sexta-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2018

TOP - Obras-Primas do Cinema Mundial Que Você Não Deve Ignorar - Parte 2 (para o site norte-americano "Taste of Cinema")

In continuing the gold mining for obscure films around the world, learning about different cultures through their rich artistic expressions, I’ve selected these 10 titles that deserve greater recognition.

1 - A Pál utcai fiúk (aka The Boys of Paul Street – 1969)
Based on the work of the Hungarian writer Ferenc Molnár, this is one of those films that once seen, remains forever in the memory. Do not be alarmed if in dreams, you find yourself struggling on Paul Street alongside your childhood friends. Adapting the most famous Hungarian literary work of all time to filmmaking should not have been easy, but director Zoltán Fábri did this without appealing to exaggerated melodrama or extreme austerity, as would be common in the Hollywood way of dealing with such issues.

The story recounts the battles of humble pre-teenagers in Budapest in 1889, who defend a vacant lot (their playground) from the invasion of a group of wealthy teenagers. The naive confrontation permeated by "sand bombs" ends up leading to the same sad consequences of any war. There is a hierarchy in the army of Paul Street, where the fragile and hardworking soldier Nemecsek tries at all costs to prove his worth before the brave general. From these situations comes a humor that easily takes us back to the complex world of the child, because they do not fight for a few square meters in a wasteland, they fight to gain freedom and for the right to fully exercise their creativity.

As in all wars, there are betrayals and demonstrations of value in the most extreme conditions. Both the book and the film make clear their analogies and real intentions: to show that, contrary to what many people think, childhood is as dense and conflicting as adulthood. "The Boys of Paul Street" is a must-see movie.

2 - A Falta Que Nos Move (aka The Absence That Moves Us – 2009)
Five actors arrive at the house of the director of the film to experience a cinematic experience. They are filmed uninterruptedly, while continuing to follow scripts and scenes. Fiction and reality intertwine in the midst of stories of a generation that has lived adrift and now faces an absence that moves their actions.

The director: Christiane Jatahy. The actors: Pedro Brício, Cristina Amadeo, Dani Fortes, Marina Vianna and Kiko Mascarenhas, realize the dream of every actor, experiencing an incredibly stimulating experience. The best way to watch this unknown brazilian masterpiece is to enter the house together with the actors, without knowing the trick, so I will avoid commenting too much about what happens. The greatest merit of the team was to have built a product that does not lose value as revealed magic, only instigates even more, leading us to try to understand that microcosm perfectly reflects the macro. The shock of realizing that we are all full-time actors, following through the acceptance of our frailties and frustrations, learning to deal with the inexorable approach of the end. We are part of an experience, regardless of whether we make it pleasurable or full of self-pity, we choose routes as the boundaries of the road are revealed to us.

3 - Kahaani (same in english) – 2012
A young woman went from London to India, pregnant, to look for her missing husband. The disappearance case is increasingly complex, and the entry of government agents into their resolution shows that there is much to unravel in this story. Surprising plot full of twists, directed by the Indian Sujoy Ghosh, perfect to show those people who nurture prejudice with movies that are not mainstream.

4 - Privilege (1967)
Steven Shorter (Paul Jones) is the greatest British music star. Heard from everyone, from teenagers to old people, everyone in England loves him, until his producers and entrepreneurs begin to use his popularity for various economic projects. As Steven loses his individuality by turning into a product, his icon position becomes useful to the more conservative sections of UK society. The Church and the State begin to use it to combat atheism and communism, making it an instrument of religious fundamentalism and fascist nationalism.

Using the aesthetic of a documentary that coldly analyzes a successful marketing case, English director Peter Watkins (after the excellent documentary "The War Game", 1965) elaborates along with the creator of the story: Johnny Speight (who signs the screenplay with Norman Bogner), a prophetic allegory set in the not-too-distant future, about a young singer who loses his identity in exchange for an opinion-former status. The propaganda machine uses it as a way to keep British teenagers from alienating them, channeling and spreading their revolt into sadistic presentations, but remaining ignorant of the political course of their country. Steven is handcuffed and caged in front of his fans, who roar wildly and cry out for their freedom. A circus of horror that brings us to the current scandals involving the popular stars of the entertainment world. Those who enjoyed "The Truman Show" (by Peter Weir) will find safe haven in this play. Writer Andrew Niccol probably must have been inspired by Steve to comprise the protagonist lived by Jim Carrey (even in the feminine influence in the third act, essential for the change in the attitude of the protagonist).

There are many moments of genius, but I particularly find the speech of the Rev. Jeremy Tate (Malcolm Rogers) brilliant, emulating the mannerisms of Hitler, where he calls on his followers to conform. The image of the young man would have to be shaped (due to mercantile interests) from a rebel to an honorable Christian, so his producers organize an event on an Olympic scale, to reinsert him transformed into society. The off-screen narration tells us that while Steve ends the event with a song that incites something transcendental, wheelchairs have been given to many sick citizens so that the illusion of the miracle can take place. As he spread his hands, the false paralytics rise and the commotion worsens, but the young man's face could not express greater discouragement. He moves in choreography, even his simplest gestures are coordinated. Just a closer look at modern media phenomena, to realize that this future imagined allegorically in the film came to fruition. At some point in a meeting with the high dome that produces the young, a stylist presents in a formal way the style that will be adopted in a few weeks by the young British. The media manipulation continues even after Shorter leaves the scene, because they continue to use their archive images, only remove the sound. The product is still on sale because there is a buying public.

