You can declare your love to a screen, but only when it is off, when it is on it is she who writes the poems to you. It must be a white screen, that is, a cinema screen, and as large as possible. White because that’s how the pages are when you sit down to create. And giants, if it can be, because whoever filmed did it thinking about every square inch of its surface, just as a good lover does with her partner’s. “Enjoy the film!”, Americans often say. A movie can be enjoyed just like love.
We Are Who We Are, in the Official Selection out of competition, is a series of eight episodes by Italian Luca Guadagnino for the HBO platform that is a very extensive poem about adolescence, the age of all uncertainties and uncertainties (as in this time of pandemic), when things are decided to assault without responsibility but not irresponsibly. I was able to watch the first four chapters in a three and a half hour session. The longer the projection lasts, if the film is good, the more you enter a state of strange hypnosis. It is nice to see audiovisual works for adults that are endless films.
The protagonist of We Are Who We Are is Fraser, the strange son of the new general of a North American base in northern Italy, married to a military nurse. We are at the end of the Obama presidency, an unlikely alternative called Donald Trump harangued at his rallies: “We will make America great again!”
Making a series about today’s teenagers, so exposed, advanced and beaten down by the Internet and technology, approaching them with the solemn respect that Guadagnino professes, is an act of enormous generosity. The director of the acclaimed Call Me by Your Name (2017) virtuously shapes the times of history. It could be that the series collapses after the fifth chapter. I don `t believe. The first four are a lesson in cinematic hypersensitivity that should be seen on the biggest screen possible.
“A movie is good when you do not realize that you are wearing the mask,” the screenwriter Laura Martel said recently in this same newspaper. In the franco Mexican New Order the miracle occurs. It is directed by Michel Franco, this year’s member of the official jury. It narrates the moment of an abrupt change of political regime in Mexico and its consequences in a family of the upper bourgeoisie. The film has moments of shocking brutality that cause unforeseen turns that seal you like La Gotita in the armchair. It won the Grand Jury Prize of the last Venice festival and is exhibited here in the Pearls section.
My Mexican Bretzel (Nuria Giménez), in the Made in Spain section, is a mockumentary mounted with the images that the director found in her grandfather’s basement, they had been hidden for 40 years. The proposal, Giménez’s debut, has been to invent the diary of a certain Vivian Barret, a fictional character. The film is built on the phrase “lies is another way of telling the truth” and points out the increasingly blurred distances between reality and fiction, the central theme of contemporary documentary.
The family images, filmed by the grandfather between the 40s and 60s of the last century, are fantastic. But the best thing is the director’s highly intelligent inventiveness, who makes credible nonsense like that of an old man from a Polynesian island who died without seeing the sea or pronounces great sentences, on behalf of a supposed Hindi maharishi, like this one: “God too sometimes doubts your existence. ” The only but of the film is that, to better set the trap, the texts of the newspaper appear only subtitled and much of the footage takes place in silence, so it is not advisable to see it after a copious meal at nap time.
The anticipation to see the last Golden Lion of the Venice festival was as great as the disappointment. Nomadland, directed by Chloé Zhao, produced by and starring actress Frances McDormand, chronicles the mourning times of a precarious widow whose home is a caravan. There are more and more people like this in the United States, the same homeless as anti-establishment militants, people who help each other firmly determined to leave behind what has been a lifetime as the pack mules of capitalism.
The film mixes social protest and personal drama. The idea of nomadic travel in places of the far west as an allegory of being an American is extremely interesting, but the story is extended in its footage and, above all, it inexplicably abuses music that provides an extra dose of heavy melancholy.
Frances McDormand is excellent in the role of Fern, but that’s nothing new. And neither does her character experience great transformations during her adventures. During the viewing I experienced how uncomfortable it is to yawn with the mask on, a sensation overcome the next day by the disappointing An Optical Effect, by Juan Cavestany. The film, splendidly starring Carmen Machi and Pepón Nieto, lacks the incendiary and free radicalism of previous proposals by the Madrilenian. Here I already gave a significant nod. In this case, I did not declare my love for the screen, but I was slowly hugging the armchair, until I was rocked by it.