sexta-feira, 9 de março de 2018

TOP - Obras-Primas do Cinema Mundial Que Você Não Deve Ignorar - Parte 3 (para o site norte-americano "Taste of Cinema")

Volere Volare (1991)
The idea was born after the worldwide success of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” The plot is insanely unconventional; he plays a timid cartoon sound, while his brother and partner prefers to take on the voice of erotic productions, summoning women who are wonderful for the work that is performed in the best “acting method of Lee Strasberg.”

Angela Finocchiaro plays an exotic prostitute who takes care of the theatrical satisfaction of her clients, each one more crazy than the other; a sex artist, in the literal definition of the term. The gradual transformation of the sleep sound into a cartoon, a feature that guarantees hilarious scenes, and symbolizes his fear of the possibility of sensual contact with the opposite sex, a concept that falls like a glove in the absurd tone of the script.

Contrary to her ambitious friend who prioritizes wealthy clients, Martina (Finocchiaro) sees her work as a socially relevant mission, since it allows the insane to go beyond her psychopathy, in various levels of dangerousness, in a harmless way for society, an element that it humanizes her greatly.

It’s fascinating to make the traditional happy ending an uncompromising embrace in the surreal, with its fun surrender to the possibilities of sex with the cartoon, rather than the obvious narrative path of solving the bizarre problem. A comedy that would never be released these days, it’s a breath of fresh air in a genre that’s usually a slave to repetition.

The Green Ray (1986)
Seldom has loneliness been so well portrayed than by the Seventh Art. Delphine (Marie Rivière, who is also in charge of the screenplay) realizes that it is time to relax on her vacation, but she is definitely not eager to confront herself away from the routine and ritualistic pursuits of her job as a secretary. She cannot keep up with the boys for fear of giving.

By looking away from her reflection in the mirror and trying to find a meaning for its existence in the external world, the girl does not see the various flirtations she attracts, believing herself to be increasingly uninteresting. Unlike the usual protagonists of the director, she speaks little and clumsily, because (as she says) she has problems expressing herself. The act requires surrender, the “lowering of shields”; in short, everything she fears.

By staying aloof from all social conventions, it becomes a pure element, which does not feel adapted to the corrupt world in which it believes to be inserted. It is not by coincidence that, in the end, it reveals the book that she spent the entire movie reading was “The Idiot” by Dostoevsky.

Delphine only intends to modify its “modus operandi” when finding Lena, an uninhibited Swedish girl, its perfect antithesis. The genius of the script insinuates itself at this point, when we begin to question whether we really want to see the protagonist finding a boyfriend. Is not it right that we should twist her out of apathy and impose herself in life as a human being? As we direct our desire to meet the comfortable satisfaction of a social ritual with any stranger, are we not disrespecting her as a woman? Do we want Delphine to become Lena?

In the brilliant third act, we began to understand the protagonist’s point of view, her aversion to the limiting roles that society imposes on women. And then, in a touch of pure sensibility, Rohmer makes us admire the meteorological phenomenon of the “green ray” on the horizon, which, at the moment (in the eyes of the writer Julio Verne), causes the person to magically see their feelings and those of others. She then, as she had not done before, smiles with the naturalness of a child who sees the world for the first time.

The Condemned of Altona (1962)
Industrialist Albrecht Von Gerlach discovers that he is close to death and names his son Werner (Robert Wagner) as his successor; Johanna (Sophia Loren), his wife and actress involved in a work of Brecht against Nazism, discovers the secrets of the family.

Unjustly little known, including among fans of Vittorio De Sica, although he received for it the “David di Donatello” award for Best Director. Adapted from the penultimate piece of Jean-Paul Sartre (quite faithfully, except for the option of including outside scenes, outside the confinement), unique in that he directly addresses Nazism in a clever and daring criticism. Sophia Loren, Fredric March and Maximilian Schell act boldly in roles that completely ran away from what the public was accustomed to, ensuring a still more somber mood to the project.

It recalls, in tone and complexity, the works of Polish writer Günther Grass, among them, the most famous: “The Drum.” The idea behind a young Nazi who is kept, years after the end of the war, imprisoned in an attic by his father, without any communication with the outside world, so that he does not perceive reality, causes shivers just thinking about it. The excellent ending, which I will not reveal, contains one of the strongest cinematic images of that decade.

The Eighth Day (1996)
The impact of the tenderness of the young man with Down syndrome, Belgian Pascal Duquenne, on the hard bark of bitterness of the impeccable Daniel Auteuil, who perceives his family to be more and more distant, in the beautiful moment where the boy tries to block the tears of his friend as he built a smile with his fingers on his face. Their reunion in the rain, the reassurance of friendship, after a cruel attempt at forced detachment.