It is no wonder that this film was boycotted in its day (the media claimed that the work was immoral, debauched of the church and defied the authorities, encouraging juvenile delinquency) and that even today it is practically unknown, even among the cinephiles.

5 - 7 Cajas (aka 7 Boxes - 2012)
As I always say, cinema needs only good ideas. The low budget, the absence of a national industry, nothing is excuse for the lack of creativity. And it is precisely this lesson that the Paraguayan writers and directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori deliver with this thriller, which brings references ranging from the German "Run, Lola, Run" to Danny Boyle's camera work, composing an authentic portrait of poverty of characters who are the organs responsible for the chaotic life of a popular market in Asunción.

The protagonist, lived competently by the young Celso Franco, dreams of escapism transmitted by television entertainment, tool shown as efficient builder of desires. He was only interested in acquiring a cellphone because of the filming feature. When faced with his own projected image on those magical canvases, a leitmotiv that repeats itself with variations a few times during the film, the poor boy finds some hope in that momentary and illusive existence, a possibility of escaping from his sad everyday life. To get the money he needs to buy the cell phone, he accepts an enigmatic service proposal: quickly transport seven sealed boxes of wood, unknown content, to a destination he will only discover on the way. The less you know about the plot, the better the experience. As a negative point in the script, but forgivable in the context of the work, an excessive use of coincidences. For example: an unnecessary scene that is inserted in the first act only as a way of showing that an officer X flirts with a character, only so that in the second act this same policeman, among the several that could be present in the place, served as a facilitator in the resolution of a narrative conflict.

Although the project surprises in the quality of the suspense that establishes, what really elevates it to a higher level when compared to similar ones is the perfect use of the dynamism in the mission of the boy in the classic style of the American action films, with the inclusion of several elements with conflicting interests and cameras that traverse beneath tables in exciting pursuits like a "Hitchcockian" McGuffin, while the true moral tale involves the subplot of a pregnant young woman who is about to give birth. The same woman who is established in the first few minutes as someone who desperately tries to sell the cell phone that becomes the object of desire of the protagonist. The outcome of the narrative arc of the woman will contrast sharply with that of the boy, making clear the intention of the script, a message much more perennial than any convention of its kind. We can be fascinated by the cameras that follow, in POV, the wheelbarrows of the wheelbarrows in action-plans that do not leave anything to be done for those already established industries, also merit of the photographer Richard Careaga, but it is the silent attitudes that will remain in the minds of the public, several hours after the session.

6 - Utvandrarna (aka The Emigrants – 1971)
A simple and powerful story set in the nineteenth century, the journey of a poor Swedish family who decides to emigrate to America, leaving behind a people controlled by religious hypocrisy. The script, adapted from the four novels of Vilhelm Moberg, avoids the traditional structure based on narrative arches, demands the patience of the spectator, makes magnificent use of silence, but the reward is immediate.

The couple Kristina and Karl Oskar, impeccable Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow, face a long and devastating sea voyage, high point of "The Emigrants", the real possibility of death prowling every new morning, lice infestation, hunger, despair and depression , the hope symbolized by the new world being destroyed by the realization that they will not be received with open arms, there is no sense of fraternal community in this land of opportunity worked without the mythical vision usually sold by Hollywood. The most interesting aspect, the way the characters project a paradisiacal image of America, seeking a kind of redemption for their lives, until they are surprised by the reality clash. The challenge for the survivors was just beginning. Ulrika, played by jazz singer Monica Zetterlund, is humiliated by being called a prostitute, the cause of the infestation, but she proves that she is not to blame. some already accustomed to being slandered by those who consider themselves superior. In metaphor, Kristina, with the mentality limited by the dogmas of her traditions, is carrying to the new reality the lower prejudices, practicing the judgment inadvisable by Jesus and encouraged by the dignitaries who speak in his name, infecting the expectations of a new beginning.

7 - 35 Rhums (aka 35 Shots of Rum - 2008)
The widow Lionel (Alex Descas) lives in a housing complex with his daughter, Josephine (Mati Diop), with whom he has strong ties to have raised her alone. While Lionel attracts the attention of a middle-aged woman, a taxi driver who begins to walk around the neighborhood engages with Josephine and they begin to leave. When Josephine's boyfriend accepts a job abroad and moves in, leaving the girl alone, Lionel realizes that the daughter is becoming independent and that it may be time for them to confront their past. The greatest film of the french director Claire Denis. Beautiful homage to the work of Yasujiro Ozu.

