Entries tagged with “Tilda Swinton”.


A few weeks back I wrote about Bridge of Spies and I was mentioning the fact that I expected more than an OK+ story about the Cold War from a script written by the  and brothers. This feeling was now enhanced by viewing Hail, Ceasar!. The trailer was so promising – the anti-establishment brothers made a film about the Hollywood.  as the drunken (not even, actually) star in the historic super-production.  as the blonde brainless starlet. The bigger the expectations, the deeper the disappointment, they say. The brothers seem to have ran out almost completely of ideas and spices.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0475290/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0475290/

 

Hollywood loves making fun of itself, but never forgets to mix a dose of nostalgia. This is what made The Artist such a huge success, plus of course the French charm. It’s 2016 however, and nostalgia should not be consumed in overwhelming doses. Yet, the Coen brothers seem almost to crawl in repentance to the big studios they succeeded to teach in the past a few things about digging for gold in the classical fabric of American stories. There is only one scene where the Coen spin and spirit succeed to remind the good old days – that’s the ‘ecumenical’ discussion in preparation of the Christ movie with the participation of Catholic, Easter-Orthodox and Protestant priests plus one rabbi. It looked and sounded like a good joke. The difference is that we used to have ten or more such good jokes in the Coen brothers films, now it was just one. The social content which is also present in many of their films is now reduced to a parody of the black-listing of the 50s combined with an incarnation of Communist hysteria (in a Malibu villa by the ocean of all places) which is maybe the second good joke in the film. Still insufficient.

 

(video source Universal Pictures)

 

In a season that was so deprived of comedies that The Martian got a nomination in the category at the Golden Globes, Hail, Ceasar! is still the funniest show in town, but it’s more by lack of competition. and looked genuinely bored in a film which should have been fun to make. is no comedy actor. The ones lucky to get more interesting parts are the amazing and who left me with the dilemma of guessing which film director he took revenge upon when building his character.

I am waiting for the Coen brothers to return.

 

 

‘The Zero Theorem’ is directed by Terry Gilliam, a highly original creator and an explorer of the future, which he already described in rather dark colors in several memorable films like ‘Brazil’ and ‘Twelve Monkeys’. His other principal title of glory, the ‘Monty Python’ series, somehow balances in his filmography the concept of anticipation with the one of an alternate present or past in the comic registry. ‘The Zero Theorem’ was shot mostly in Romania, and part of the technical team and actors are Romanian, to the extent the in the program of the festival I saw the film in it was classified as a an English-Romanian co-production.

 

sursa www.imdb.com/title/tt2333804/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt2333804/

 

In the fantastic scenery of an abandoned church that some of my Bucharest friends might recognize we find the hero of the film (played brilliantly by Christoph Waltz), a specialist in ‘processing entities’. working frantically on a mission entrusted by a large corporation whose chief is called impersonal ‘The Management’ (Matt Damon), a mission whose goal may be finding the meaning of existence, or an absurd demonstration that accumulation of full (100%) is equal to the Great Zero. Or perhaps the essence of human existence and the absurd are the same? Actually it does not really matter, because the story and the logic of the film is focused on the frantic and obsessive search of the main character. Or maybe this is human nature, a continuous search that ends in nothing? Or in the Infinity?

 

(video source Voltage Pictures)

 

We find in this film’s many of the visual metaphors Terry Gillman used us to, in a colorful world activated by a strange retro-advanced technology, like belonging to a branching of time for human scientific developments that extends the early 20th century. We also find a fierce critique of large international corporations – the main character is provided with such items of ‘personal development’ like a virtual-dream love relationship (with gorgeous Gwendoline Christie) or psychoanalysis through tele-presence (by severe Tilda Swinton). He is subjected to tracking methods that infiltrate his privacy inspired by Orwell’s ’1984′ and Gilliam’s own ‘Brazil’  and also terrorized by a small and despotic manager, a familiar figure many of those who worked in large global corporations may find familiar.

‘The Zero Theorem’ is first of all a wonderful visual experience.  It is also a film that does not open immediately all its secret doors, but gives the impression of depth and complexity that calls for a second and maybe more viewings.

Io sono l’amore starts with an impressionist-like picture of a city in winter, reminding a painting by Renoir. Yet, we’ll soon realize that we are not at the end of the 19th century but rather 100 years later. The next scene is a party in a very rich people mansion. A family gathers, three generations get together for the birthday of the founding father of the family. He has a big announcement to make about the family heritage, an announcement everybody waits for many years. The relations between the members of the family start to build up under our eyes during the dinner, the old man is obviously in control. Does this remind Coppola‘s The Godfather? What follows is however a film about the slow decay of the ruling class, a decay that starts from the degradation of the family fabric which does not allow any longer cohesion in face of the forces of economics and history. We are reminded the universe of another great movie – Visconti‘s Il gattopardo.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1226236/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1226236/

 

All these comparisons may seem extremely ambitious for the work of a director, Luca Guadagnino, who is practically at his second feature film only (and the first one seems to have been an erotic teenage drama). Amazing as it may seem, Io sono l’amore is a very complex and daring enterprise that succeeds to compare honorably with the illustrious antecedents it is inspired from and also has a lot to say on its own. The Recchi family in the center of the story is led by strong men who built a textile empire (with dubious origins in the second world war industry, so the Godfather quote is not completely unjustified) and married beautiful women, not always in their own class of super-riches. One of them is Emma (Tilda Swinton), Russian at origin, married to the heir of the empire, leading the house, coordinating the social ceremonies, managing the house economy, raising the children and dealing with their growth and emotional problems. Is she happy? Can she keep together a family that lives in a different age than the one of the ossified bourgeois clans, with some of the younger people trying to break the walls of the conveniences in order to find their vocation or their ways of loving? When the occasion shows up it will be Emma herself who will let her true feelings overcome the conventions, but the way to personal truth may be paved with tragedy. The story of the family relations is carefully constructed and impeccably acted, but there is one moment when the story risks to fall into soap drama. This moment is overcome by the superb acting of Tilda Swinton. I realize now that I missed somehow how huge an actress she is. In one film she succeeds to be at turns high-class cool and passionate, attractive and ugly, young enough to love and fast-aging, in control and completely broken, and all these in one character around whom the whole movie is spinning. At the end, when tragedy had struck, and she has the courage to speak the truth and break the social conventions, she is told by the husband who was a minute ago swearing love and offering protection ‘you are nothing’. It is actually the Recchi’s who get nothing but emptiness in their lives, and this is the moment when Emma gains back her life and the chance to start again.

 

(video source VISO Trailers)

 

There are so many beautiful moments of cinema in this film which make it stand on its own and worth remembering even beyond the story itself. There are some amazing moments of camera work, and some haunting fragments of musical score. There is a lot of good acting, and care to the social and relationship details, every corner of the screen is full with characters who live true lives in a realistic and exact composition. There is beautifully filmed nature and there is a lot of interesting food, actually food plays at some moment an important role in the action of the film, as the mean of communication between the characters (one of them is a very talented chef). Guadagnino’s movie continues a tradition in the Italian cinema of using family stories to deal with social and political issues and tells again a story which will be worth telling as long as class differences exist and are challenged by history and by emotions.