With The Alamo Y Apollo XIII like maximum exponents, the American cinema, and that way of being so his, based on the pride, the patriotism, the dignity and the ethics of the work, has turned not few times his historical defeats in victorious films. Something that, in any case, inhabited intrinsically in the actions and behaviors of its characters, and that was left translucent in the subtexts of the stories.
FIRST MAN (THE FIRST MAN)
Address: Damien Chazelle.
Interpreters: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler.
Gender: drama. USA, 2018
Duration: 133 minutes.
However, what we had not seen so much is the narration of a glorious event with the modes and nuances of defeat. A celebration like the arrival of man on the Moon, narrated with the seriousness of a sad event. A film about the conquest, based on the irremediable trance of death. And so it is First man (The first man), solemn vision of Damien Chazelle of the space race, centered almost exclusively on the figure of Neil Armstrong, the human being who managed to put his feet on the satellite but could not save the life of his daughter. The glory of a funeral. The funeral of a glory.
Chazelle, again faithful to a filmography with loss as the central axis, has shot his film in a panoramic format, but it has given the appearance and texture of a homemade Super 8 or 16 mm film from the 1960s: corners rounded in the manner of the slides, photograph of nuanced colors, texture with a certain grain. The family, and its destruction because of the death by cancer of one of the astronaut's daughters, fly over the story with more essentiality than the adventure itself. And although already from the first sequence is tried to transfer to the audience the physical sensations of oppression, oppression and danger of the pioneers of space, as the futurist did Gravity (2013), when the climax arrives, the interior of the character, his trauma, his obsession reappear.
The beautiful look of Claire Foy, of an admirable natural beauty, complements the discourse on the (im) potency of the human being in an apparent film about strength and triumph. And there are hardly more characters, because the others are exposed through impressionistic brushstrokes rather than through conventional development.
Director of Whiplash Y The Land has composed a strange film, but almost always fascinating, and certainly shocking: a story about the taking of open spaces, articulated based on very closed frames and very close-ups. And it has turned a collective victory into a personal odyssey; the challenge of the human race and of a country, in the mourning of one man.