Authorial cinema resists the ‘massacre’ of blockbusters and superheroes

Amir Jadidi's face close-up in the movie Um her
Amir Jadidi plays Rahim in “Um hero”, a film by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi in BH (photo: Ashgar Farhadi Productions/discloses obstacles)

The impact of a transformative and provocative genre of cinema has echoed for decades and, of course, can be measured by the government’s incentives (or barriers) to its dissemination. A glaring example of the discomfort that this art can cause is in “No bears”, the latest feature film by Iranian Jafar Panahi. Given the content of his work, this filmmaker, who has spent several years at international festivals, is imprisoned in Iran, serving the sentence imposed in the early 2010s. , obstacles and oppression.

Asphyxiated by the market more interested in the roaring box office of blockbusters and superheroes, films with the signature of directors committed to defending concepts and the plurality of themes resist. Perceived as a kind of competitor in the commercial circuit, streaming is about erasing the stigma, co-opting designer filmmakers to develop series.

Woman lying down, with her bra
“Copenhagen cowboy”, series by Nicolas Winding Refn (right), to be presented at the Venice Film Festival at the end of the month (photo: Space Rocket Nation/reproduction)

Venice: showcase for Refn, Lars von Trier and Oliver Stone

After the Swede Ingmar Bergman, one of the directors most notable for the content and aesthetics of his work, had the classic “Scenes of a Marriage” (1973) adapted for HBO in “Scenes from a marriage”, the strong showcase of the Festival of Venice, which will start on August 31, will have Oliver Stone (obsessed with dramatizing American wounds, author of the “W” films, about George W. Bush, “Nixon” and “JFK”) investing in the documentary scale, while Lars von Trier and Nicolas Winding Refn will emerge with international series.

“Series bring the flow of energy that works at all times, they are accessible and of consumption by hand”, commented Refn in an interview with the website IndieWire. He will bring to Venice the series “Copenhagen cowboy”, about the criminal underworld in Denmark.

The Danish project with Netflix involves a “neo-noir” in six episodes, which follows the work formed by the films “Only God forgives” and “Drive”. Refn classified his experience in the series as “the ideology, totally new, of how to exist”.

Recognized for the dense production of violent films like “Antichrist” (2009) and “Nymphomanaca” (2013), Lars von Trier, another Dane, will soon release five episodes of “Kingdom exodus”. The series is connected to “The Kingdom”, a ghostly audiovisual production from the 1990s about the complete collapse of a hospital institution.

Ingmar Bergman, one of cinema’s greatest aesthetes, who died 15 years ago, won a brief retrospective, accessible on Telecine Cult, on the GloboPlay platform. Awarded at the Venice and Berlin festivals, the film “Wild Strawberries” (1957) is part of the package along with “The seventh seal”, highlighted in Cannes, and “Face to face”.

WATCH the trailer for “The Seventh Seal”, Ingmar Bergman’s masterpiece:

Contemporary of the Swedish master, Pier Paolo Pasolini, one of the most provocative filmmakers of all time, had the classic “Mamma Roma” (1962) recently screened at the 8 1/2 Festa do Cinema Italiano, an initiative to spread a refined seventh art.

Following the same line, the Varilux Festival (springboard for the premiere of French films) brought visibility to the musical “Tralala”, starring Mathieu Amalric, which is currently playing in theaters across the country. With actors wearing masks (given COVID-19), the feature reveals the trajectory of a poor Parisian musician who is enchanted by an anonymous woman.

Actress Tilda Swinton looks out the window in a scene from the movie Mem
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, “Memria”, with Tilda Swinton, is showing on the Mubi platform (photo: Neon/disclosure)

Fine Arts exhibits award-winning Iranian at Cannes

On display in BH, “Um hero”, winner of the Cannes Festival Grand Prix, bears the unmistakable signature of the Iranian Asghar Farhadi, who, since 2009, with “Looking for Elly”, launched the hits “The apartment”, “The separation ” and “O past”, with rocambolesque and whimsical scripts. “A hero” in the different. It tells the story of a man in debt who fights incessantly to clear his name and get out of jail. The feature screened at 8:30 pm, in room 3 of UNA Cine Belas Artes.

Author of weird films like “Spider” and “Twins – similar Mrbida”, the octogenarian David Cronenberg disturbs again with “Crimes of the future”, available on the Mubi platform. Mental and physical deformities are highlighted in the plot that mixes surgery and sex amid the decadent period in which synthetic materials and tattoos are in the course of debatable human evolution.

Also of very debatable taste, “Memria”, the new work by Thai artist Apichaptong Weerasethakul, starring Tilda Swinton, is available on Mubi streaming.


Several copyright films will soon be released in movie theaters and streaming platforms. Already negotiated with Netflix, “Bardo” marks the return to Mexico of Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu, after “The return” (2016).

