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April 18 2017

The Greek Waste Land: Close-Up on Theo Angelopoulos

Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on MUBI. Theo Angelopoulos's Ulysses' Gaze (1995) is showing April 27 - May 27 and Landscape in the Mist (1988) is showing April 28 - May 28, 2017 in the United States.
Landscape in the Mist
“We Greeks are dying people. We've completed our appointed cycle. Three thousand years among broken stones and statues, and now we are dying.”
Taxi driver, Ulysses’ Gaze
It seems that no essay on the films of Theodoros Angelopoulos can neglect to mention that, despite being recognized as one of cinema’s masters in Europe, he has repeatedly failed to cross over to the United States. A retrospective at the Museum of the Modern Art in 1990, a Grand Prix at Cannes Ulysses’ Gaze in 1995, a Palme d’Or for Eternity and a Day in 1998, and, most recently, a complete 35mm retrospective at the Museum of the Moving Image and Harvard Film Archive have done relatively little to boost his standing stateside.
The reasons for this are not novel. His films are often long—five of thirteen run between three and four hours—and always “slow”; shots last for several minutes, and the people in those shots are dwarfed by their environment—no surprise, given Angelopoulos’ tendency to eschew character psychology. Instead, people and location are used to illustrate connections among politics, culture and history with such specificity that it can be hard to follow for those without prior knowledge of Greece. His films also augment one another, with characters reappearing and dialogue recurring, taking on ironic new meanings in different scenarios, rewarding longtime fans and occasionally leaving newcomers behind. But what often gets lost in discussion of the complexity of Angelopoulos’ style is the specifics that make him unique among his European contemporaries as well as the variety to be found within it; with each film, Angelopoulos developed his technique and refined his politics as he examined his country, its place in the world, and the role of the arts and the individual in times of turmoil.
Landscape in the Mist
Landscape in the Mist (1988) is not without these “difficult” characteristics, but it is the optimal starting point for entering Angelopoulos’ world. It is, in some ways, a profoundly hopeful film, and it marks a reversal in Angelopoulos’ filmography in that politics and history are incorporated to complement a less recondite discourse about the arts, whereas earlier films did the opposite. Its narrative, too, about two children who leave home to find their father, is immensely moving. It unfolds almost like a fairytale, tracing the coming-of-age of the older Voula as she and her younger brother, Alexander, wander across the country and into smaller conflicts teeming with an allegorical importance. Cinematographer Giorgios Arvanitis and Angelopoulos utilize a muted color palette of dull earth and metallic tones, but they nonetheless find countless unforgettable images—the broken hand of a statue gliding across the sky, a single tree amid the mist, awestruck adults gazing at snow falling out of season—all aided by Eleni Karaindrou’s remarkable oboe-driven score, equal parts Arvo Pärt and Mendelssohn.
Greece, as Voula and Alexander traverse it, is deteriorating, marked by the recession of culture and a disinterested public. It is a nation literally without a place in the world—the film posits, somewhat ambiguously, an imaginary border between Greece and Germany, one of Angelopoulos’ more imaginative meditations on borders and nation. Less abstractly, the troupe from The Traveling Players (1975), Angelopoulos’ best-known work, reappears in Landscape in the Mist and in one scene recites, in a disorganized cacophony, monologues centered on history and politics from the earlier film, as if signaling that Greece’s own history is being lost. Indeed, when Voula, Alexander, and Orestes, the actor in whom Voula and Alexander find a friend, watch the statue hand being pulled from the ocean, it embodies a broken cultural link with Greece’s past. In an earlier scene, they watch a bride run into the otherwise empty streets only to be stopped and walked back in by the presumed groom. In the same shot, a vehicle chugs through the snow with a fallen horse in tow, horrifying Voula and Alexander. The vehicle stops, and the children kneel by the horse, talking to it, petting it, and watching as it slowly dies. In the background, a festive accordion tune crescendos and the wedding party begins to sing as they prance down the street, oblivious to the horrors unfolding beside them.
Yet so impassioned is Karaindrou’s score, so striking are Angelopoulos’ images, that even a viewer entirely unfamiliar with the director’s leftist politics and attitudes on Greek culture can still be swept away. Angelopoulos’ aesthetic has a unique effect in Landscape in the Mist. He lingers on the downtrodden horse or the falling snow or the floating hand well after its “point” has been made, breaking through the complex web of signification his films weave to find faith in the image itself. Political as each image might be in context, the length of each shot allows them to function as a purely lyrical one. The fairytale atmosphere and childlike astonishment casts a spell on viewer and character alike.
Faith in the power of the image is, in fact, integral to Landscape in the Mist’s more overt themes. Just as its defining ideas are about art rather than politics, its defining motif is not the floating hand of the statue, but a frame from a film the children find that depicts, ever so faintly, a tree in a misty landscape. It is an almost biblical image that promises happiness that is otherwise absent from the film. Voula and Alexander reach this tree only after being forced to disembark the train to Germany at the border. They come upon a river and begin to cross by boat in a night illuminated by a lone searchlight. As they paddle, an unseen guard yells “halt!” and fires one shot. The next we see of them is their outlines in a feint landscape resembling the frame from the film strip. Slowly the mist dissipates and Voula and Alexander run to embrace the tree. Have they arrived only in death? Or is it reality? Perhaps some imaginary dream space between the two? Angelopoulos leaves the question unanswered, reveling in the hope that film can offer for both character and viewer.
Ulysses’ Gaze
If Landscape is an elegy to a fading idea of Greek nationhood, Ulysses’ Gaze is a quest for Balkan solidarity. It is Angelopoulos’ first film shot mostly outside of Greece; Harvey Keitel’s character travels through Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia before finally making it to war-torn Sarajevo. Most of the dialogue is English, further internationalizing the film as different Balkan nationalities aim to communicate across borders. The film concerns itself explicitly with the work of a middle-aged, modernist filmmaker concerned with the form’s art and history. It begins with footage from films by the Manaki Brothers, the first filmmakers of the Balkan Peninsula, whose undeveloped early films pique the interest of the unnamed protagonist (played by Keitel), leading him to embark on a journey across the region to find them. The Manaki Brothers, he says, “weren't concerned with politics, racial questions, friends, or enemies. They were interested in people,” and perhaps their work can illustrate what Balkan solidarity would look like.
When we first meet Keitel, we learn that his most recent film, currently being shown in the town square, is causing something of a ruckus. “We've crossed the border, but here we still are. How many borders do we have to cross before we reach home?" we hear on the soundtrack. Those who have seen Angelopoulos’ previous film, the equally brilliant The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991), will recognize the dialogue. While such a use could easily be viewed as self-congratulatory, in context it reveals Angelopoulos’ commitment to political film. Angelopoulos was a lifelong critic of materialism, but he maintained belief in the power of the filmic medium to sway people—a four-hour runtime and avant-garde techniques didn’t stop The Traveling Players from breaking attendance records in Greece—and he never forsook that faith in the image.
As in The Traveling Players but unlike in Landscape in the Mist, a single shot might take the film across decades, as in an early scene where Keitel appears in the place of a dying Manaki Brother as a sailboat glides by, hinting at what’s to come. Footage from Manaki Brothers films break-up scenes early in Ulysses’ Gaze, as if commenting on the narrative, but they eventually integrate themselves more fully in the story. When Keitel reaches Romania, he is greeted by a woman in 1940s dress and sees Russian soldiers from World War II. Keitel goes home, and we learn that the woman is in fact his mother, and he is now living in a state that combines his own memory and Manaki Brothers films, which take him from 1945 to 1950 in another single continuous shot.
Ulysses’ Gaze
Ulysses’ Gaze
This technique is one of Angelopoulos’ trademarks and arguably the cornerstone of his aesthetic. In general, Angelopoulos distinguishes himself from his European counterparts through a steadfast commitment to his prolonged wide shots and moving camera. While countless contemporary European directors employ some combination of long takes, long shots, and moving cameras, none, except perhaps for Miklós Jancsó, employ all three together so unwaveringly (in this regard, as well as his interest in the limits of representation and the link between politics and art, his closest analogue is not a European, but Hou Hsiao-hsien). Characters remain the focus of the tracking shots of Ophüls and Renoir, Straub-Huillet’s camera tends to remain static, and even early Wim Wenders, often superficially linked with Angelopoulos, was far more forgiving in the length of his shots and generous with his close-ups and amount of dialogue. This meditative approach lent itself naturally to Angelopoulos’ more Marxist, group-oriented early films, in which individual agency is largely suppressed. By foregrounding landscape, the films signal a resignation to historical determinism and a constant affirmation of broader national and political implications as they play out in public spaces. By extension, the time-traveling tendency signals a form of stasis, a rebuff to the idea of things constantly getting better in its literal demonstration of how little has changed. Voyage to Cythera (1984) however, saw Angelopoulos acquire a renewed recognition of the individual (likely thanks in no small part to Karaindrou and screenwriter Tonino Guerra, whose previous scripts include numerous Antonioni and Fellini films) that would stick with him. In Ulysses’ Gaze, the entwining of the individual within the culture and history of the nations is essential, locating a shared Balkan history, only for it to be rendered amidst the siege of Sarajevo.
Angelopoulos illustrates this last point beautifully. One foggy morning in Sarajevo, Keitel wakes up and, instead of the sounds of mortar shells, he hears music. “Foggy days are festive days here,” explains Ivo (Erland Josephson), the archivist in possession of the undeveloped Manaki films, because the snipers cannot shoot. The music is a band of Serbs, Croats and Bosnians, Christians and Muslims alike, making music together. Wandering around the city, he notices singing, dancing and even an impromptu Romeo and Juliet performance. The music transforms into something from the 1950s, and Naomi, the latest of Keitel’s love interests, all played by Maia Morgernstern, transforms into Penelope, the first of them. As they dance, Ivo and his family come to join, but suddenly the sound of a jeep disrupts the harmony, and armed men drag off Naomi and the children. Off-screen, we hear gunshots piercing through the fog. We hear orders to dump the bodies of the children in the river, the splashes, the jeep again, and then nothing. Keitel sought the films of the Manaki Brothers as a shared origin, and he found it. But while the Manaki Brothers may not have been interested in politics, just in people, Angelopoulos, by contrast, is acutely interested in politics, and it is politics that shatter the hope of Balkan unity that film, music, theater, dance—the arts—provided, if only for a moment.
There is a paradox in these two films: Landscape in the Mist, the hopeful one depicting the recession of Greece’s cultural and historical identity, and Ulysses’ Gaze, the despairing call for pan-national fraternity.When Keitel’s cab-driver paraphrases the words of the great Greek poet George Sedaris, We Greeks are dying people. We've completed our appointed cycle. Three thousand years among broken stones and statues, and now we are dying,he mourns. But Angelopoulos sees opportunity, and his films help us to recognize it.