The compulsive worker who, through this relationship, learns to be a better father to his daughters. The deceased mother who, to the sound of her idol in music, appears to affectionately comfort the young man’s anguish. And these scenes, which could easily fall into exaggerated finesse, are magnified by the sensitive way director Jaco Van Dormael chooses to be content with minimalism, with the protagonist having a clear, emotionally independent attitude, dispensing with the compassion of others.

The plot addresses the young man’s desire, hospitalized in a specialized hospital since his mother’s death, to return home. He is a burden too heavy for his family members, who are selfish people and who do not want to face the visually different reflection in this disturbing mirror, as studied by the French psychoanalyst Pierre Fédida, characters that symbolize the way a large part of society views the disabled, the apparent lack of interest in the necessary social inclusion.

This rejection that speaks directly to the disorienting clash of the different in contact with the image that represents the initial formation of the unconscious “I”, or in the words of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, that ideal “I” in which we recognize, in reality, a wrong view that does not correspond to the fragmented body we experience. The boy’s quest, in this charming road movie, for the concept of “going home,” reflects the exhaustion of hope in this narcissistic society. The purity of it, in the end, sacrificed as atonement for the sins of the world.

The Killing Machine (1975)
When talking about Sonny Chiba, many remember his work in the trilogy “The Street Fighter,” but I consider that his best moment, as a martial artist and actor, a rare opportunity that he had to build several layers upon, is in this little known pearl, directed by Japanese director Norifumi Suzuki, with a screenplay by Isao Matsumoto, which approaches the real life of Doshin So, founder of Shorinji Kempo, from his traumatic childhood, through the time he was a soldier in the final period of World War II until he became a master. Chiba was his apprentice, so you can imagine the emotion he felt in defending the character on the big screen.

The tone is heavy, tuned in the tragic dramatic tuning fork, reflected in the way martial technique is used, with brutality and generous doses of gore, dominating by rotational wrist locks, the honoree’s specialty. The castration scene of the rapist is remarkable and cinematographically powerful, but what remains after the session is not the strings of struggle. I do not remember another film of the genre that works so effectively on the question of the importance of the martial arts discipline as an inspiring and transforming force in the lives of young people, helping to overcome obstacles and form noble characters. 

The Loot (1980)
A highly creative independent production that made the industry turn its eyes toward its director, Eric Tsang, who received warm praise from various martial artists of the day, such as Jackie Chan, who invited him to direct with him “Armor of God” released in 1986. Just because the plot does not involve a revenge affair, it already deserves honorable mention, but the structure adopted from Agatha Christie-style police novels, combined with the comic sense that follows efficient, guarantee high quality entertainment, even for those who does not appreciate the genre.

I consider this to be the best moment for David Chiang as an actor, playing a bounty hunter / researcher who goes into a dispute with another mercenary (Norman Chu) for a common purpose: to find the enigmatic jewel thief and killer known as “Spider.” It is interesting to note that the script becomes even more interesting in revisions, but the revelation of the mystery does not weaken the experience.

The last 20 minutes are, without exaggeration, brilliant stunting with technical class and timing, with the confrontation between Chiang, Chu and Phillip Ko, with the first using the monkey wrist strategy, inserting a hilarious touch, the dread shake. And in conclusion, a brave debauch with a dramatic visual cliché used in the productions of the Shaw Brothers studios.

The Betrayal (1966)
Director Tokuzo Tanaka had no appreciation for the thematic grandiosity of Kurosawa, or interest in the philosophical ramblings of Ozu, being closer to the kind of approach Mizoguchi and Kobayashi took. As the assistant director for Kurosawa and Mizoguchi, he drank from the best possible sources in his area, using his technique in favor of chambaras made by Daiei studio. He is known only to those most dedicated fans of the genre for his work on the Zatoichi series, but his undisputed masterpiece is “The Betrayal,” a remake of “Orochi,” directed by Buntaro Futagawa in 1925.

Seiji Hoshikawa’s screenplay is a frantic rhythm, with the first two acts dedicated to the meticulous development of the characters and their motivations worked in long dialogues, with the action reserved for the climax. Intense action scenes that prepare for the final battle, praised fairly as one of the longest and most brutal in the genre, where we watch the character played by Raizo Ichikawa, an honorable samurai who is unjustly accused of a crime, fighting alone against more than two hundred warriors.

And if the plot avoids to deepen, for example, the friendship that forms between the exiled samurai and the thief who stole his wallet, it compensates for one of the most shocking moments, not only of the chambaras, but of the action movie genre as a whole: the time when the hero, exhausted in the long final combat, must force his fingers to release the tsuka / handle of his broken sword, so that the confrontation can continue.

It is distressing to see the body go beyond the limits; it becomes dehydrated, it seeks to quench its thirst between an elusive and another. It is not only a struggle, it is loaded with symbolism, the epiphanic transformation of someone who is aware that he has lost everything, moved only by his character.

