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 »
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Pier Paolo Pasolini
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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
This film is an attempt by five different directors to present their take on the theme of "Love and Anger". Five well regarded film personalities were gathered to offer their views in a disjointed attempt to make sense of theme. Alas, what comes out on the screen is, at best, a boring display by some of these men, who have done much better work, to try to interest us with their mostly leftist views without convincing us. As DB Dumontiel commented in this pages, the more modern the five creators wanted to be, the more dated their contributions become.
Of the five segments shown, Carlo Lizzani's "L'indifferenza" is the only one that makes any sense. Filmed totally in New York, without an Italian dialog, it clearly illustrates one of the big problems in our society, and a phenomenon in our bigger cities where people totally ignore situations that claim for human intervention, as in the case of the selfish driver in this piece who tells the cops he doesn't want to get involved, and succeeds in doing so.
The Bertolucci vignette is a heavy critique on religion, as he directs the New York based theater group headed by Julian Beck and Judith Malina and members of their eclectic group performing a ritual as a church higher up is dying. The Passolini contribution shows a young actor, Ninetto Davoli, cavorting on Rome's Via Nazionale while over imposed pictures of legendary leftist icons like Che Guevara appear over the action in the film. The Godard piece, is pretentious, at best, and the last piece, by Marco Bellocchio, shows a university class as they discuss nothing.
This film might have appeared as revolutionary when it was released, but viewing it today, the only thing it elicits from the viewer is boredom and surprise in realizing that even great directors like the ones participating in this film can lay an egg without really trying.
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