Looking to Get Into Animation For Games? The Community Is Out There, And It’s Growing

There's a lot to learn if you're making the move to game animation, but some specialized community outlets have sprung up to help.

The post Looking to Get Into Animation For Games? The Community Is Out There, And It’s Growing appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

Broken Arrow

broken-arrow-poster.jpg

Delmer Daves - 1950
KL Studio Classics BD Region A

There has been a good amount of discussion regarding Delmer Daves quest to make the presentation of the Apaches in Broken Arrow as authentic as possible within the context of a Hollywood production. Likewise, the film has been oft noted for showing for showing the settlers and indians where both are capable of sympathy or villainy. And in terms of genre, Broken Arrow, even while dated with its casting of white actors as native Americans, is still worth noting.

What I found interesting, and not mentioned, is that a significant number of shots are extremely tilted, especially in the opening scene, with the camera looking up at a character against the blue sky, or almost overhead, looking almost straight down against the tan, rocky surface. There are very few shots with the camera focused straight ahead, or eye level. The camera angles become less extreme as a visual corollary for those moments when the characters may be seen as equals. The casting of Jeff Chandler as Cochise could well have been due as much to his being as tall, actually one inch taller, than James Stewart, again providing a visual shortcut to the film's message.

Two visually striking moments are reminders that previously Daves had made films now regarded as film noir classics, Dark Passage and The Red House. After a skirmish, three white men have been hanged by their indian captors. The three bodies are seen in silhouette against the red sky, one of the bodies is upside down. While not fully graphic, the grotesque nature of the punishment conveys why there is fear of the indians. Later, James Stewart is seen alone, illuminated by a camp fire. His face is seen half in shadow.

