Archive for November 17th, 2021

 by James Clark

      Those of you who have been charting the trilogy designed by film writer extraordinary, Tonino Guerra, probably realize that an arc of ascending intensity has been put into action. Though intensity is its business, the intimacy of the crisis has a very subtle presence. Each of the protagonists undergoes humiliation in face of a state-of-affair beyond their wit and gut. (This matter had been a fixture of filmmaker, Ingmar Bergman; and his presence here is everywhere.)

As we test the water of “what next,” it only gets more formidable. It only gets more formidable because from time immemorial the powers that be, have chosen to either the ways of forced (imaged) immortality or the overrated ways of science. There is another way, but it requires some preparation. Our film today, with its springboard of the trilogy, studies most closely a figure, namely, Giuliana, having become, by force of a car accident, a most reluctant pariah. The shock of her near death (without serious injury) had introduced to her an intensity unknown and unwanted. Her patrician assets, though, carry a background of being special, being, if not bright, reckless. A more canny victim would shake it off. But Giuliana, with an appetite to the more, cannot fully face down her new, terrible love of a wisdom. The saga of the uncanny is a staple within Guerra’s poetic intensity.

Giuliana’s innovation affords a glimpse of a dimension needed to be engaged. She’s far from a sage; but she’s also engaged in serious toil. Her toils are far from academic. But they deliver a statement to us, meaningful in their urgency. In the midst of her husband’s massive industrial concern, with its regular strikes, and regular pestilence, our protagonist wends her way to provide, as best she can, her energies of the mundane along with her energies of the extreme unique. We find her walking with her young son, Valerio, close to her home. Her home being an adjunct of her husband’s business. She and Valerio ignore those troubles. She approaches the outing as a safari, an exotic shake-up. With the actions agog by the conflict, what does, though, by way of her very ill of ease, is the sandwich of one of the watchers. “Can I buy it?”/ “But I’ve already eaten some…”/ “It doesn’t matter…” (In fact, the exercise involves getting close to the man in the street.) She grabs the purchase and eats the sandwich as if she were a worker. She is, in fact, acting out some kind of solidarity. Not so much a political connection, but a leaver of universal understanding. Moreover, right from the first second of the film, there are blurring visuals of the entities on tap, the trees, the sky, the factory. This blur is not about a foggy moment of Giuliana’s entrance to the filthy business of her husband’s enterprise; but about a moment of her entrance to an uncanny force—calling her to help! (more…)

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