Just for this time, at least, for once, no theory. Only films: our pleasure through the eyes and ears. First, our passion, in an age that many are calling postcinema, while others think this is the end of the film. Reality around us is always harsh (wars, pollution, exoduses) but there are still so many good movies: getting close to them, enjoying their images is in itself an act of resistance. Ejzenstejn said something similar to this about Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln during World War II. Serge Daney used to say that the image is a relationship to “le dehors” – with references to Blanchot and Deleuze. So, going to the movies is good for the even more atrophied body in the network of new friendly, smart, impressive devices that (silently) organize our daily life; entering the images of good movies, connects us with “le dehors”, with what is “outside” the civilization of images, the economy of visuality: phántasma (spectacle). But we have promised no theory, just movies. Which movies? Some made by different people. “Authors” that began decades ago, between experimentation and (post)nouvelle vague; eastern filmmakers whose rhythm is already a sort of otherness; and those – yes, again and again – still and always those Hollywood directors of yesterday and today.

Joyful and desperate walks in the black and white almost timelessness of Philippe Garrel's L'Ombre des femmes, where even history might fail to regulate falls, collapses, silences, uncertainties, tears, seams of the love. A film in which the materiality of the scraped walls echoes with the sound of the sheet, moving by sweaty bodies, and with the hands that sand a wall where “white” and “black” alternate themselves, like the seasons of love. Elements. They are what we hear and contemplate in Hsiao-Hsien Hou's The Assassin, a pure phenomenological exercise with grace and discretion, pausing between the cracks of the curtains, sideways, the camera quietly approaching the things of the world: the breeze that swells the tissues, the music of the air, the detail of an embroidery, the desire hidden in a sign, the silence of a gesture, standing above the limit, on the threshold. A sort of junction, that, classically, is the fitting of Peter Bogdanovich's She's Funny That Way, the elegant and precious game that relies on the sophisticated comedy of the 30s, and that articulates and dismantles stories and characters, whose conversations are made even more schizophrenic by the massage of new media – plus the revolving doors, perfectly used by Lubitsch, that tilt characters and stories. A delicious lesson of cinema (not postcinema). Lectio that we can enjoy also in another film made by walks. Robert Zemeckis' The Walk opening in his own classical heart, a space in which le dehors can be inscribed, even what is “outside” from Hollywood, l'art comme dépense.

 

 

Toni D'Angela