I'm not familiar with the novel that provided the basis for the film. Some scenes can be easily read as referring to the political climate when Broken Arrow was produced. The blu-ray has corrected credits attributing the Oscar nominated Albert Maltz for the screenplay, rather than his front, Michael Blankfort. Maltz was one of the "Hollywood Ten", blacklisted until 1970. The actor playing the most antagonistic of the white settlers is Will Geer, who would also be blacklisted. As the itinerant prospector acting as the self-appointed liaison between the settlers and the indians, Stewart is challenged regarding racial loyalty, and is later almost lynched by an angry mob over his defense of Cochise. While a good distance from the revisionist westerns that often stood in as critiques of the war in Vietnam, Broken Arrow was considered quite progressive for its time.

Stewart's character of Tom Jeffords is similar to the characters portrayed in the Anthony Mann westerns. Jeffords, like the characters in the Mann films, has no fixed home, with the drama initiated by a chance encounter. There is a brief moment when Jeffords is seen as vengeful, the darker James Stewart more frequently associated with Mann, when Jeffords discovers that his young indian wife has been killed in an ambush arranged by Geer. The film is told with first-person narration from Stewart, seen at the beginning and end, riding alone.

The color is quite subdued for a Technicolor production, filmed on location in Arizona. In his first western, Daves finds moments to emphasize the smallness of his actors against the mountains, rocky flatland, and sky. This sense is further underlined when Geer's body is washed away in a river, seen directly above, a view from heaven. Cinematographer Ernest Palmer was an Oscar nominee for his work here. There's one critical study of the films of Delmer Daves, a filmmaker still seriously in need of deeper consideration. The new blu-ray of Broken Arrow is definitely collection worthy.

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Dane Komljen Introduces His Film "All the Cities of the North"

MUBI is showing Dane Komljen's film All the Cities of the North (2016) in most countries around the world from April 22 - May 22, 2017 in partnership with Locarno Festival in Los Angeles.
Whenever I introduce this film to an audience, I usually like to talk about how it starts. All the Cities of the North has its own distinct way of unfolding and I always hope that my being there is able to ease the passage into the film, from the darkness of the cinema into the flow of images and sounds. In this case, I’m not here, our bodies are not occupying the same darkness, I can't count on my presence to provide a gateway. Perhaps an image is the best substitute then, it seems fitting for a film of so few words.
The image I'd like to offer in my place was taken late in the summer when I first came across the space you'll see in the film, the abandoned bungalow complex on the border between Montenegro and Albania. The photo was taken just a few kilometres south of the complex, further down the Adriatic coast, it was August, 2011. When looking at the photo now, I can't help feeling that you can already see the whole film in it. The tent, the color blue, the light, the idea of being together, everything is there. It was almost a year after it was taken that I first started thinking about making this film. This is how it started, let's move onto how it starts.
All The Cities of the North
It starts in a white room, with a blue tent pitched inside. It’s a film that resembles a walk, moving through different spaces step by step. There’s the blue tent, one white room followed by another, and then you step outside, onto the parched grass, beneath the cypresses, by the side of a lake, among the white, cube-like bungalows. The walk doesn’t stop there, it keeps going, further and further, across salt flats, construction sites and football fields in the midst of olive groves, crossing stories, memories, and dreams almost forgotten.  
It starts with two men, Boris and Boban, in a relationship for which there are no words. This relationship is never articulated, it can be bent in new directions, inverted, stretched, shaken, reshaped. New figures appear and others join them, they carry their own fictions, gestures, and tools. This relationship is itself like an unknown terrain, able to be traversed, like space. Like space, it shifts. 
It starts at one place and ends somewhere else. Cinema as something to carry you, cinema as something that transforms.
I wish you a pleasant stroll.