Almost Human (1974)
Umberto Lenzi’s masterpiece: “Milano Odia: La Polizia non Può Sparare” is a classic poliziotteschi that I consider superior to his most celebrated work “Roma a Mano Armata,” released two years later. The script is by Ernesto Gastaldi, who last year wrote Tonino Valerii’s unforgettable “My Name Is Nobody,” working on the idea of Sergio Leone, and years later he would help Sergio Martino in the great giallo “Torso.”

Cuban man Tomás Milián, at his best, plays a mediocre and insecure thug who finds, in the possibility of kidnapping a young daughter of high society, the chance to prove himself competent. And to make matters worse, his intention is clear from the start: he wants to get the ransom money and kill the girl. It is not only for the money; his war is personal against the system that, in his distorted mind, elects the lucky and the unlucky ones.

For him, the police class is weak, easily corruptible, limited to following the law. Sadistic, even the comrades question this radical position, with the awareness that they themselves can become targets of their anger. He just did not expect to find in his way the most hardline inspector in town, played by Henry Silva and his face cut to chisel, someone who discovers that the only way to win the case is to become crazier than the thug, the cool moorings.

The tone is heavy, the level of violence is high, the script makes no concessions, following the line of Michael Desire’s “Desire to Kill,” released that same year. And it is worth emphasizing the spectacular soundtrack of the master Ennio Morricone. Great work that deserves greater recognition.

Raquel’s Shoeshiner (1957)
In the mold of his most famous admirer, Charles Chaplin, Mario Moreno was able to balance the laughter with tenderness very well, as in this one, which is one of his best films. Although, as something usual in his filmography, many jokes get lost in translation, like the joke in the title, involving the work of Maurice Ravel and the activity of the protagonist, a Bolivian trambiqueiro (shoe) that falls in love with a teacher, played by Manola Saavedra; it is impossible not to be enchanted by the improvisations of the actor. When Cantinflas releases his nonsensical, famous “cantinflear” machine gun, you need to direct your attention to the interlocutor, who strives not to ruin the footage by smiling out of time.

In his first color work, shortly after winning international fame and the prestige of the critics with the award-winning “Around the World in 80 Days,” the Mexican filmmaker proves to be at the peak of his inspiration, especially in the hilarious first hour, where we witness an uplifting history lesson he provides to a foreigner, and to display, in a state of complete sobriety, all the discretion and elegance that should be the standard at funeral ceremonies.

It shows that what really matters is to console the beautiful widow and offer a friendly shoulder to all the women present in the ritual. And, of course, being such a worthy man, he was left with the responsibility of taking care of the dead son of the deceased compadre, a laborer who, as Cantinflas explained, went to heaven after quitting the asphalt, having fallen from the building where he worked.

The most famous scene, his boldness as a dancer, is very nice, but the moment that remains in my mind is the silent reality shock of the character, after the sad farewell of the child, clinging to the colored ball as symbol of gratitude for the company of the boy, who fought so hard to be able to pay.

Cantinflas is carried by the emotion transmitted in his eyes, a scene that refers us to the payment of the treatment of the blind florist of Chaplin in “City Lights.” Like the English wanderer, the Mexican peladito learns that kindness is a noble act that does not demand reward, does not need recognition, it is only the feeling of happiness that happens to tear, the verification of the genuine affectionate intention of those who the offers.

Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)
This is one of those films that, two minutes after the end, while still recovering from the impact, you feel like cheering up. Lucius Fulci, a notorious director, managed to create a brave single treatise on thorny topics such as prejudice, pedophilia, hypocrisy, superstition and religion, without fear of controversy.

I will avoid revealing much about the plot, which is a tremendous disservice, especially in this case. In a village dominated by mysticism, children are murdered, leading the policemen to a voodoo witch played by Brazilian actress Florinda Bolkan. The script opens the range of possibilities, showing that all are suspicious, since there is no sign of any sense of morality or ethics in the attitudes of the residents.

Even the children, who end up being victims, are presented practicing acts of sadism without any trace of empathy. The only one who is pure and well-meaning is the priest. One of the characters, played by the beautiful Barbara Bouchet, is a drug addict who seeks rehabilitation, a daring young woman who seems to have a fixation on insinuating herself sexually for the boys of the region. 

What is most interesting is how history subverts any expectation, including, visually, a characteristic symbolized in one of the most interesting scenes in the history of giallo; truly unforgettable, a brutal lynching accompanied on the soundtrack by the exotic programming of a radio station, in its dramatic summit the beautiful composition of Riz Ortolani: “Quei giorni insieme a te,” sung by Ornella Vanoni. The impressive sequence gains even more epic and poetic airs under review, knowing the outcome of the plot.

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