Five short stories with contemporary settings. In New York, people are indifferent to derelicts sleeping on sidewalks, to a woman's assault in front of an apartment building, and to a ... See full summary »
Five short stories with contemporary settings. In New York, people are indifferent to derelicts sleeping on sidewalks, to a woman's assault in front of an apartment building, and to a couple injured in a car crash. A man, stripped of his identity, dies in bed with actors expressing his agony. A cheerful, innocent young man walking a city street in a time of war pays a price for this innocence. A couple talks about cinema while it watches another couple talk of love and truth on the eve of one character's return to Cuba. Striking students take over a university classroom; an argument follows about revolution or incremental change. Written by
Comments have complained that this portmanteau film is dated. It would be better to say it registers a crucial political, cultural, and cinematic moment. Marco Bellocchio's short film works best to my thinking. His "Discutiamo, discutiamo" (Let's Talk; We're Talking; or maybe Talk and Talk, if you're inclined to be bored) is a dramatic imitation by students of the university movements of the late 1960s, and includes real differences of opinion (it starts with a lecture on Croce's aesthetics; later there's an attempt to set a Croce paperback on fire), and opinions worth remembering once existed. "La lotta continua" (class struggle), authoritarian schooling in ruling class values, the small percentage of youths of poor families in university--sure, that's so passé.
And for Bertolucci there's Julian Beck as Artaud; for Pasolini, dialectic around the pleasure of Ninetto Davoli. Even Godard's go-gauche, lordly treating every opinion as a quotation, letting all the wind out of what might be concern--or Amore. (See better Bellocchio's "La Cina è vicina" for a fashionable leftism.) The Rabbia or righteous wrath of the title is mostly also left to viewers back then or now, and maybe it didn't get rooted.
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