Catherine Breillat’s Metacinema

MUBI's retrospective, Catherine Breillat, Auteur of Porn?, is showing April 4 - June 3, 2017 in Germany.
Sex Is Comedy
Throughout her career, Catherine Breillat has provided viewers with a long-form meta-cinema experience. While metacinema is as old as the medium itself, since her debut feature A Real Young Girl in 1976, Breillat has developed a distinct form of it: one that collapses ‘autobiographical’ material, various artistic sensibilities, and the process of filmmaking itself.
Like dozens of other English words—such as ‘aesthetic’ or ‘abject’—the word ‘meta’ has been largely misused or misapplied with regard to the film and literary criticism. Regarding the consumption of fiction, the appropriate use of the term 'metafiction,' 'metafilm,' et cetera, has its basis in the Greek meta, which does not translate directly into English but can be understood as a preposition similar to the English word ‘about’ (‘having to do with,’ or ‘on the subject of’). Metafiction is therefore, in a sense, fiction about fiction, or more specifically fiction that is about itself. An example of an instance of meta in fiction would be the ending of Noel Coward’s 1941 play Blithe Spirit wherein the entire stage collapses, drawing the audience’s attention to the fact they have been watching a play comprised of actors, costumes, props, and so on. An example of metafiction would be It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, which often featured Shandling breaking the fourth wall and referring to the show itself, crew members bringing props onto the show’s soundstage, and a theme song with lyrics by Bill Lynch that merely recall how Shandling asked Lynch to write the theme song (“…we’re almost halfway finished, how do you like it so far?”). Here, the term is appropriate in considering Breillat’s films as a whole, in that the films are in large part self-referential: They are about herself, and to an extent about filmmaking and about her as a filmmaker.
In consuming Breillat’s oeuvre specifically, one inevitably notices a desiccated visual style—one that serves to provoke the viewer—together with content that has its origins largely in literary works often by Breillat herself: novels, which by design parse the world textually rather than visually. The viewer is best served by seeing Breillat’s metacinema in light of Antonin Artaud’s concept of the ‘theatre of cruelty’ in The Theatre and its Double (1938) and Nathalie Sarraute’s ‘nouveau roman’ as she described it in her essay The Age of Suspicion (1956). For Artaud, ‘theatre’ was not limited to an artificial performance of fiction but extended to life experience or a kind of life practice. This has some bearing on how one might interpret Breillat’s films insofar as they portray her life experience. Artaud’s definition of ‘cruelty’ suggested a provocation of ‘perpetual conflict’ in the viewer, for which Breillat’s films—very much so in the case of provocations such as Anatomy of Hell—have a propensity. One of several ideas put forth by Sarraute’s notion of the ‘new novel’ (which emerged from Sartre’s description of her 1947 novel Portrait of an Unknown Man as an ‘anti-novel’) was that of eschewing the conventional notion of characters and plot, specifically supplanting ‘character’ with a kind of ‘magma,’ wherein fragments of reality, fiction, past, and present mesh together. Breillat’s films—particularly Sex Is Comedy (2002) and The Last Mistress (2007)—are not unlike Sarraute’s writings: inherently self-conscious and routinely reevaluating themselves.
The critical and commercial reception of Breillat’s films has emphasized their ‘controversial’ content, touting how her Romance (1999) is the first major feature film to feature an onscreen erection, or the scene in Anatomy of Hell (2004) where a character drinks menstrual blood. The same reception often describes Breillat’s style as ‘clinical,’ ‘cold,’ and the like, viewing subjects as phenomena, and this is due to her most common choice of subjects: namely, sexuality and gender relations from a female point of view. Breillat’s earliest film credit was contributing writing to Catherine and Co. (1975), a sex comedy about a prostitute directed by Michel Boisrond, who throughout the 1950s directed several vehicles for Brigitte Bardot. In many ways, Breillat’s subjects have functioned collectively as a Sarrautean ‘anti-cinema’ of sorts to the European genres of erotica, sexploitation, and sex comedy by decontextualizing popular images of female sexuality put forth by those genres. While this is a reasonable reading of a typical Breillat film, at the same time it overlooks several other aspects of her filmography as a whole—thematic, technical, or otherwise—that are in plain sight onscreen and yet largely ignored. The use of tinted light in Nocturnal Uproar (1979) and Brief Crossing (2001), for instance. A Real Young Girl, Sex Is Comedy and Abuse of Weakness (2013) are woven through with Breillat’s absurdist sense of humor. Much of the iconography and dialogue in Anatomy of Hell and The Last Mistress contain vestigial traces of Breillat’s Catholic upbringing. Certain shots in Romance and Anatomy of Hell suggest the origins of modernist painting in France, specifically Edouard Manet’s Olympia (1863) and Gustave Courbet’s L’origine du monde (1866).
Top: L’origine du monde. Above: Anatomy of Hell.
We use adjectives like ‘clinical’ or ‘cold’ to describe Breillat’s style, though a better word would be ‘artificial,’ since much of her imagery and dialogue are abstracted to a point where they do not necessarily register as ‘realistic.’ The same adjectives also do not necessarily allow for the viewer to notice the authorial and meta threads that exist in her films. By ‘authorial’ one does not mean to ask the figurative, auteurist question, “How much of the film is autobiographical?” or “How much of herself is ‘in’ the film?” but rather asks “To what extent does the physical appearance of the film draw the viewer’s attention to the filmmaker’s direct experience?” That is, how does Breillat’s use of the mechanics of filmmaking convey experience? By ‘meta’ one asks, “To what extent does the physical appearance of the film draw the viewer’s attention to the artifice of filmmaking?”
Breillat’s oeuvre combines the two questions. The viewer benefits from looking at Breillat’s films in this way because the integral component of her films is herself. This makes a strong case for meta by virtue of how much of her experience the viewer will see in the films—be it by way of abstracted shot composition and art direction, literary sources by Breillat’s hand, physical stand-ins for the director, and intertextuality between the films themselves. On the last point, it is beneficial to view her films as a corpus of closely related works. This is evident in her recurring iconography: characters are often on vacation, the action often takes place at a beach or resort town, streets are unnaturally empty, there is little or no non-diegetic music. Recurring images include the ocean, a female figure lying supine as if asleep or unconscious, sparsely decorated rooms that contain large color fields (blue in A Real Young Girl, white in Romance, green in Fat Girl, grey in Anatomy of Hell), a final shot in freeze frame, and blood (what Breillat describes as her ‘coral necklace’ alludes to throats being cut—Amira Casar's in Anatomy of Hell, those of chickens in A Real Young Girl and The Last Mistress). However, these are not simply motifs that an artist returns to, but also a means of drawing the viewer’s attention to the artifice onscreen. 
Authorial elements form much of the dramatic basis of Breillat’s films, referring back to themselves in that Breillat doubles as their literary sources. Breillat’s choice of subject matter is rooted in genre fiction as varied as the erotic novel, sexploitation and sex comedy, fairy tales, and horror. In 1965, Breillat, then 17, published a erotic novella, L’homme facile (‘A Man for the Asking’). Both the content and style of this novella inform those of the majority of Breillat’s films: Narration and dialogue are often written and/or delivered in a staccato, the identity of characters is often arbitrary (characters use either initials or invented names), and color is used in numerous ways—be it to signify abstract ideas or reduce ubiquitous objects to elemental forms: a blue car, a green carpet, and so on. These three elements are evident in nearly all of Breillat’s films and suggest a tendency toward abstraction and self-reference from the beginning. Breillat based A Real Young Girl on her novel La soupirail (1974) and wrote the lyrics to the film’s songs. Her sister, actress Marie-Helene Breillat, provided the voiceover for the film’s protagonist, Alice. The sisters appeared together in Molinaro’s Dracula and Son (1976), a horror comedy with Christopher Lee.  Anatomy of Hell is based on Breillat’s novel Pornocratie (2001) and she herself provides narration for that film’s protagonist. Bluebeard (2009) opens with two sisters—named Catherine and Marie-Anne (a variation of her sister’s name)—reading Perrault’s fairytale.
A Man for the Asking
The authorial and the meta are present from the start of Breillat’s film career. A Real Young Girl is a film largely about sexual fantasy and frustration with domestic life both seen from the point of view of an adolescent, Alice (Charlotte Alexandra). Breillat uses visual abstractions in the form of kitsch and surrealist dream sequences in order to establish Alice’s point of view. In doing so, Breillat reminds the viewer that while onscreen events have a basis in life experience, they are expressed largely through artifice. Consider the use of color in the set design and makeup: The film is set in 1963, and Breillat extrapolates green, orange, and yellow in the furniture and housewares to accentuate the period. Two brief scenes featuring Alice’s supervisor at her school and her father’s mistress portray them both in gaudy make-up. It quickly becomes clear to the viewer that these images are deliberate abstractions, and not simply onscreen to establish a ‘mid-century’ modern setting. Breillat’s is largely an ‘imagined’ image world. 
A sequence late in the film features a nude Alice bound with barbed wire while a young man to whom she is attracted sexually, Jim (Hiram Keller), attempts to insert an earthworm into her vagina and then laughs at her. The appearance of barbed wire, earthworms, and Jim’s exaggerated laughing all reaffirm the scene’s artificiality to the viewer. At its center, what Breillat portrays in this sequence is an instance of erotic humiliation, which can involve a subject being soiled in some tactile way—with dirt, human waste, or other non-hygienic substance on the skin. The scene itself recalls a similar one from Buñuel’s Belle de jour (1967), wherein the protagonist’s arms are bound while an unseen man throws mud at her. 
Top: Belle de jour. Above: A Real Young Girl.
Fat Girl (2001) emerges in part from two motifs that have appeared in Breillat’s films since Junior Size 36 (1988): Resort towns and deserted streets. Narratively, Breillat's recurring images of characters on vacation and of perpetually empty streets create a temporary environment that allows her protagonists to engage in a clandestine sexual fling with someone she is not likely to see again. One's experience of a resort town is relatively brief, while a deserted street implies a private or 'unseen' activity. Lili in Junior Size 36 (Delphine Zentout) and Elena in Fat Girl (Roxane Mesquida) respond to the circumstances with which they are presented: Entering the throes of sexual attraction to boys, such circumstances provide them with opportunities for sexual experimentation seemingly without social repercussions.  
