Archivi tag: TFF – 26 novembre 2014

THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS: fleeing to America in order to find ourselves

Article by: Matteo Merlano

Translation by: Ilaria Rana

 In 1974, two years later the unexpected success of ‘Duel’, Spielberg creates the most intimate and undervalued film he has ever produced. ‘The Sugarland Express’ is not a simple “on the road” film like those of that period but, as stated by the director from Cincinnati, it is a journey through love, the States and Cinema itself.

The story talks about two drifters who escape the law to retrieve their daughter, who is in the care of an elderly couple in Sugarland, Texas. After having sequestrated a police car and a police officer, they start a ruthless chase throughout the dusted and savage States

Steve Spielberg e Goldie Hawn sul set

The actors Goldie Hawn and William Atherton play the role of the two drifters. The latter is known for the role of the troublesome character of Walter Peck in “Ghostbusters” and some little roles in “Die Hard” and “Die Hard 2” in the 80’s.

Spielberg pays homage to most of the cinematography he loves: from Ford’s Westerns to Peckinpah’s New Hollywood. He also takes inspiration from his first short film “Amblin”.

This ‘on the road’ journey becomes the metaphor of an inner journey (like that of “Easy Rider”), which is shown here through the eyes of two parents who are willing to risk their lives just to find the thing they love the most: their daughter. Do we need to escape in order to find happiness? Do we need to have the whole world against us to find what we love? The answer is… yes. We need to accept the consequences of our choices and we have to fight and flee in order to find what we really are and want. The main characters know it, and they will accept their role in the world. Are they damned people or criminals? Of course not. They are simply human beings.

Vilmos Zsigmond’ photography is beautiful, while John Williams, composer of the country soundtrack, became Steven Spielberg’s friend and composer from this film on.

When it was first released, this film did not meet great public success. However, it was rediscovered later. Here is a final anecdote: in “The Blues Brothers”, the popular scene of the chase with dozens of police cars is an ironical reference to “The Sugarland Express”.

una suggetiva panoramica di The Sugarland Express



Article by: Nicola Gambarino

Translation by: Elettra Abatucci

 Zachary Orfman (Dane DeeHan) is a rich middle-class boy, who lives in the wealthy district of Brian Grove. He lost his beloved girlfriend Bethany (Aubrey Plaza) due to a snakebite. The Slocums, Beth’s parents Maury (John C. Reilly) and Geenie (Molly Shannon), try to develop a filial relationship with Zac in order to keep Beth’s memory alive. They grieve, they chatter about the puddings that she liked to eat in her childhood and play chess until three in the morning.

However, Beth will soon literally get in touch with them, as nothing ever happened or as it was all just a trick. It seems like somebody in heaven decided that it was not her moment to push up the daisies. She is then ready to restart her life without having memory of what happened. With the help of her parents, Zach and Beth can live again their love story where they interrupted it; he seems to love his girlfriend if possible more than before. Then many strange things start happening in the neighborhoods, arousing Zach’s worries. At first, he was skeptic and joked around the fact of having a zombie girlfriend, but he will soon realize that it is the truth. It is only a matter of time before many departed ones decide to revive in order to hug again their beloved relatives… and possibly give them a bite.

Forget Joe Dante. Leave John Landis. Forget the first Ruben Fleischer as well. Jeff Baena, a brilliant first timer, sets George Romero’s revenants free in the streets of a smiling Suburbia, where Jewish Cabala clashes with Haitian voodoo, and the Yankees more Yankees than ever always keeps up with his stereotype: holding a Bible in one hand and a Desert Eagle in the other, feeding himself of B-movies and paranoia.

Dead people no longer rest in peace, as they have awakened in a bad mood, claiming rights that died out together with them. Love wins over death, but not over hunger, (there are many two-ways in the background playing on physical and sexual hunger). This politically incorrect comedy also denounces the absurdity of the US wealthy middle class, spiced up with a marvelous soundtrack provided by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

“I’m a zombie. How the fuck am I supposed to behave?” yells the amazing Aubrey Plaza to her boyfriend Dane DeHaan (another big revelation of the underrated fanta-mockumentary Chronicle by Josh Trank [2012]) while eating avidly his Saab’s seats. Exactly. How? Human nature, alive or not, is the central theme of this beautiful, yet wacky fairy tale, which mixes horror and drama. It is disturbing, but funny at the same time, it also cleverly speaks about human feelings, and relationships, making the audience reflect upon an issue: do we really wish our relatives departed for a better place, to return?

The Theory of Everything

Article by: Barbara Vacchetti

Translation by: Simona Restifo Pecorella

“This is not a story about a disease, but the story of a human relationship”, said Eddie Redmayne yesterday at the press conference of the Turin Film Festival. He is the protagonist of ‘The Theory of Everything’, in which he plays the astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. Actually, that is what the film is all about: it is a love story. Between whom though? Between Stephen and his first wife, Jane, or between Stephen and physics?

The film is the adaptation of the autobiographical book ‘Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen Hawking’, written by his first wife. It starts right from the first meeting between them, and then proceeds along the years, when they were in love and supported each other, when they created a family and when finally got separated.

Despite the serious tones, it manages to be funny in some moments. The two references to the famous British series ‘Doctor Who’ were particularly interesting and gave it a decisive British print.

Playing the role of Stephen Hawking has not been easy, but the charming interpretation of charismatic Eddie Redmayne convinced everyone right away – maybe also earning him an Oscar nominee for best actor this year. For the time being, however, he has received the Maserati award last night in Turin.

Eddie Redmayne ritira il premio Maserati
Eddie Redmayne received the Maserati award

Yesterday morning, at the press conference, the British actor told us that he was eager to participate in the film project but, as soon as he obtained the part of Hawking, he realized the difficulties this role could entail. In fact, dancer and choreographer Alexandra Reynolds followed him in the preparation of his role by teaching him how to move his body properly and to use only certain muscles. Moreover, the actor went to a specialized clinic where he could study the physical and emotional troubles caused by ALS illness.

Eddie Redmayne in conferenza stampa
Eddie Redmayne at the press conference

Interpreting this role certainly involved a very hard work, both physical and psychological. However, Eddie Redmayne stated that it was primarily the meeting with Stephen Hawking that helped him immerse adequately in the role and make him understand even the smallest aspects of this wonderful, iconic man, who wants to reveal us something more than the mysteries of the Universe.

The film focuses precisely on this point. It does not say much about physics, black holes or Hawking radiations, but it rather concentrates on human relationships. The difficulties encountered along the way can only be overcome with a tremendous force of will and with the affection of caring people. It is a study on love and on different ways of loving. That is what the “theory of everything” is really about.


Foto di Bianca Beonio Bocchieri