“Here’s a window in the walls of cloth I’ve torn” – Efforts & Arts : watching Fellini’s movies

I’m in the process of watching all Fellini‘s movies, therefore, like in every great artist’s career, I detect “eras”, changes, evolution, attempts.

Of course I keep piling books and articles about the guy’s work, which needs to be explored, explained, viewed, considered…

I finished La Dolce Vita – I admit I had to cut it in three parts; the movie is very long (3 hours), very unusual. It becomes too long, or too Italianistically talkative.

Themes : quitting travelings, sisters, corteges, seashores, the sound of the wind, camera stares, but also invisible frontiers between the dreams and reality, hidden coincidences (Mastroianni “can’t hear” from the helicopter at the beginning, and can’t hear the young lady’s message, on the beach at the end – it’s a double door), artificialism, the use of light, the “choreographic” movements at key moments…

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It’s enthralling to read about these movies, from interpretations to replacing this one in a path-career, to how it’s been received at the time. Deciphering (or not).

And then : watching how Fellini pushes levers, shifts and sticks. Going further. 8 1/2 looks like a maze, a game : spleen, creation, disillusions. You don’t understand anything, and yet it’s dazzling, sumptuous!

If you go further, you can be lost. But you can try though…

Fellini hated the character of Casanova. Thus he chose D. Sutherland (which is not the idea of Casanova you have), and makes a movie like a terrible necklace of weird scenes. It’s exaggerated, seedy, outrageous, artificial, decadent. This it’s not easy AT ALL to watch it!

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Three examples as a path into… difficulties, but pleasure. Films complicated, fascinating, which make you think and wonder, or fight – and let your full of questions.

Like after important dreams, right?

 

That leads to the idea of “Efforts & Art”. Why should one make an effort to watch a movie? Why not? Do we have to be seduced, or not? At what level? What do we dig here?

What’s that pair, dancing : Brilliant / Complex? Why contradictory?

If Fellini is a Picasso of movies, who’s the writer? Proust? And the poet? Mallarmé?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Here are 2 Picasso portraits, for no reason :

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The Clown Chastised

Eyes, lakes of my simple passion to be reborn
Other than as the actor who gestures with his hand
As with a pen, and evokes the foul soot of the lamps,
Here’s a window in the walls of cloth I’ve torn.

With legs and arms a limpid treacherous swimmer
With endless leaps, disowning the sickness
Hamlet! It’s as if I began to build in the ocean depths
A thousand tombs: to vanish still virgin there.

Mirthful gold of a cymbal beaten with fists,
The sun all at once strikes the pure nakedness
That breathed itself out of my coolness of nacre,

Rancid night of the skin, when you swept over me,
Not knowing, ungrateful one, that it was, this make-up,
My whole anointing, drowned in ice-water perfidy.

LE PITRE CHATIÉ

Yeux, lacs avec ma simple ivresse de renaître
Autre que l’histrion qui du geste évoquais
Comme plume la suie ignoble des quinquets,
J’ai troué dans le mur de toile une fenêtre.

De ma jambe et des bras limpide nageur traître,
À bonds multipliés, reniant le mauvais
Hamlet! c’est comme si dans l’onde j’innovais
Mille sépulcres pour y vierge disparaître.

Hilare or de cymbale à des poings irrité,
Tout à coup le soleil frappe la nudité
Qui pure s’exhala dans ma fraîcheur de nacre,

Rance nuit de la peau quand sur moi vous passiez,
Ne sachant pas, ingrat! que c’était tout mon sacre,
Ce fard noyé dans l’eau perfide des glaciers.

(Mallarmé)

How things build themselves : the river metaphor

Gilbert Durand is known his work on the imaginary, and symbolic anthropology.

He sees things evolving like rivers.

Of course, the game is to use this on whatever you want, like fashions, history, art, events, philosophy or literature.