At the same time, however, one can interpret these motifs as Breillat consciously 'removing' her characters from a familiar environment and placing them into an abstracted one where latent thoughts and feelings are put on display in a decontextualized setting. A scene early in the film features a boy Elena has met on vacation, Fernando (Libero de Rienzo), cajoling Elena into having anal sex after she has refused to have vaginal sex. Elena’s sister Anais (Anais Reboux) indirectly doubles for the viewer in that she witnesses the two of them having sex. Breillat shoots the scene against a backdrop of unadorned walls of green, a color to which Breillat has referred in A Man for the Asking and Anatomy of Hell as one signifying rot and decay. While the color’s signification to Breillat may or may not be relevant, her deliberate abstraction creates an emotional theater, figuratively, for the sisters.
Fat Girl
Intertextuality begins to emerge with Breillat’s Sex Is Comedy, which forms a symbiosis with Fat Girl to that end. The latter is ostensibly a film about filmmaking in the same vein as Fellini’s 8 1/2 (1963) or Truffaut’s Day for Night (1973) in that much of its content blurs the line between the reality of film actors on a soundstage, the film being made on the soundstage, and the film itself. For instance, one scene begins with a character known only as The Actress (Roxane Mesquida again) applying eyeshadow in a mirror. It’s filmed in such a way that what happens onscreen could be The Actress preparing for a scene or sitting in an apartment, but it is later revealed that what the viewer sees is an actual scene in the film the crew is shooting when it cuts to a shot with a boom mic and a dailies monitor. 
Films about this subject have manipulated audiences in this way for decades, yet Sex Is Comedy distinguishes itself. One can watch Breillat’s film on its own in the same manner as 8 1/2 or Day for Night, however having watched Fat Girl, Sex Is Comedy takes on a new dimension, since it is essentially about the filming of Fat Girl, specifically the filming of the anal sex scene and the various anxieties the performers have. Breillat distinguishes the scene in both films by casting the same actress in the same role. In Sex Is Comedy, Mesquida plays at once this actress and herself when she played the role in Fat Girl.
Top: Fat Girl. Above: Sex Is Comedy.
Breillat has designed the wardrobe for most of her films, and the portrayal of wardrobe—specifically a sudden change of clothing that does not necessarily follow a change of scene—will often draw the viewer’s attention to the arbitrariness of clothing as an onscreen object. A scene early in Sex Is Comedy features a film crew shooting on location at a beach. During the shoot, The Actress wears a white swimsuit and swaddles herself in a blanket between takes. The film abruptly cuts to a series of shots of The Actress lying alone and disheveled on the same beach where she slowly sits up and puts her head in her hands. Narratively, The Actress’s arc has to do with her being uncomfortable with filming scenes involving kissing and fondling The Actor (Gregoire Colin), and her figure lying disheveled on the beach alone with her chest partially exposed suggests a sexual assault. Yet in this scene she wears a red slip that appears in scenes later in the film. This scene resurrects a recurring motif in Breillat’s films: public nudity and visible underwear in public. The scene recalls Alice’s slow shuffle through the countryside with her underwear around her ankles in A Real Young Girl, though in Sex Is Comedy the abrupt change in wardrobe seems to be a deliberate continuity error signifying The Actress’s anxiety about shooting an intimate scene later in the film.
Top: A Real Young Girl. Above: Sex Is Comedy.
Through metacinema, Breillat extrapolates the arbitrary nature of several dramatic conventions of filmmaking—writing, casting, directing, and so on. The film that the characters are shooting in Sex Is Comedy arguably has no proper title: When the clapper enters a shot, the title for the fictional film is merely the phrase scenes intimes (‘intimate scenes’), which was a working title for the actual film.
Fat Girl and Sex Is Comedy together mark the onset of intertextuality in Breillat’s career. Whereas Anne Parillaud’s character in the latter film, Jeanne, is a clear and obvious stand-in for Breillat herself, Amira Casar signifies Breillat in Anatomy of Hell’s narrative, albeit in a more Artaudian mode: it is based on a novel by Breillat herself and portrays the protagonist as a kind of palimpsest or impression of Breillat’s life experience. Anatomy of Hell’s narrative has to do with The Woman (Casar), who pays a character referred to as The Man (Rocco Siffredi) to come to her house and watch her “when she is unwatchable.” Because the man is a homosexual, she believes that his viewing will be impartial. One might interpret this viewing experience as a meta form of audiences’ viewing experience of Breillat's films at large, if one accepts the ‘clinical’ mode of reception to onscreen events.
Breillat has stated that Anatomy of Hell is a de facto ‘sequel’ to Romance, believing the previous film to be unsuccessful artistically. Yet the two films practically exist in the same artificial world: City streets are monochrome, empty, and quiet, and the actresses Caroline Ducey from Romance and Amira Casar bear a strong resemblance to each other. Dialogues are delivered flatly with little affect in the characters’ faces or voices. Breillat extends the semiotic reductivism that began in her films with Sex Is Comedy (The Actress and The Actor) to a desiccated conclusion of sorts in Anatomy of Hell (The Woman and The Man). 
Anatomy of Hell
The viewer sees imagery that has appeared in her previous films extrapolated to their visual and dramatic ends. These extrapolations are of Breillat’s own abstractions, indicating a shift from adolescent sexuality to adult sexuality. The sunny remote locations and empty streets of Fat Girl are supplanted by an isolated villa on the cliffs by a beach—seen only at night—in Anatomy of Hell. Whereas Alice in A Real Young Girl rubs red ink on her vagina in a gesture implying the onset of menstruation, The Woman in Anatomy of Hell has red lipstick applied to her vagina and anus, collapsing Freudian notions of oral and anal and the binary of eating and defecating. Whereas Anais lies unconscious by the ocean in Fat Girl, The Woman in Anatomy of Hell is pushed off a cliff and into the ocean. 
While a synopsis of The Last Mistress—about libertine Ryno de Marigny (Fu’ad Ait Aattou), who is about to marry into an aristocratic family but has maintained a decade-long affair with Vellini (Asia Argento)—suggests a routine costume drama, the viewer will notice a distinctly meta approach to the costume drama and the further intertextual use of actors. The film’s opening titles state that it is set “…in the century of Choderlos de Laclos.” Pierre Choderlos de Laclos is best known as the author of Dangerous Liaisons, an epistolary novel written in 1782 about the sexual exploits of the French aristocracy. Breillat’s film is based on A Former Mistress by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, which was published in 1851, though set in the 1830s. Because the two novels were published nearly seven decades apart from each other, and thus because Barbey d’Aurevilly did not write in the same period as Choderlos de Laclos and vice versa, from the opening titles, Breillat presents an image world that, like Sarraute, blurs the past and present. 
To that end, the film contains several signifiers of the nouveau roman. It is perhaps not a coincidence that Breillat cast the journalist Claude Sarraute—the daughter of Nathalie Sarraute—in the role of the Marquise de Fleurs, and Michel Lonsdale—who had appeared in films by Marguerite Duras and Alain Robbe-Grillet, both staples of the nouveau roman—in the role of the Vicomte de Prony. A dialogue by the Marquise de Fleurs indirectly connects the century in which Barbey d’Aurevilly wrote to the previous century in which Choderlos de Laclos wrote, forming a temporal ‘magma,’ to use Nathalie Sarraute’s word: “…we weren’t as narrow-minded in the 18th century as in this one. And believe me, I’ve remained ferociously in the 18th century.”  
The Last Mistress
With The Last Mistress, Breillat draws the viewer’s attention to what is arguably her most noticeable motif: an attractive woman, usually brunette like herself. The actresses Lio, Isabelle Renauld, Caroline Ducey, Sarah Pratt, Anne Parillaud, and Amira Casar all make brief cameo appearances (some in a single shot) in The Last Mistress. These roles are practically bit parts that could have been played by anyone, yet here Breillat calls attention to her own casting process by referencing the female leading roles in six of her previous films: Lio was the stand-in for Breillat in Dirty Like an Angel, Renauld in Perfect Love (1996), Ducey in Romance, Pratt in Brief Crossing, Parillaud in Sex Is Comedy, and Casar in Anatomy of Hell. Whereas these women have previously served as either ciphers or doubles for Breillat, here they form part of a self-reflexive landscape that is only possible at the end of a long filmography. 
Though metacinema functions largely as a Möbius strip of sorts wherein a film is ultimately about itself, it also allows the filmmaker to reevaluate and deconstruct her subject matter. Despite the reductive reception of Breillat as a provocateur, it is through her abstractions and intertextuality that the viewer sees a self-portrait. However, self-portraiture in her case would be of a non-representational variety. Though the viewer sees in a Breillat film identifiable subjects and life experiences—adolescence, sexual attraction, anxiety, and so on—the presentation is largely akin to the Transatlantic expressionist art of the 1940s and 1950s: images and dialogue that border on a non-narrative display of thoughts and feelings. For Breillat, these are often her thoughts regarding the subjects of romantic love and sexual relations, though those originate primarily in her narrative writing, which seems to be under her own constant reevaluation.  
It is this reevaluation that necessitates seeing Brelliat’s filmography as a whole. An adequate reception of Breillat is largely incomplete when viewing a single film of hers removed from others. In this sense, Breillat’s metacinema has more in common with a miegakure garden than with a Möbius strip: Her films are at once about themselves insofar as the viewer sees one portion of a larger landscape in one film while other portions are hidden and can only be seen in the next film. In doing so, the viewer notices that she routinely portrays a reevaluated ‘self.’ Much of what the viewer sees in one Breillat film is in fact a variation of some kind on what appears in another. While Sex Is Comedy cannot exist without a precedent in Fat Girl, Elena’s story arc in Fat Girl is in some ways a variation on Lili’s conflict in Junior Size 36, which in turn reworks Alice’s sexual curiosities in A Real Young Girl. Metacinema in this sense facilitates, to use Artaud’s term, a ‘perpetual conflict’ that extends not just between Breillat and her films but also between her films and the viewer. Breillat’s oeuvre thus forms a corpus, the connective tissue between the works being, incontrovertibly, her.

