“…style is not the clothes you wear. Style is acceptance of yourself and others, It is immaterial, It is your spirit, It’s What’s Underneath.”
That’s how most videos of the What’s Underneath Project series begin, giving the viewer a rough idea of what’s about to follow. This series was created by two women, Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum mother and daughter, who decided back in 2009 to differentiate themselves from the prevailing fashion and beauty industries and redefine style by StyleLikeU.
Nostalgia de la Luz (Nostalgia for the Light) is part of an informal diptych (along with The Pearl Button (2015)) that studies the impacts of Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1990) on the lives of Chilean people. Guzmán researches time and space, by exploring the connection between seemingly differentiated sciences, such as astronomy, archaeology and history. Set in Atacama desert, one of the driest places on earth, this film is a journey to the past, in quest of some answers…
Guzmán has stated that he wishes to create a third part, about the lives of people who live in the Andes, that will complete his trilogy.
I’ve always liked Thursdays because, here in Athens, it’s the day when theaters start playing new films. I impatiently scroll down looking for interesting ones and, since this week is a good one -in terms of cinema-, I thought I’d share with you some films I found worth-seeing.
El Botón de Nácar (English title: The Pearl Button) is Patricio Guzmán’s last documentary film, which was described by the filmmaker as part of a diptych with Nostalgia de la Luz (Nostalgia for the Light, 2010).
The director chose the most impressing classical element, water, and used it in order to narrate the story of his country, Chile. This documentary resembles a time and space travel with the most astonishing and touching cinematography. One of the finest films that are currently in the theaters which I highly recommended.
5. The Salt of the Earth (2014) by J. R. Saldago and Wim Wenders
A biographical documentary film portraying the life and work of Brazilian social photographer Sebastião Salgado. Both direction and photography were outstanding while I was sincerely touched by the relation between land and language (English, French and Portuguese). The finale was somehow optimistic, despite the tragic climax that preceded. Although the fact that one of the directors is Saldago Jr. implies a certain bias for his father, this is a must-see.
4. Nostalgia (1983) by Andrei Tarkovsky
Original title: Nostalghia
A Russian poet traverses Italy along with his Italian interpreter, collecting information about the life of 18th-century Russian composer Pavel Sosnovsky.
What makes cinéfilfilms stand out is that most of them can be considered works of art (and not just of the 7th). Many frames could have been paintings while most dialogues flow like poems. In terms of content, the theme of nostalgia remained on the surface, allowing an in depth analysis of the expression of free will and personal choice.
3. Les Diaboliques (1955) by Henri-Georges Clouzot
A wife and a mistress conspire to murder the man who alienated them at first, but over whom they ended up bonding. This was probably the best film that I watched in an open air cinema this summer. I loved how the director took advantage of the light and the fact that even though I was suspicious, I stayed alert until the very end which was masterly directed.
Based on the novel Celle qui n’était plusby Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac.
2. The 400 Blows (1959) by François Truffaut
Original title: Les Quatre Cents Coups
This film is about the everyday life of a naughty 12-year-old, the only child of an eccentric Parisian family, whose parents due to either indifference or incapability fail to help him find its flair. A truly beautiful film, with wonderful performances from both underage and adult actors. We see how growing up in a problematic family affects a child’s mentality, how bossy the educational system used to be but also how strong a motive friendship can be.
1. Wings of Desire (1987) by Wim Wenders
Original title: Der Himmel über Berlin
Two angels wander over Berlin, listening to the inner thoughts of the city’s residents. One of them will fall in love with a trapeze artist and become human, in order to be with her.
This is a masterpiece that proves that not always cinéfil films have to be complicated and hard to understand. It was as whole as possible in every way (the script, the performances, the photography, the transition from black and white to color) and had quite a few intertextual references, which I personally adore detecting.
This is my favorite film in general and I might write a more analytical post about it in the future.