Here are the words he uses :

  1. Streaming : currents and fountains, sometimes from distant pasts, resurgences, or born from events.
  2. Watersheds : some streams gather, creating frontiers with other streams, some fights can burst.
  3. Confluences : a current is reinforced, valued by other streams, which are like helping figures.
  4. Names : the river is named, typified, characters (real or imaginary) are linked to it.
  5. Banks layout : consolidation (reality, style) happens, come the theoriticians and “second”  founders, thinkers – sometimes with rises and floods : exaggerations.
  6. Exhaustion & deltas : meandering causes derivations, divisions, and other rivers cant melt.

 

Where will you use this, and how, and what can it bring to your thinking activity?

Thanks for reading!

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Revealing Idiots

Idiots are Types in movies or literature – I’m not talking about “funny idiots movies” like Dumb & Dumber, it’s more like the village idiot, who is… there, accepted, like a necessary part of all communities.

This guy is interesting because he is an innocent, ignoring the complex rules of society : therefore he often says the truth at the most unexpected time, revealing or unblocking things…

There’s a category about village idiots in movies at IMDB :

https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword?keywords=village-idiot

Clothes & Idiocy : Undering yourself to watch around

Of course, there are other idiots, more like “people acting stupidly” to make the movie move forward, or to innocently denounce a situation or a society peculiarity.

A little like in this article I wrote a few weeks ago : The Persian Letters Tool

What are the assets and features of the village idiot?

  • He doesn’t understand.
  • He doesn’t believe.
  • He doesn’t know.
  • He doesn’t obey, or randomly.
  • He is inside but outside, he is not really playing the game.
  • He says his truth, he’s a revealer.
  • He’s funny.
  • He can also be a scapegoat.
  • He watches, he lurks.
  • He’s more free.

 

So… of course you see me coming…

There can be an advantage when you enter a group to appear as an idiot – of course you have the whole game of shades, from the slightly different/weird.unadapted guy to the complete idiot. Idiocy as a mask.

You can also borrow temporarily one of these assets :

  • Make a stupid move (which is a smart move). Idiocy as a manipulation tool.
  • Don’t understand something… on purpose (to follow your own idea?).
  • Don’t know (to be lazy?)

 

Bahhhh, etc. I should dig more, but I’m an idiot, today.

Thanks for reading!

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Deliverance & Archetypes

I’m reading a book from John Boorman, English director known for Excalibur or The Emerald Forest.

Deliverance is a survival movie, a very disturbing piece of. Here’s the plot I found on IMDB :

On a weekend canoeing trip down a river in the Georgia back country, four urban businessmen enter a nightmare in which both nature and mankind conspire to send them through a crucible of danger and degradation in which their lives and perhaps even their souls are put at horrendous risk.

I had a friend a long time ago who explained me the beginning of the movie after he assisted a masterclass about it. What I found in the book confirms it, and goes even further. Here we go :

The four guys are obviously Archetypes, and Boorman says that they’re all a part of the novel writer.

  1. Drew is clever, an introvert, scrupulous and gentle.
  2. Lewis is mister muscle and macho, taking decisions and full of contempt.
  3. Bobby is the fat guy, trying jokes all the time, not at ease with anything.
  4. Ed is timorous. He’s the guitar player and wears spectacles. The artist, the idealist.

 

Of course, the movie is pushing all these men into turmoil. Of course, the “men living in the forest” are not impressed at all by the city boys, and will become aggressive. Of course, mother nature is not spread all around for the pleasure of smart-asses from the city, the river is unintelligible and dangerous. And of course, macho man won’t handle this situation at all (and other lessons you’ll discover if you watch this disturbing movie).

 

I have much pleasure reading the book, because Boorman explains that the actors were also like Archetypes. Voight was really always thinking and full of doubts, and Reynolds acting directly, finding his role in “action”. And, says Boorman, helping Voight to use his instincts instead of his strong brain.

 

Tools :

Archetypes. They are always accurate to watch people, right? Astrology or MBTI too (but aren’t they archetypes, in a way?). You can also think about patterns you find in people. Personality traits. It helps to understand, to take a picture of a group.

BUT

It also shows a lesson : human beings are full of surprises. Full of “as ifs”. They lie to themselves. They don’t act accordingly. And in action, they can evolve… amazingly!

Maybe one lesson of life is to see that Archetypes don’t work.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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