Review:  Dragon Lord (Hong Kong 1982)

Within the two years after Dragon Lord’s release, Chan would enter into his golden age with the quadruple punch of Project A, Winners and Sinners, Wheels on Meals, and Police Story, catapulting him into superstardom and cementing his reputation as one of the greatest action stars of all time.  But Dragon Lord finds Chan in a transitional period, having established his comedic persona in counterpoint to the more serious Bruce Lee and Shaw Bros film of the previous decade but still trying to move beyond low budget period pieces.  Consequently, most of the film is sub-par slapstick and comic hijinks, consigned to the usual village, warehouse and field sets that so characterized that era’s kung fu films.

Plot-wise, Dragon Lord finds Jackie in his comfort zone, casting him as a bumbler engaged in a game of one-upsmanship with a friend (Chan-regular Mars) over their mutual attraction to a local girl, before they stumble into an antiquity-smuggling operation.  Chan would go on to re-use many elements of the plot years later to much better effect in Drunken Master II.  Chan did introduce a few innovations in Dragon Lord, bookending the first half of the film with some unconventional athletics, both in a team competition combining elements of Capture the Flag and King of the Hill, and in a violent round of team jianzi, or Chinese Hacky Sack.

More importantly, and the one thing making this film more than just a curiosity, the lengthy final boss fight against Korean Hapkido master Hwang In-shik features some truly breathtaking and rewind-worthy stunts and falls, even though the main villain’s lack of presence throughout the film really detracts from the narrative punch.

1 1/2 out of 4 stars (Below average).

April 17 2017

the outing (tom daley, usa 1987)

ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE?: A TV MOVIE COMPENDIUM 1964-1999 edited by Amanda Reyes

The much anticipated new book from Headpress, ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE?:  A TV MOVIE COMPENDIUM 1964-1999, is now shipping via Amazon and your favorite bookseller of choice.  Two versions of this Amanda Reyes edited guide are available via Headpress as well, the trade paperback and the deluxe hardcover.  




