Holidays Really!

I have been having a few very free-running days. It starts with waking up without an alarm while sleeping out in the open air in the balcony. So far it was only on Friday evening that I was not at at the Piazza Grande for the evening showing. Besides Vexille also got to see MIo Fratello è Figlio Unico, Knocked Up and The Bourne Ultimatum there with a few thousand other viewers. The weather is clearly cooperating, the nights are warm and dry, the days are summer à la carte. We have been having breakfast in the garden under the overgrown kiwi tree.

In addition, yesterday I saw two films in the afternoon: Ladrones (Spain), and Contre toute espérance (Canada). While Ladrones tells a story without much social commentary and a whole lot of human emotion, unspoken codes and uses a fresh optical prespective along a XXI century visual literacy path, Contre toute espérance goes beyond the story telling, is at times slow, and it is perhaps good that it is slow. In both these films there is acting that goes beyond the glamour and the pretty faces, it is what I call an aesthetic of the real emotional, not that of altruism or idealism. One could also say – I am the one saying it – that this is the kind of story telling that is one step closer to a new humanism and these are the kind of stories that revisit capitalism from the material precarity side of life. Indeed, these are rich stories that are very far from glamour and vanity.

What is easy to forget is the music… but only because it is so much a part of the story telling itself. This I felt most vividly with Ladrones… and that is what makes this film brilliant – each element of the storytelling arsenal contributes to the whole, it does not distract from it.

The Bourne Ultimatum is a stark contrast to these two stories, and yet the story of Jason Bourne is an interesting one that goes beyond the fiction of spy stories and secret agents. These days when I watch American films, I wonder what it is that these have as a meta message. Are these here just to tell me a story, or is the story just the vehicle for a moral tenet and a subliminal message that I do want to be on the lookout for. What is the line here? Or more importantly, what is the Bourne trilogy all about? Is it just about special effects? Somehow, in spite of all their technical bravado, such stories are a bit boring for this scribe.

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But what do I know about film making? Not much really. There was a detail in Ladrones that did not go unnoticed by me, it is a film in Memoriam of another person. Love stories are always remembrance, aren’t they?

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