28 de julho de 2013

Minnelli himself explained the inspiration for the scene’s visual style in this way: “I decided to use the inside of a juke box as my inspiration for the settings… garishly lit in primary colors.” (2) His comparison is fitting for, along with the vibrant look of technicolor cinema, the jukebox captures that side of the American 1950s caught up in a loud kitsch, a visual display that proudly proclaims a showiness that verges on vulgarity. If a common cliché of the 1950s imagines the period as one of bland conformity, in contrast a whole series of pop phenomena – from the jukebox (and the splashy music contained therein) to the cinema to pastel fashions to overlarge cars with razor blade-like tail fins to the shimmer of Jell-O and so on – remind us of everything excessive in the decade; of everything, indeed, that exceeds bland middle-class propriety. In fact, much of the narrative of Some Came Running has to do precisely with the dominant culture’s wish to uphold norms of respectability, and in this sense the carnival scene shows how everything that this culture seeks to repress comes bubbling to the surface to explode in wildly dramatic fashion. It is particularly appropriate that Some Came Running was shot in CinemaScope for this widescreen process would seem well-fitted to an explosive spectacularity that threatens to spill off the screen in the sheer bigness of its effects.

But Some Came Running is also notable for a dramatically effective, if less showy, use of the widescreen format to capture subtle permutations in the interpersonal relationships of its central characters. In fact, Some Came Running connects the spectacular level in its broad depiction of a general condition of Americana to a more intimate level centered on the melodrama of a few select figures: the film’s chronology parallels the gradual preparations for the fair with the slow progression of Dave’s own narrative trajectory. To underscore this trajectory, the film uses compositional strategies of widescreen to contrast Dave’s initial emotional limitations and the growth he finally is capable of. In particular, in several scenes of the film, widescreen composition serves as a signal of Dave’s inability to open up to others, to let emotional engagement with other people into his life, and to even notice such people from within the protective space he has built up around himself.

Take, for instance, the very beginning of the film: the widescreen positions and isolates Dave in the long horizontal shape of the bus bringing him back to his hometown and it is only late in the scene that we (and then Dave) remark the presence of the forgotten Ginny in a seat behind him. Likewise, in one of the many scenes in which Dave gathers in a bar with his newfound gambling partner Bama (Dean Martin), Ginny remains unnoticed, way off in the back and side of the frame, until she insinuates herself into Dave’s presence. Ginny is rarely on the same plane as Dave, on a level spatial relationship with him. In contrast, as befits the Rat Pack masculinist ideology in which women are only accessories and men’s fundamental relationship is to their male pals (with whom there is always the distance of cool professionalism), Dave and Bama are often pictured side-by-side, two buddies engaged in playboy-culture pursuits, as when they sit at tables gambling.

2 de julho de 2013

Saikaku Ichidai Onna - Kenji Mizoguchi (1952) *****
Barravento - Glauber Rocha (1962) *****
Ostře Sledované Vlaky - Jiří Menzel (1966) *****
Polustanok - Sergei Loznitsa (2000) *****
V tumane - Sergei Loznitsa (2012) *****
Pale Rider - Clint Eastwood (1985) ® ****
High Plains Drifter - Clint Eastwood (1973) ***
Captive - Brillante Mendoza (2012) ***
Shik - Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov (2003) **
Life of Pi - Ang Lee (2012) *

® Filmes revistos