This beautiful book contains a number of original pieces by Made For TV Mayhem's incredible Amanda Reyes as well as contributions from the likes of Kier-La Janisse, Daniel Budnik, Lee Gambin, David Kerekes, Jennifer Wallis and many more.  

I am currently working my way through this informative and valuable book and I highly recommend it.  Also, keep a look out for a new interview with Amanda Reyes in the upcoming summer issue of my own publication, ART DECADES.

Hong Kong International Film Festival 2017


  Bereits zum vierten Mal werde ich dieses Jahr am Festival teilnehmen, und da verwundert es mich nicht, wenn ich dem Ereignis mit viel Vorfreude, aber auch mit einer gewissen Gelassenheit entgegensehe. Es ist einfach gut zu wissen, dass man hier so viel erleben kann, selbst wenn man mal überhaupt keine Lust mehr auf Kino haben sollte. In diesem unwirklichen Szenario ist man gut aufgehoben: zum Beispiel könnte man sich auch die kleineren Attraktionen der Stadt einmal gönnen, die sonst gerne hinten runter fallen. Zum Beispiel mal nach Whampoa fahren, das liegt hinter Hung Hom, denn dort liegt inmitten der Hochhaussiedlungen ein Kreuzfahrtschiff herum. In diesem ist freilich eine Mall untergebracht, in der man - wie überall in Hongkong - alles kaufen kann, was das Herz begehrt. Gegenüber liegt noch ein Einkaufszentrum mit dem "Golden Harvest-Cinema", das aber irgendwie nur so heißt, dass man das Herzflattern bekommt - es ist ein ganz normales Multiplex. Von klassischem Kampfkunstfilm der goldenen Ära ist hier nichts zu verspüren. Hier schauen sich Eltern mit ihren Sprößlingen die Smurfs an und schmatzen Popcorn dazu.

 Das Festival fährt dick auf dieses Jahr: mit den tollsten Filmen der Berlinale ausgestattet, sowie einer - wie es scheint - komplett ausverkauften Edward Yang-Retrospektive (teilweise restauriert). Besonders toll auch die Reihe Paradigm Shift: post-97 Hong Kong Cinema, die eine Überwindung der Krise nach dem Handover an China suggeriert, und in der besonders charakteristische Filme dieser Zeit laufen: von Shaolin Soccer, Running on Karma, Full Alert und Infernal Affairs kann man hier so etliches (wieder-) sehen und neu entdecken, was mittlerweile schon wieder als klassisches Kino gilt. Aber auch andere supertolle Sachen aus dem Bereich Weltkino lassen sich über die Sektionen verstreut finden: etwa Brillante Mendozas Ma' Rosa, Kleber Mendoza Filhos Aquarius, Safari von Ulrich Seidl, Sieranevada von Cristi Puiu, Daguerrotype von Kiyoshi Kurosawa oder auch Revenger von Walter Hill. Und bevor man's vergisst: wer etwas mehr Sitzfleisch hat, der darf sich Lav Diaz' The Woman who Left gönnen.

 Unmöglich das alles unterzubringen in einer Woche oder zehn Tagen, und da es noch nicht genug ist, so läuft im regulären Kino zum Beispiel an: Mad World von Wong Chun (mit Eric Tsang und Shawn Yue), On the Beach at Night Alone von Hong Sang-soo, Antiporno von Sion Sono, und schließlich auch noch Herman Yaus Shock Wave mit Andy Lau, der in der Stadt beworben wird wie ein neuer James Bond. Auf dem Festival läuft zeitgleich ein ebenso neuer Film von ihm: 77 Heartbreaks. Da bleibt nur eines: sich entspannen, vielleicht zur Chi Lin Nunnery rauszufahren, und ein wenig beten. Das ist alles nur mit buddhistischem Gleichmut auszuhalten. Nach dem Sushi und vor dem Bibimbap, eh klar.

Michael Schleeh

***

‘Regenerative Being’ by Stas Santimov

Music video for Eluvium's "Regenerative Being" by Ukrainian director Stas Santimov.

The post ‘Regenerative Being’ by Stas Santimov appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

Cannes 2017. Critics' Week Lineup

Cannes Critics Week 2017
The lineup for the 2017 Cannes Critics’ Week (La Semaine de la Critique) has been announced.
OPENING FILM
Sicilian Ghost Story (Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza)
COMPETITION
La familia (Gustavo Rondón Córdova)
Los perros (Marcela Said)
Oh Lucy! (Atsuko Hirayagani)
Gabriel e a montanha (Felipe Gamarano Barbosa)
Ava (Léa Mysius)
Tehran Taboo (Ali Soozandeh)
Makala (Emmanuel Gras)
SPECIAL FEATURE SCREENINGS
Bloody Milk (Hubert Charuel)
Une vie violente (Thierry de Peretti)
SPECIAL SHORT SCREENINGS
After School Knife Fight (Caroline Poggi & Jonathan Vinel)
Coelho Mau (Carlos Conceição)
Les îles (Yann Gonzales)
SHORT & MEDIUM-LENGTH
Selva (Sofía Quirós Ubeda)
Möbius (Sam Khun)
Real Gods Require Blood (Moin Hussain)
Jodilerks dela Cruz, Employee of the Month (Carlo Francisco Manatad)
Los desheredados (Laura Ferrés)
Ela - szkice na pożegnanie (Oliver Adam Kusio)
Najpiękniejsze fajerwerki ever (Aleksandra Terpinska)
Tesla: Lumière mondiale (Matthew Rankin)
Les enfants partent à l'aube (Manon Coubia)
Le visage (Salvatore Lista)
CLOSING FILM
Brigsby Bear (Dave McCary)

