Harriet, a família inglesa, as beiras do rio e o próprio rio, a Índia e o mundo. Em todos esses aspectos, o filme é uma homenagem ao esplendor das aparências, à sabedoria da vida e à unidade do grande Todo. Com relação a essa unidade, o indivíduo, no seu foro interior, na sua história pessoal, pode se sentir separado, exilado, mas é uma ilusão perigosa que deve desaparecer e dar lugar ao reconhecimento do equilíbrio superior dos ciclos vitais, ao consentimento à ordem natural das coisas e à coerência do universo. A consolação suprema vem, aos olhos de Renoir, do fato que no universo a parte é tão importante quanto o todo, é realmente, na sua humilde proporção, o todo; e essa convicção se reenforça no decurso de seu repouso na Índia. A ambição filosófica do filme encontra seu correlato no minucioso êxito estético de sua realização. A lacuna entre os atores (profissionais ou não-profissionais) e os personagens que interpretam se encontra em O Rio Sagrado por assim dizer reduzida a zero. Não seria esse o sonho de todo diretor? O documentário e o ficcional aliam-se no recito e recriam no nível formal esta unidade que o filme defende no nível metafísico. Quanto à foto de Claude Renoir, considerada a justo título com a de A Carruagem de Ouro como uma das mais memoráveis da história do cinema, ela encarna nas suas nuances e na sua riqueza o propósito do autor, a gratitude que sente com relação ao universo e a perfeita serenidade a qual se propõe atingir.

Jacques Lourcelles, Dictionnaire du cinéma - Les films

sexta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2008

Les faits: les nouveaux films des nouveaux cinéastes fonctionnent à l’effet de signature. Par exemple, parmi ceux qui puisent plus ou moins ouvertement, profondément, dans le fonds cinéphilique: Téchiné (le miroitement de l’usine à rêves), Fassbinder (la mise à vif, et sous plusieurs coutures, de la part de mélodrame qui fait sortir du quotidien les gens les plus ordinaires), Wenders (la mise au pas de la fiction à l’ordre de l’arbitraire musical, rythmes et mélodies imbriqués dans la scansion du récit), Kané (l’artifice réhabilité en tant qu’il permet de surcoder le surréel à travers la féerie ou la biographie imaginaire), Jacquot (feutrer le réel, à pas de loup pour lui adjoindre une dimension, celle de la grande déception monochrome). Il y a là un danger: que même dans ses manifestations les plus cohérentes et admirables (dignes d’être admirées: l’angoisse triviale et l’émotion bête qui font qu’un film de Jacquot ou de Fassbinder ne vous lâche pas, la singularité attachante avec laquelle Jacquot identifie des atmosphères ou des personnages de Lang ou Cocteau à de vieilles connaissances — comment il se met de plain-pied avec eux), ce cinéma ne débouche sur un cul-de-sac, celui d’un univers stylisé et sans surprise, d’un petit monde à l’imitation signée de la vie. On assisterait à un retour en force de l’ambiguïté qui ne serait, somme toute, guère plus engageant que le bouclage fictionnel du politique auquel nous ont habitués depuis quelque temps déjà d’autres anciens cinéphiles de la même génération (Tavernier, Corneau, Boisset, Santoni, Thomas, etc.). Le risque est grand qu’en face de la fiction de gauche (et de celle de droite) apparaisse un cinéma de l’apparence et de l’apparat: onirisme de cuisine, cinéma de vitrine, cinéma de salon.

(Il convient de mettre radicalement
à part un film comme Le Théâtre des matières: Biette est le seul cinéaste à avoir poussé l’identification au travail hollywoodien — pas au style ni au contenu, secondaires pour lui — à un pareil niveau d’exaspération: à partir d’un embryon de fiction follement abstrait — à base de jeux de mots, de dérive signifiante, de géométrie invariable —, il s’est construit une histoire qui lui devient l’équivalent impersonnel — mais en même temps excessivement autobiographique — d’un scénario de commande. L’artisan Biette exécute donc le travail dans les délais et respecte le contrat qu’il s’est perversement passé avec lui-même. D’où vient que Le Théâtre des matières soit le film le plus déconcertant et inclassable de ces dernières années.)

Louis Skorecki, Contre la nouvelle cinéphilie, Cahiers du cinéma n°293, outubro 1978


Quando se fala em dispositivo hoje em dia, em 95% dos casos trata-se ou de uma logorréia embaçada e falsamente especulativa ou de pseudo-investigações teóricas para aquilo que o Skorecki sintetizava à perfeição nos idos de '78: "um cinema da aparência e do aparato; onirismo de cozinha, cinema de vitrine, cinema de salão."

quinta-feira, 7 de fevereiro de 2008

quarta-feira, 6 de fevereiro de 2008

Esse papo de "filmes imperfeitos" é coisa de adolescente comunista.

terça-feira, 5 de fevereiro de 2008

« Vu avec un peu de recul, ce mouvement, qui ne fut sans doute rien d'autre qu'un acte de lucidité élémentaire s'exerçant dans une période riche, apparaît singulièrement lié à cette période riche (1944-59). Aujourd'hui, le rôle de la critique, je parle en théorie et s'il était rempli, serait bien différent. Moins sélectif. Moins spectaculaire. Plus ingrat. Plus laborieux. Ses caractéristiques? Je ne peux que les mentionner brièvement: scruter les genres annexes, en particulier le genre "fantastique" dans son acception la plus large ("mythes et légendes"), seul genre narratif à l'heure actuelle, et qui, pour cette raison, canalise l'intérêt de toute une partie du public amenée à se détourner des autres grands genres (musical, policier, western), tous en décadence aujourd'hui; apercevoir par là, à un moment où il semble se désagréger, l'édifice compact du cinéma américain dont la cohérence se reflète aussi dans les bas-côtés; évaluer à propos de diverses entreprises documentaires ou para-documentaires ce qui, en elles, correspond à l'essence du cinéma dans les termes où Michel Mourlet l'a décrite: "à la fois le documentaire et la féerie", dans les termes aussi où Fritz Lang entrevoyait la nature de ses prochains films: sans préoccupation esthétique, brutaux et réalistes dans le style des actualités; bref, continuer, parmi tant de déceptions et de mornes soirées, à chercher obstinément les lignes de force et la perle rare; ne rien savoir; ne rien prévoir. »


Journal de 1966 in Présence du Cinéma n. 24-25, outono 1967

"But to make films and to be an artist, aren't you allowed to be impressionistic? If you saw Miami Vice in this incarnation or Inland Empire in this incarnation at the Whitney Biennial, what would you say? You might think that you've seen something really extraordinary. Are there supposed to be rules? Is there a Dogma 2006 that the Academy should put out? When we make movies there must be a certain number of pixels? It must have a certain resolution? There must be a certain amount of focus? Otherwise it can't be a movie? If you don't like Charles Bukowski, is he not a good writer? It's the same argument."

Harris Savides, aqui.

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