8 - Os Verdes Anos (aka The Green Years – 1963)
Portuguese filmmaker Paulo Rocha died at the age of seventy-seven on December 29, 2012, after a stroke. Leaving behind a stable career as a lawyer, the young man preferred to follow his dream and absorb the art of the French, especially Jean Renoir, of whom he was assistant, returning to his country willing to redefine the cinema that was made there. In previous decades, the Portuguese people embraced the simple humor of Vasco Santana's comedies, while more pretentious, almost always medium-length films such as "Saltimbancos", which Manuel Guimarães launched in 1951, failed to establish a connection with his audience. In the early sixties, influenced by Italian neo-realism and the French nouvelle vague, directors such as Fernando Lopes, of the mid-length film "Belarmino", José Ernesto de Sousa, "Dom Roberto" and Paulo Rocha, opened new possibilities for the Portuguese cinema.

Taking his cameras to the streets of Lisbon, without fear of exposing the social contrasts, he filmed his first work: "The Greens Years", simply telling the relationship between a young man (Rui Gomes) naive newcomer from the interior and a Maid (Isabel Ruth) of the Big City. The script, in a short time, efficiently establishes the essence of each character. The unsure boy who defends himself by saying, "A man without money is like a car without gas," or who is intimidated in the dance hall to the sound of a rockabilly. The dazzled girl who parades for him, wearing the various dresses of his mistress. Except for an American of a fight with his uncle (Paulo Renato) in a bar, the boy walks the streets accompanied by his new friend, without either of them understanding what is being said by the other, the American states at one point: "I do not understand a word he says, but I am inclined to agree," brilliantly translating the boy's conflict with the hypocrisy of the city and its people in a humorous and still current criticism. In the end, as in one of the variations of Chico Buarque's song "Construction", the symbolic death of his naive and interior youth, caused by an untimely and inconsequential decision, ended up disturbing the traffic.

The theme and the conduction may have aged in a less generous way, but its soundtrack, composed by the great and longed guitarist Carlos Paredes, who responded to the invitation of the director and identified with the theme, resists bravely, thrilling as always.

9 - Az Prijde Kocour (aka The Cassandra Cat – 1963)
A Czech lyrical children's fable with a strong behavioral criticism, this movie received the jury's special award in Cannes. The plot is simple and brilliant. A village, microcosm for our society, receives the visit of a magician, a beautiful young woman and her cat with sunglasses. With special powers, the feline sees humans with different colors, according to their character and their feelings, for example, a pair of intense red-colored boyfriends, hypocrites and liars in purple, resulting in a vibrant color show that guarantee the film a truly unique aesthetic, an antirealist tone where the characters dance without music, a pleasant lucid dream. It is interesting to note that the professional illusionists of the circus troupe act precisely by removing the illusion / falseness veil that moves the characters, which obviously does not make them unanimous in popularity in the place, since the mere glimpse of the cat incites the terror of those who, even by profession, must defend lies.

The most beautiful scene is when Diana, lived by the charming Emília Vášáryová, removes the glasses of the cat in a nocturnal spectacle of magic, presenting to the public, for the first time, this peculiarity of the animal. Even without knowing the meaning of the different colors, much of the population despairs and runs to escape the reach of the little eyes. Pure children, untouched by adult hypocrisy, do not bother with this phenomenon, as do passionate redheads, engrossed in their romantic hopes. While adults hunt the cat, symbol of the fall of their social masks, children protect the pet in every way. One of the most beautiful allegories in the history of cinema, which never slips into pamphlet moralism, stimulating a deep humanist reflection.

10 - Amerikanskaya Doch (aka American Daughter – 1995)
Abandoned by the woman who decides to live with a wealthy American in the country of Uncle Sam, a Russian musician goes to meet him, ten years later, in order to reestablish ties with his pre-adolescent daughter.

Some foreign texts criticize, for example, how little the girl is too smart for her age, a great nonsense, only very insensitive professionals are unable to see that the proposal of the work is to be like a comic fable, there is no trace of realism in approach, pity, the outcome delivers a child riding a helicopter! The director Karen Shakhnazarov is very versatile, he purposefully drinks from the source of American melodramas, betting on ordinary comic narrative solutions in these works, without any touch of cynicism, the tone is a reverence. At the time of production, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the relationship between the two nations began to show signs of life, the American daughter, lived by the adorable Allison Whitbeck, who, it is worth noting, carries the project on the back with impressive charisma, representing the sincere intention of union. There is a wonderful moment that represents well this leitmotiv, the father, lived by Vladimir Mashkov, after escaping with his daughter, relaxes in a bar in the United States singing in Russian, happy customers, genuinely interested in the art of the stranger. Those people do not know the song, they do not even understand the lyrics, but they enjoy the melody. Upon seeing a beautiful waitress, he, emulating Elvis Presley, sings "Love me Tender" in English, putting affection on every word, the mood in the environment is one of love and respect.

The scene shows that the union between different cultures is always the best way, the fascination in trying to understand the other, instead of feeding the fear of the unknown, less walls, more bridges.

* Link para a postagem original no "Taste of Cinema": 

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