Thursday, October 1, 2009

Love of the common people

Sometimes I find myself oddly drawn to movies I wouldn’t naturally regard. I usually want my entertainment to be just that, entertaining.
I’m willing to concede the point that what exactly makes entertainment varies greatly from viewer to viewer (and thank the Heavens for that or cinema would look like private TV), for me personally the formula usually goes

closer proximity to reality = less entertainment

All the more it takes me by surprise how much movies like Italiensk for begyndere move me.
Incidentally the movie also features one of my favourite cut sequences, when one of the characters let’s a coffee mug slip from her fingers the movie cuts away just before the impact to a flag silently moving in the wind, that scene seems to perfectly sum up this small movie that never fails to hold me transfixed like a deer caught in the spotlight.

Or Eric Rohmer’s Four Seasons cycle. There’s nothing much of note going on in either of the movies, Rohmer’s approach here feels like sitting in a street café, watching life stream by.
Only that some of the passing peasants take us with them for a short time, just long enough for us find them to lead a life just as ordinary as our own.

Like Rohmer's movies Pane e tulipani is not about finding love in the first place, it's about finding out that in order to love you first have to find to yourself. It's about a women that gets accidentally left behind by her family, and using this to take a vacation from them and her household duties she discovers herself and the dreams she left behind. At the end of the movie stands, once again, no glorified idea of perfect love, just a man and a woman who share something more lasting: A deep mutal respect for each other.

It’s the love of, and the love for, the common people, what all theses movies are about. There’s no Hollywood grandeur to them, no witty repartee, no couples so beautiful that the idea of them ever parting makes you hurt. And yet, as unglamorous as it presents itself in these movies, love is the greatest gift of all.

I love the poster artwork for Rohmer’s Seasons cycle, they all manage to capture the essence of the respective movie. I’m not exactly smitten with any of the poster designs for Italiensk, the English versions try to portray it as something it ain’t setting it up for failure by deceiving the audience, and the original fails to convey how deeply romantic a movie this is underneath.

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