Archivi tag: TFF – 21 novembre 2015

“The Quiet Earth” (“La terra silenziosa”) di Geoff Murphy

La terra silenziosa. È proprio il silenzio la caratteristica più scioccante di questo lungometraggio del 1985 diretto da Geoff Murphy presentato all’interno della retrospettiva “Cose che verranno”.
Abituati ad un perenne brusio di sottofondo che circonda tutti noi, la completa solitudine del protagonista Zac spiazza lo spettatore soprattutto per la mancanza di rumori di qualsiasi tipo, dal cinguettio degli uccelli al perenne parlottio umano.

Continua la lettura di “The Quiet Earth” (“La terra silenziosa”) di Geoff Murphy

Mountain by Yaelle Kayam

Article by: Alessandro Arpa

Translation: Kim Turconi

According to biblical tradition, The Mount of Olives represents the place where God will bring the dead back to life on Judgment Day. Cliffs and rocks outline a landscape full of paths both winding and labyrinthine, each of them studded with an unknown number of tombstones. A house built into a rock wall separates the world of the dead from the living. Tzvia (played by Shani Klein) lives in this spiritual and transcendental place. She is the protagonist of Mountain, the new film by Yaelle Kayam, which was presented for the first time this year in the “Orizzonti” section of the 72nd annual Venice International Film Festival. This feature film tells the story of a Jewish woman waiting for any signs of love coming from her husband. The routine of Tzvia is always the same: she does housekeeping and walks in poetic landscapes among millions of burial recesses. While Tzvia waits for the love and attention of Reuven, her husband, she begins to wander in the area around her house at night. Thus, she discovers that some erotomaniacs meet to consummate decadent copulations with each other, when the sun goes down. At the beginning, she hides herself among the tombstones and watches, with a voyeuristic attitude, the merging of the bodies during sexual intercourse. The Jewish woman discovers the meaning of sexual liberty and makes a comparison between that attitude and her unsatisfying life with her husband. Tzvia is still hidden and she does not know how to escape the situation. When the erotomaniacs become aware of the presence of the woman, Tzivia reduces herself to a servile condition. She feels a sense of guilt, so she decides to offer a meal to the group of exibitionists every night from now on. The film exudes the philosophy of Bataille and sacredness becomes seminal. Mountain presents images full of symbolism. For example, the scene in which Tzvia touches a used condom clearly indicates that she is a sexually repressed woman, while the image of the dead mouse lying on the floor reveals in advance the tragic ending of the film. To summarize, this work by Kayam is nebulous and fails to emerge. Still, there are some interesting – but half-developed – ideas. They float in the air just like Tzvia’s sexual desires do. Who knows if love will crush sense of duty once again.

The Press conference: Suffragette Opens 33 TFF Press Conference

Article by: Danila Prestifilippo                                                                                     Translation by: Roberto Gelli
Not only was Suffragette shown yesterday evening to inaugurate 33th TFF, but also the film was the protagonist of the first press conference, which took place this morning. Film director Sarah Gavron, screenwriter Abi Morgan and one of its producers Faye Ward answered journalists’ questions and explained the film goals and the choices they made, in order to create the short film.

Muad (Carey Mulligan), a female worker, is the protagonist. She is a fictional character and fights together with other women, who represent really existed historical feminists like Emmeline Pankhurst (Merylin Streep). As director Gavron pointed out, the aim of this semihistorical approach was to make a connection between the women, who were given the mocking name Suffragettes and started their battle for their right to vote hundred years ago and modern women, who are still struggling with salary discrepancy, sexual violence and for their right to children protection and tutoring.

Suffragettes social movement has fought for fifty years but, if it is true that the first forty years had been a pacific struggle, in the following sixteen months the fight became more violent and cruel and almost none knows about it. The absence of films that tell us about the violence these courageous women had to endure, played a great role in persuading Faya Ward and Alison Owen to produce the film. Faya Ward stated: “We wanted the public to be aware of the importance of the sacrifices and the success related to Suffragettes fight. We also wanted to underline how their results are effective in nowadays society. We have tried to give modern spectators some contact points, in order for women not only to be politically active, but also to encourage them to be and become what they really feel they are or they could be. Our attempt was to give voice to those, who were not yet given their chance on the big screen.”

