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Archive for January 14th, 2009

Wisdom without compassion is like beauty without charm.

benny

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Fellini film Otto e mezzo- 81/2
Wellspring of this film is in the childhood. The adage ‘Child is the father of man,’ bears true in creative process. Guido cannot separate his interior life from his film, which he cannot yet organize into something that can be set in cinematic idiom. What are the pleasures of Guido’s secret childhood to the viewer unless it is set in a language that he or she can identify? Two images of Guido associated with his bath: Guido as a child from the wine press is washed and borne to his bed warmed already. In his daydream as an adult the same bath scene is altered. His wife Louisa with whom his relationship is anything but smooth makes it as a matter of escape mechanism. When she says it took her twenty years to learn patience ( to serve her husband’s every whim) we know his interior life has lost its creditability since it cannot add anything to the reality of his role as a director. Such escapism is not what an artist can organize to his advantage.
The dichotomy of man and director who uses his experience as a way out creates la bella confusione (a beautiful confusion )
Another episode also is telling: the entire episode of Guido’s interview with the cardinal in the baths. The bathers in toga remind one of Roman senate in the time of Imperial Rome. State and the Church are but examples that Guido could have learned from. The Church with her clear cut dictum( drawn from Origen) ought to have taught Guido to be ruthless to save himself from being cut adrift by self indulgence. Instead of using his childhood memories to cast an artistic scaffolding to hold his cinematic material together, his childishness shows up his inability to organize his interior life.
(By the way The Saraghina episode is brilliant.)
benny

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