Film critic- editor in chief cinema and culture
|Journey to Italy
|Djibril Diop Mambéty
|Fear Eats the Soul
|Rainer Werner Fassbinder
|No Home Movie
|Goodbye to Language
|A Torinói Ió
Journey to Italy
The crisis of the couple and their progressive distance becomes the space through which to grasp the feeling of the time, making the formal research a political statement.
A young woman and her freedom – the story breaks all social and moral conventions of the time in Italy following her desire and fantasies. Censured for its freedom, this movie was an explosion in the Italian moralism of the time, giving a place to a woman who decides for herself.
One of the great films of modernity in illuminating human relationships, the 'roles' of male and female in feelings and a vision of the world that completely overturns the codes. The desperate journey of the protagonist, escaping the end of his love, becomes the story of a fear and at same time the declaration of an unacceptable impotence.
Mory and Anta, the non-conforming young couple trying to escape from Africa to Europe, break the stereotypes of the African narrative by reclaiming a vision that stands against the colonialist and post-colonialist one. The film uses freely the suggestions of world cinema and claims the freedom of a representation opposed to that desired by the West. Its anarchic narrative, bold staging, frenetic editing and sound design – an integral part of its writing – are a surprise in every respect, a new cinematic form and a strong political declaration.
Fear Eats the Soul
The story of Emmi, a German woman in her sixties, who falls in love with Ali, a handsome Moroccan immigrant at least 20 years her junior. From the first chance meeting in a bar to the sudden decision to get married, the unusual relationship between the elderly widow and the foreigner will shake the small world that surrounds the couple, causing hostility and tension. Filmed in Munich in just two weeks, with a very limited budget, this is first and foremost the story of two solitudes that Fassbinder never misses an opportunity to represent, as well as visually, through precise choices of direction, united against the suffocating environment that condemns them.
Fassbinder is inspired by Sirk – whom he adored – 'translating' his All That Heaven Allows (1955) into the contemporary, making the feeling of melodrama political, and revealing the conflicts and hypocrisies of Germany, whose past and present he has always tried to illuminate in his work.
No Home Movie
The last film by a director who found many of her obsessions and inner and physical landscapes travelled in other images. Her relationship with her mother almost becomes the mirror through which to tell oneself and brings us an artistic and human intimacy, in which the artist's poetics emerge, deeply linked here to her fragility, to the moods of a formal research that has never ceased to test its own borders, and with them to put herself on the line.
Goodbye to Language
Goodbye to Language is a masterpiece. And not because he is Godard and we love him, but because in this film Godard shows us once again how it is possible to invent a language of resistance, ours, and that of cinema. Godard is not in the air of the times, he precedes it. Each new Godard film is: a point in history, a point in cinema, a point in the history of Godard's cinema. Yet, the first thing that catches the eye on seeing Goodbye to Language is that Godard expels History. For several years the director has eliminated from his films the story with a lowercase s, the one that every good film must tell and which can be summed up in a few sentences. More than eliminating it, it has progressively reduced it. From his first film A bout de souffle, passing through Hail Mary and Nouvelle Vague, the story with a lowercase s is always that of a couple of lovers, who want each other to despise each other. But, film after film, the narrative is stripped to the bone. What's left? Almost nothing. Simply the idea of a pair of lovers.
Muratova was one of the most interesting voices in Soviet cinema, emerging by extricating herself from censorship and the mediocrity of the regime. This portrait of Russian society during the Khrushchev era, controlled, bureaucratized and in its own way bigoted – the film was censored for 20 years – is composed between the desires of two women and a cheeky man, in the leaps of their feelings, in loves and impossible encounters.
The formal freedom is a political declaration before the "subject", in the way in which the existence of every character collide with the world around them and try to resist in everyday gestures, inventing a kind of revolution.
One title for an entire oeuvre, to express the importance of a director who, film after film, has built a critical American history in depth, without mythologies and without ideologies, observing its social mechanisms, institutions, relations between the individual and the system. In this sense, the choice of the great public library collects many of the previous suggestions that in the conflict find in this horizontal space, open to all, a splendid metaphor of democracy.
A Torinói Ió
The last film by an auteur who has decided to retire because he is convinced that he cannot extend beyond the limits of his own cinema. On the other hand, in his career he has continually expanded by searching among increasingly abstract landscapes for that profound sense of time, of an image capable of containing in its own form the strength of a political gesture, of a look at the world which, starting from cinema, takes shape in its own conflict.
It's very difficult to encompass the whole history of cinema, past and present, in 10 titles.
But it's a very interesting challenge, especially because of the feeling of having left out important things.
Of course, there are so many other movies and directors from the past and today that I love so much, but I had to choose.