Abi Morgan, who had already been the screenwriter of movies such as The Iron Lady, emphasized that the challenge was to choose a really meaningful example of woman’s life and be able to put it in a precise historical context. She said: “On the one hand the character of Muad underlines the role of lots of passive supporters who became activists, on the other hand it investigates the reasons which persuaded women like her to put their jobs, their families and their homes at risk, in the name of a civil right”. The film focuses on the political matter and puts in the foreground these courageous protagonists, so the decision to not examine in depth personal stories was due to the fact that there are not enough literary or movie material at disposal, to which one can refer to. With reference to that, Morgan added that it was much more important to end the film with information about Saudi Arabia and its 2015 law concerning women right to vote only if accompanied by men, rather than to think at some sort of dramatization of Maud in the Hollywood style.

Sarah Gavron gave some further meaningful figures: “Still today, 66 million of women worldwide have no right to vote, 2/3 are illiterate and only 22% hold public offices. It says that the face of poverty is female and unfortunately these figures confirm it”.

The film’s aim is not only political and historical, it concerns the social matter too by denouncing and preventing the high young people abstaining rate, above all among women. Director Gavron told about the reaction of most of the female audience attending Suffragette’s introduction meetings. As she had hoped, after seeing the film, they expressed their wish to vote again because it made them aware of the sacrifices made by British feminist movement. She also reported that the troupe film (almost completely composed by women) wanted to give a clear signal during the film shooting, so they symbolically demonstrated against government by obtaining the permission to film in the House of Parliament in London, that same institutional place, which had declared against women right to vote.

Asked about a possible way to increase female presence in all sectors, starting from institutional offices, Abi Morgan answered: “We have to introduce the concept of positive discrimination and keep insisting about the importance women have within a context implying equality of the sexes. Geena Daves said “See in order to Be”: we need to have a radical attitude, to leverage the mass media but, in order to be successful, women complicity is essential”.

Faye Ward ended the press conference by making a consideration about the fact that Suffragette is a film of women who fight for their right to vote but “today the concept of fight may imply different ways. Each one of us can be what he wants to be, and this is true for both genders and all races. It is enough that we find our own voice and utter our words in every place, in political institutions or other kind of institutions.

February by Osgood Perkins

Article by: Valentina Di Noi

Translation by: Chiara Toscan

Osgood Robert “Oz” Perkins, son of the actor Antony Perkins, proved to be a wonder with his first work as a director, the horror thriller February. We have already seen him acting in Psycho II and more recently screenwriting The Girl in the Photographs.
February is undoubtedly a film that creates an atmosphere. The theater was immersed in the sharp frost of the snowy streets that were so white they gave a sense of purity. However, such sensation was not meant to last, as soon those streets were going to be spoiled by trails of blood.
The film is set in Kempville, Ontario Canada. It’s February and the students of the all girls boarding school “Kempville” are getting ready to leave for their hometown for the winter break. Kate (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton) are stuck at school because their parents have mysteriously failed to retrieve them. Rose finds herself forced to babysit Kate even if they are not friends but rather share resentment. At the same time, Joan (Emma Roberts), escaped from a mental health facility, is heading towards the school, while Kate starts to have a strange attitude.
In this feature film lingers not only tension but also teenage crisis and inner torments, especially through the characters of Rose and Kate. Its deconstructing montage might create confusion, however, at the end, all the pieces of the puzzle come together.
The film has no shades, only clear contrasts: the breaks between scenes as well as music change are clear.
Just one more thing: pay attention to the cutlery and Donnie Darko‘s bunny ears.

