The oppressed majority, la majorité Opprimée by Eléonore Pourriat

February 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

As a film maker and as a assaulted woman (by a close so called “friend”) I thank my colleague Eléonore Pourriat of this short film. Watching this film I experienced my very deep feelings such as catharsis and relief. Men should really experience that, in order to understand what women have to see during their life. It is outrageous that not only women are sexual harassments and assault’s victims but also they have to face ignorant people’s stereotypes and doubts about guilty. It is disgusting. There is no possibility for men who are extremely ignorant and close minded to really figure out what women feel. The only way to help them in this path is to show them this film, which really is worth it and I strongly recommend it!

The Children’s hour by William Wyler with Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner

August 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

I wonder why people do not speak about this black and white film as it deserves. I guess this is because it is considered not so fashionable and funny as many as other films with Audrey Hepburn are, such as How to steal a million or Sabrina. That’s a pity because this film is a actual masterpiece. It faces reality of love and fear back in 1961. I guess it was hard for people who were in love with people of the same sex. This film conveys that matter in an in-depth way.

Scene is almost always indoor. It takes place in a feminine boarding school where one of the students mad at teachers gossips about the fact that they are lesbians and spreads this word. Immediately reputation of teachers and school are ruined. Students leave and school closes. This case arrives in court and Karen – Audrey Hepburn looses her boyfriend who disappears after realizing that he does not trust her.

When things are fallen apart, Martha-Shirley MacLaine confesses her love for Karen-Audrey Hepburn. This confessions opens eyes of spectators not only towards maliciousness of people but also to intolerance for people of the same sex who love each other. A tender feeling of a co-worker becomes the reason for the failure of many lives. How is this possible? How can people transform something good and constructive as love is in a sound tragedy? This film has no merci towards bad people who live chatting on the back of the others because this behavior can be fatal and disastrous.

Based on a true story, written for theatre, this pièce became a film in 1961. And it is astonishing. It is a brave film that explains how people can even kill someone just whispering. The upfront approach prevents people who are seeing this film to avoid reality.

As for aesthetic, classical style gives this film even more strength psychologically speaking. We are used to watch film which are shot with a frenetic camera as if video could express more sympathy for what happens, like Lars Von Trier taught. In this case friction between what spectator expects to see and what actually happens is so strong that result is people are obliged to reflect a lot about what they have just seen.  And that’s a great goal even if director could not forecast this while he was shooting it. One says to himself “hey, this is a classical film, it can not happen something strong which can create scandal, can it?”. When the unpredictable happens, people are shocked. And this is good for giving people the opportunity to think and rethink about this film.

Nowadays cinema has lost the power of making people think. Quality films are not produced or distributed apart from the ones of the festivals for a niche. Good news is that we can find many gorgeous films like this one on the Internet. Old films that can help people to face reality and think about what is good and what is not good. It is amazing to see stars like Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine involved in such a topic. I think in a way they have done a lot for this issue playing this film. Thank you both!

Watching Magnolia by Paul Thomas Anderson a few years later

June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Proud of Italian Cinema Heritage, something in Italy to be proud of aside, I always enjoy watching Italian films again and again and again. Every single time it is a better one. Italian independent films are so delicate and well acted and perfectly written and poetic and profound and nice that every time it is a new better experience. This is great cinema. When film starts one feels to be in front of something unique and special. Something time can not erase. Something unforgettable. A part of history. I have been thinking about Una giornata particolare by Ettore Scola which is really deep and insightful. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it makes me think and reflect. Metaphorically speaking It will be evergreen forever because it constantly renews itself. This film which analyses Nazi-fascist period in Italy, racial laws and  mistreatment against gay people, speaks about those issues between the lines. On the surface it talks about a fascist wife who realizes not only she is a mother and a housekeeper but also she is a person spending time with his neighbor who doesn’t attend a fascist parade in Rome City centre because he fights fascist regime. Some words between Sofia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni create an atmosphere which speaks for itself. We do not need to see fascist parade to understand such awful violence both woman and man are living. This film is so moving and sublime that it can absolutely be considered a masterpiece. This is not the case of films like Magnolia which I watched many years ago when it was awarded at Berlinale. Some years after I can state this film is a already old boring ridiculous film. It is so full of bad words which satisfy a teenager famine of shocking deliberately that I can not cope it. Julienne Moore aside, the rest is nothing. It is a pity to see that money is spent to leave nothing. This is a film really well-known with  fantastic reputation. Nothing remains about period when it was shot. It just epitomises  the lack of ability of writing and a worrying lack of topics to talk about. I strongly am convinced that It is not enough to speak about decay and decline to be an interesting and well-done film. Unfortunately some Europeans think that a film is a masterpiece just because it is American and it speaks about decay, due to their exoticism. I do not go along with them. I still think that Italian and French cinema can teach Hollywood writers how to write a film, don’t they?

Tiny Furniture by Lena Dunham – 2010

January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Aura is not so beautiful girl to be the most important character of the film and her beautiful friend is absolutely odd and just silly. Aura has just come back home from her college, just graduated, just arrived, just not part of the family anymore.

This amazing independent film is really well directed and shot. Lights are inspiring and locations are empty like Aura’s life. Aura’s mother embodies perfect not freak anymore mother who reached success doing photos and who doesn’t know how to be a mother at all. She only put her just arrived daughter in the position of feeling a loser because she is a good professional and the daughter isn’t.

Failures and failures after going back home. That’s life for new generation who can not find room for working, leaving, paying bills, having babies because there is economical crisis and there is no job for anyone young at all.

At least, mother gives a roof and food and fuel. That’s great. Even when Nora tries to be hostess at the restaurant. Sadly she earns 179 dollars and something. She can’t be compared with her mother who didn’t even tried to have a different job during her life. She didn’t need to do that because when she was the same age of her daughter there were room for people who wanted to be photographer  to live. Good for her, bad for Aura, and for us.

Entering the adult age without hope is not so easy. Thank you the director for conveying this situation so well. This is a lovely film and even credits are extremely cute.

ARRANGED by Diane Crespo and Stefan C. Schaefer 2007

January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Although Rochel and Nasira grew up and live in Brooklyn, New York, they not only are religious but they are even orthodox.  This films helps people like me who do not believe in religions and they fight for feminism to better understand other people’s choices and respect them.

Rachel lives with her orthodox Jewish family. So does Nasira, who is part of a muslim family. Both of them teach at elementary school in Brooklyn and they ended up in the same class. They become closer facing a superficial and disrespectful head-teacher who tries to patronize both women giving them suggestions in order to be part of the so called “free” society. She even gives lessons about her idea of feminism which actually is connected to clothes and superficial stuff. The lady sooner become the only bad example of behavior in this splendid film.

Also this independent film is really good acted. Rochel is a discrete but really determined person and Nasira not only is thoughtful and generous friend but also she is extremely open-minded and she tries to balance her point of view with the one of her religion. Despite religious rules, those women are really independent.  This is the most important thing this film is able to depict.

Plot is delicate and dialogues are not banal at all. If someone fears a stereotyped script can go for this film free of doubts. It is interesting to figure out if a situation like this would be possible outside New York. Maybe not yet, but it is a good start, I’d say. I strongly recommend to watch this film in order to better listen and understand each others learning that religious people can be interesting too.

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