The more profound world of Marco Bellocchio

October 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Italian movie makers have lost the power to have themselves distributed outside of Italy and we are all losers for it.  The opportunity to see films such as those of Marco Bellocchio is the opportunity to see another way of seeing the world, another sensitivity, a radically different eye, and a very deep, meditative, nuanced, multi-layered way of representing the human condition.  Buon giorno, Notte, a film about the kidnapping of Aldo Moro does not start with a big explosion; no hard and fast action takes place on screen, there is no gut-wrenching cruelty — instead, a far subtler drama is being played out:  of one of the terrorists losing her conviction in the action and grappling with the implications of what she is doing.  One has a stronger sense of watching a Greek drama — with all its direct power to move — than in any other film of the last two decades.  His L’Ora di religione tells the story of an atheist with an unspecified grudge towards his dead mother having to deal with the family’s moves to have her declared a saint: the film is told in an odd, somewhat surrealistic way, complete with a day-break duel at foil-point (in Gianicolo? — with the dome of the Vatican looming directly behind the fencers), a masonic meeting, a papal audience and a nun honey-trap, all designed to make the film seem like a 16 century drama transposed into modernity — a very artful way of leading the viewer to reflect on the true subject of the film — our difficulty in dealing with established sanctities.


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