Miguel Angel Martín Maestro
|Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
|The Quiet Man
|Man with a Movie Camera
|EN LA CIUDAD DE SYLVIA
|José Luis Guerín
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
Modern cinema began in silent cinema. Murnau's latest work closes a cycle of magnificent works with a culmination between good and evil, night and day, love and desire that did not have continuity, unfortunately, due to the unfortunate death of the director.
Vigo's first and last feature film in another career cut short by death, the oneirism taken to images, aquatic overprints where the material joins with the fluid addressing an exciting love story with the priceless presence of Dita Parlo.
Basic film to love, or hate, the cinema of the last living representative of the nouvelle vague. Art represented in all its possibilities, architecture, colour and light enveloping a story of progressive disagreement watched over by the sharp gaze of Fritz Lang and the echo of Greco-Roman cultural resonances, the summer heat in Capri, the sensual presence of Bardot and the enveloping melody of Delerue make Le Mépris a delight set in the Malaparte house.
Film intended to mark a before and after in cinematographic narration. Images that can lead to imagine a story that, according to Bergman himself, exists only for the pleasure of creating images and merging two apparently very different women until they are confused into one. Nurse Alma and Elisabeth Vogler are an essential page in the history of cinema and their faces, filmed with the tenacity and fixation of the director, are confused in our sight and in our brain.
The Quiet Man
John Ford returns to Ireland and manages to mythologize the space of his origins. A perfect story marked by the idiosyncrasies of an environment where none of the characters, no matter how episodic, lose their character and personality, becoming an indefinite scheme. Innisfree becomes the soul of the movie buff in a mythological space inhabited by giant salmon, good-hearted brutes, horses that guide their riders, trains that stop slowly, stomachs full of alcohol and moonlight ballads where a redhead is capable of subverting relationships by reclaiming her identity, exposing men who only know how to reason through their fists.
Man with a Movie Camera
At the dawn of cinema, the documentary reinvents itself to provide an artistic quality to the depiction of reality. The filmmaker is no longer satisfied with fixing what the eye sees in images, but the eye can be manipulated to create alternative visions, geometric compositions that accompany the industrial event or apply the impossible perspective to the simple fact of a melting oven or a tram that circulates Vertov makes art out of the everyday.
The Fellinian is an identity seal that passes through the filmmaker himself. With the expression "Fellinian" the viewer has a point of reference to imagine what kind of story and what treatment can be expected on the screen. 8½ is the paradigm of self-referential cinema, the mirror in which those who film their own present look at themselves to improve it, embellish it, make it attractive, idealise it. Exorcise personal and family demons to transform them into a beautiful work of art so perfect that the image of Federico Fellini is transfigured into Marcello Mastronianni with the echoes of "asa, nisi, masa".
Comedy is in disrepute for the charts. Making people laugh seems less intelligent or less intellectual than getting a lump in the throat. The cinema made by Jerry Lewis, due to its gestures, its clumsiness, its ingenuity, seems only made to entertain but if the surface is scratched, depth charges appear, the staging, the use of coloor. The Ladies Man is an example of the extraordinary precision machine capable of building in a women's boarding school with only one man present, so perfect that even Godard was inspired by it for his Tout va bien ten years later.
EN LA CIUDAD DE SYLVIA
A nod to my country because not all of film history is concentrated in the US or France. Having deliberately omitted from my list the films that have traditionally topped the podium in the Sight and Sound poll, in a contemporary flaneur's tour of Strasbourg there is much of the obsession of the character of Scottie in Vertigo, the obsession with an idealised woman with a single look and confusion, or not, with a passerby. Guerin's cinema is justified by itself, but in this case the obsession with beauty becomes even more evident. Beauty is the only valid claim in this disgusting world. And worth this vote for Spanish cinema to honour others who also deserved a place on the list such as Buñuel, Erice, Chomón, Berlanga…
A commitment to the present, a cinema made without complexes and without public or private aid. The flower is the taste for endless storytelling, reusing the adventure to start a story without finishing it, or ending it without starting. The echoes of Stevenson, of Hugo Pratt, of Hergé, of Le Carré. Everything is valid and everything is assumed by the gear of an endless movie. The project of an exciting group, the most exciting of the cinematographic present, the Argentines of El Pampero.
Really making a list with only 10 films in the history of cinema is unfair. We know very well that it is not that the ones that are there do not deserve it, it is that there are infinite solutions to make infinite lists. From the past to the present, maintaining a balance between all types of cinemas with only 10 selected is impossible. Unforgivable names are missing in the same way that ten titles could be named from a single director without a problem. I have searched for the founding myth, the cinephile myth and the nod to the present and to my country. I have not wanted to participate in the historical Vertigo-Citizen Kane duality because it provides a very schematic and monolithic image of an art changing in its tastes and perceptions. I have preferred to vindicate silent cinema because almost everything, if not everything, is already at the beginning of this still so young art. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity that S&S magazine has offered me to a simple viewer who tries to comment on films from the purest amateurism. Thank you.