Interruption by Yorgos Zois

Article by: Alessandro Amato

Translation by: Cristiana Caffiero

In aesthetic terms “Catharsis” means purifying the human passions that are understood and overcome with art. However, this word comes from Ancient Classic Greece and is connected with a sort of religious ritual that requires to purify both body and soul. Nowadays Greece is facing a cultural and social crisis: in few words it is an adrift country. Despite this, Greek cinema is constantly focusing on this national crisis and ready to supervise its flow. There is no real school of contemporary Greek cinema but there are several common artistic trends in these Greek movie makers.

Interruption is the first feature film by Yorgos Zois and without doubt follows this trend. This film starts with some out of focus lights blurring in a dark space. These lights stand for something not clear but alive that is going to bump soon into an unexpected future. This obscure element is actually an ancient man who’s completely naked. There’s a young blond and short haired woman with him. Those lights we have noticed at the very beginning of the film are actually Clitennestra and her lover Aegystus. Nonetheless the old man and the girl are Agamemnon and Cassandra. The starting events of The Oresteia are well known: the queen and her lover will kill the king who has come back to Troy after many years with another woman. The clash between Cassandra and the new masters of the palace occurs in a glass cube in the middle of the stage. According to mythology there should be then Orestes coming back from his exile and his vengeance versus his mother. Anyway the performance is suddenly stopped by a group of young people running through the stage and telling us they are the Chorus. Their leader is a black haired guy with an amused smile who takes some people from the audience as volunteers. They will introduce themselves and take active part in the show.

“What’s happening here is fiction or reality?” this is the question made by to a member of the Chorus to a girl.
“It’s the reality” replies the girl but she doesn’t look very convinced. The wonderful event this movie is trying to show is the theme of being guilty putting it aside for a while and playing it without misleading it. Now it’s high time to recollect Pirandello.
This movie is about a nowadays issue. At the end the young man kills himself while the theatre audience stands up thinking the tragedy came to its end. He’s another victim of nowadays spread indifference. It’s time that the actors and people taking part in the tragedy take off their clothes as a metaphor of their shame. But if they purified themselves and cleansed their guilty souls what about us and our Catharsis?

Mia madre fa l’attrice by Mario Balsamo

Article by: Lara Vallino                                                                             Translation by: Andrea Cristallini


Documentaries have often been overlooked or dimissed as not suitable for cinema screenings on the grounds that they are too specialized, although they bring to the big screen unknown or intentionally ignored realities. Conversely, after his succesful Noi non siamo come James Bond, which gained him the Jury Prize at TFF 30, Mario Balsamo makes his comeback in Turin with another slice of his life: the documentary Mia madre fa l’attrice, one of the four Italian movies in the main section of the festival.
No polar bears or exotic indigenous peoples then, here we are in fact presented with a typical emotional connection, the one between a mother and her son. Since the dawn of times, this indissoluble bond has always been subject to study, and this is still the case today. Either audiences are not tired of listening to the same old story, or perhaps a universally accepted definition has not been agreed upon yet.
Mario Balsamo shows us the very self of his mother: a tough character, a troublesome person, the woman he loved most in his life. He also reveals the difficulties in their relationship: they seem to have become more distant than ever, separated by a wall of mutual incomprehension.
However, sometimes something happens that teaches us how to look at life from a new perspective and after the events he related in his documentary in 2012, Mario is not the same man anymore. He wants to reconnect with the multifaceted woman and be finally able to love her not just as an actress but also as his mother. He takes the most important film in which his mother acted in the 1950s, Piero Costa’s La Barriera della legge, as an opportunity to get close to her again through their shared passion for the film art. Costa’s film is a constant remembrance for Silvana and an obsession for Mario, although neither of them has ever seen it.
They embark on the search for this cinematographic work, that appeared to be no longer available and that they will eventually find uninteresting once they get to see it.
But it’s a well-known fact that it’s the journey that counts. They go on the road in a Lancia Fulvia 810, around Pietrasanta and Versilia, visiting the very same places where Silvana would display her talent many years ago. We witness amusing and moving dialogues, halfway between reality and fantasy, gradually leading to a reconciliation which results in a long-awaited hug. A happy ending for the director, who may finally manage to see in Silvana Stefanini a mother, rather than just an actress.