Memories and the look at contemporary reality of a journalist and documentarian are mixed in the script co-written by Nicols Giacobone, Iarrit’s partner in the authorial features “Biutiful” and “Birdman”.

Also back will be Todd Field, author of “Between Four Walls” (2001) and “Intimate Sins” (2006), independent films highlighted by the Oscars. The 58-year-old director signs “Tr”, inspired by the journey of conductor Lydia Tr (Cate Blanchett), the first professional to break through the macho environment of a symphony orchestra.

Under the banner of Netflix, the drama “White noise”, adaptation by filmmaker Noah Baumbach of Don DeLillo’s literature, will open the Venice Film Festival at the end of this month.

Author of “Marriage Story” (2019) and “Frances Ha” (2012), Baumbach brings Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig as a couple in crisis, as in the novel released in 1985. Married five times and researcher of Hitler’s trajectory , Professor Gladney (Driver), father of four, gets into extreme debates with his wife about the possibility of being the first to die. Both seek healing therapies given the extreme fear of the end, fueled by the chemical threat in the city where they live, amid simulations and emergency evacuation training.

After investing heavily in disturbing plots linked to transformations of the female body, such as “Black Swan” (with Natalie Portman taking flight) and “Rquiem for a Dream” (in which veteran Ellen Burstyn was languishing), director Darren Aronofsky prepares for this year the release of “The Whale”.

Former gal Brendan Fraser (“The Mummy”) embodies a 500-pound guy preoccupied with strengthening lost ties with his daughter. Director of photography Matthew Libatique (“A Star Is Born” and “Me!”) is responsible for the tense atmosphere of the film.

Colin Farell Films With Martin McDonagh

From the Englishman Martin McDonagh, “The banshees of Inisherin” will soon hit the screens, five years after actors Sam Rockwell and Frances McDormand won the Oscar for their “Three ads for a crime”. Starring Colin Farell, the new project centered on an island in Ireland.

Known worldwide for the success of “Me call me by your name” (2017), Luca Guadagnino is another one with an authorial film scheduled for 2022. In the same horror rhythm that permeated the adaptation of the classic “Suspiria” (2018), the Italian brings to the first plan, in “Bones and all”, the characters Lee (Timothe Chalamet) and Maren (Taylor Russell, from “Escape room”), from the literature of Camille de Angelis, are young people struggling with cannibal compulsion.

Actor Ante
Antnio Pitanga in “House of Antiquities”, film selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 2020 (photo: Pandora Filmes/publicity)

INTERVIEW/Antnio Pitanga

“Brazilian cinema proposes to denounce”

Made available by the Mubi platform, “Casa de Antiguidades” starred by the experienced Antnio Pitanga, 83 years old, who participated in several authorial films, such as “O Pagador de Promises” (1961), by Anselmo Duarte, “Barravento” (1962), by Glauber Rocha, and “A grande cidade” (1966), by Cac Diegues. According to the actor, his new feature, in addition to featuring the signature of director Joo Paulo Miranda Maria, emphasizes the reality of the Brazilian people, as well as the authorial cinema made in the country.

What characterizes the authorial cinema in which “Casa de Antiguidades” is inserted, which represented Brazil at the Cannes Festival and was recently shown on the big screen?

The signature of an era, a look, a decade, of people committed to the entire political, social and racial process. (In “House of Antiquities”) There is the question of the people being brought to the fore. the cry of this suffering, oppressed people, and the signature of a director present, as in the case of Joo Paulo Miranda Maria. He brings, with relevance, the Brazilian problem.

Can you perceive Brazilian black cinema as a whole, forming a panel?

Of course I understand. I perceive the presence of this panel of cinema that is Brazilian and international, but mainly Brazilian. On the screen, there is a soft emergence of the black problem – whether in the racial issue, in invisibility and in the issue of all kinds of prejudice. Brazilian cinema also proposes to denounce. I’m sure a panel of today’s times. And it represents, yes, this moment. There is the screen and the cry of the black population.

Do you consider yourself a representative of authorial cinema?

I don’t know if I consider myself a representative of national cinema. Maybe so, because of his long career, of having large participations in more than 80 films and, mainly, in the implementation of one of the most important movements in Brazilian and international cinema, Cinema Novo. It came, as did the Nouvelle Vague and Neorealism. American cinema itself had an authorial proposal. All this is identified in “House of Antiquities”.

How do you see Brazilian authorial production?

In author cinema, one can see the signatures of a Glauber Rocha, a Leon Hirszman, a Cac Diegues, a Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, a Nelson Pereira dos Santos and a Ruy Guerra. It’s the signatures that identify what movement this is, what identity this is, Brazilian. What a time that we lived in the past and are living today. So, the important signature. Authorial “House of Antiquities” as was “Barravento”, as were “Dry lives” and “Memories of the crcere” and “A grande city”. There are so many others… “Macunama”, “So Bernardo”, “Os rifles” and “The gods and the dead”…

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