Cannes 2017. Directors' Fortnight Lineup

Directors Fortnight 2017
The lineup for the 2017 Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) at Cannes has been announced:
Opening Film:
Un beau soleil interieur (Claire Denis)
Closing Film:
Patti Cake$ (Geremy Jasper)
FEATURE FILMS 
A Ciambra (Jonas Carpignano)
Alive in France (Abel Ferrara)
L'amant d'un jour (Philippe Garrel)
Bushwick (Cary Murnion & Jonathan Milott)
Cuori Puri (Roberto de Paolis)
The Florida Project (Sean Baker)
Frost (Sharunas Bartas)
I'm Not a Witch (Rungano Nyoni)
Jeannette, l'enfance de Jeanne D'Arc (Bruno Dumont)
L'intrusa (Leonardo di Constanzo)
La Defensa del Dragón (Natalia Santa)
Marlina si pembunuh dalam empat babak (Mouly Surya)
Mobile Homes (Vladimir de Fontenay)
Nothingwood (Sonia Kronlund)
Ôtez-moi d'un doute (Carine Tardieu)
The Rider (Chloe Zhao)
West of the Jordan River (Field Day Revisited) (Amos Gitai)
SHORTS
Água Mole (Laura Goncalves & Alexandra Ramires)
La bouche (Camilo Restrepo)
Copa-loca (Christos Massalas)
Crème de menthe (David Philippe Gagne & Jean-Marc E. Roy)
Farpões, Baldios (Marta Matheus)
Min Börda (Niki Lindroth von Bahr)
Nada (Gabriel Martins)
Retour à Genoa City (Benoit Grimalt)
Tijuana Tales (Jean-Charles Hue)
Trešnje (Dubravka Turic)

Box Office: ‘Spark’ Fails To Ignite At The Box Office

It's no surprise that "Spark: A Space Tail" didn't perform well, but this is a box office bomb of historic proportions.

The post Box Office: ‘Spark’ Fails To Ignite At The Box Office appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

April 16 2017

i due superpiedi quasi piatti (enzo barboni, italien/usa 1977)

Coffee Break

ADORE.jpg
Robin Wright in Adore (Anne Fontaine - 2013)

cop (richard b. harris, usa 1988)
the st. valentine’s day massacre (roger corman, usa 1967)

Sensation

Im Film MIT SIEBZEHN von André Téchiné, den ich leider nur in einer pappigen deutsch-synchronisierten Fassung sehen konnte, wird im Schulunterricht das Gedicht SENSATION von Arthur Rimbaud behandelt. In der deutschen Übersetzung von K. L. Ammer ist das Gedicht EMPFINDUNG benannt. Der Film handelt von der Feindschaft / Freundschaft zweier junger Männer. Zentrale Figur aber ist die Mutter des einen Jungen zwischen drei Männern: Ihrem Mann und den beiden Raufbolden.

Die Funktion des Gedichts im Film – außer den Unterricht zu charakterisieren – bleibt zunächst unklar.
.
.
.
Sensation

Par les soirs bleus d’été, j’irai dans les sentiers,
Picoté par les blés, fouler l’herbe menue :
Rêveur, j’en sentirai la fraîcheur à mes pieds.
Je laisserai le vent baigner ma tête nue.

Je ne parlerai pas, je ne penserai rien :
Mais l’amour infini me montera dans l’âme,
Et j’irai loin, bien loin, comme un bohémien,
Par la nature, heureux comme avec une femme.
Arthur Rimbaud
Mars 1870.
.
.
Empfindung

Durch spitziges Korn, auf einsamen Pfaden,
über schlankes Gras will ich irren:
mein Fuß wird die kühlende Frische spüren.
Die freie Stirn lass ich im Winde baden.

Ich denke nichts, ich spreche nicht: ich träume nur,
unendliche Liebe gibt mir das Geleit.

So geh ich durch das Sommerabendblau
wie ein Zigeuner, weit, recht weit,
durch die Natur –
glücklich wie mit einer Frau.
.
.
.
Vielleicht kann ein anderer Film weiterhelfen. Einen Film mit einem anderen Film erklären, kommentieren.

Am 20. April 1985 drehte Helmut Ulrich Weiss einen Film ausgehend vom Breitscheidplatz, dem damaligen Zentrum Westberlins. Dieser Film trug den Titel SENSATION und benutzte den Text der obigen Übertragung ins Deutsche. Helmut war seinerzeit Student der Deutschen Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin und u.a. später Kameramann meines Films CANNAE.

In einer Rahmenerzählung berichtet eine holprige Kinderstimme von einem Wesen, das auf die Erde gekommen sei. Dieses Wesen – eine junge Schauspielerin in einem hellen kurzen Kleid oder einem Mantel – ich weiß es nicht mehr genau – beginnt seinen Weg durch die Natur vor dem Europa-Zentrum, setzt ihn fort den Tauentzien entlang, überquert die Straße und verliert sich in Richtung KaDeWe. Es ist früher Abend – noch nicht dunkel, aber nicht mehr heller Tag. In einem fort rezitiert das Wesen im O-Ton, der per Funk aufgenommen wurde, das Gedicht durch den Fluss der Passanten hindurch, darunter auch Neo-Nazis, die sich anlässlich des Führergeburtstages versammeln. Das Wesen wird gefilmt von zwei 16-mm-Schulter-Kameras. Die eine Kamera bedient Helmut selbst. Er trägt Smoking entsprechend dem schwarzen Paillettenkleid der zweiten Kamerafrau, Robina Rose. Beide umkreisen fortwährend das sich fortbewegende Wesen, filmen das Wesen und sich gegenseitig, das Wesen filmend. Eine dritte Stativkamera filmt das Geschehen von einem erhöhten Standpunkt. Die Aktion war auf 10 Minuten beschränkt, da eine Rolle 16-mm-Film nicht mehr Material hergab und ein Kassettenwechsel den Fluss unterbrochen hätte.

Der Filmdreh hatte den Charakter eines Happenings. Es ist daraus aber ein richtiger Film geworden. Neben einem anderen Versuch, Gedicht und Film zusammenzubringen – nämlich FREMDE TAGE von Martin Schlüter nach einem Gedicht von Apollinaire, der sich seiner Vorlage sehr viel impressionistischer nähert – ist mir SENSATION immer in guter Erinnerung geblieben. Der Studienleiter der Filmakademie fragte mich damals um Rat, was er denn zum Studenten-Oscar nach Los Angeles schicken solle. Ich empfahl SENSATION – und so wurde es gemacht. Was soll ich sagen? – der Film hat keinen Oscar bekommen.

Der Film Téchinés folgt der alten Weisheit, dass das, was sich liebt, sich neckt, und lässt ihn in eine Liebesgeschichte münden. Alles an diesem Film ist hektisch und überstürzt, weniger an psychologischer Glaubhaftigkeit interessiert als daran, einen möglichen Entwurf zu liefern und jugendliches Ungestüm in den Film zu übertragen.

Genet spricht davon, dass in der Liebe eines Mannes zu einem anderen Mann die Männer die Frau zwischen sich erfinden

– glücklich wie mit einer Frau.

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