A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews
"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
The Kid With a Bike (Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, 2011)
Two Days, One Night (2014), which is a movie full of sympathy for those abused by capitalism. The Kid With the Bike is not an exposé, but rather a tribute to human kindness overcoming contemporary anomie. It is made plausible by the matter-of-fact approach of the Dardennes, but mostly by the performances, especially that of 13-year-old Doret, who had never acted before, but brings full conviction to every scene, including his rages and his hunger to be reunited with his father, as well as his eventual acceptance of Samantha's love and authority. The directors never milk a moment for sentiment: The only non-diegetic music on the soundtrack is the occasional punctuation at the end of a scene with a few bars from Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto, which has the tantalizing effect of keeping us suspended until the rest of the adagio is performed over the end credits.