Two segments. The first one arranges six stories from Cesare Pavese's "Dialoghi con Leucò", taken from classical mythology. The second segment is taken from Pavese's novel "La luna e i falò... See full summary »
A man returns to visit his native Sicily after living in New York for a long time. He learns about the Sicilian way of life from stylized conversations with an orange picker, his fellow ... See full summary »
A Polish contractor, Nowak, leads a group of workmen to London so they can provide cheap labor for a government official based there. Nowak (Irons) has to manage the project and the men as ... See full summary »
In Shanghai in the 1880s there are four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (called madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The ... See full summary »
Tony Chiu Wai Leung,
If Theater is 1 and Cinema is 2, Joao Cesar Monteiro's directorial style is at 1.7 and from what I have seen so far, Straub/Huillet's is a magical 1.3. And even if on the other side of the spectrum, their films also invoke similar reactions as Monteiro's, that comes from witnessing Cinema that is unique and unlike that is commonly known of. Their(S/H) shooting style is always sparse, simple, and every frame is like a theater, they just borrow the flexibility of angles and the freedom of stage preparation from films, and create their own brand of 'moving theater'. Antigone is most definitely a Brechtian film, as is Dalla Nube , and again, a recreation of the mythological play Antigone by Sophocles. The film retells the tragedy with moving lines, delivered with utter poignancy, acted out to his heart by Werner Rehm, as the tyrant Creon, and also by all other characters. In this film though, the elements for theater are in full glory, more than in Dalla Nube and the stage is awesome - the entire film is set in an amphitheater on a mountain cliff, never moving out. The play captures its subjects beautifully, and the characters move in sync with their words and surroundings, creating an experience that thrives on choreography, and less on conventional paradigms of a movie. The content is well executed, as the play takes shape in all its paradoxes and futilities, and man, did I enjoy losing myself in the mesmeric power of words again! Straub/Huillet has certainly hit a soft spot, through two films that are not for the impatient, but in its fruition, richly rewarding. Amongst other tiny signs of mastery, it is tremendous how Straub/Huillet execute the 'stage-touch' by simply letting his characters exit the scope of camera before moving on. Gives you a moment to think about what just happened, another important aspect of the theater. If you are tired of films, watch this play.
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