utorak, 4. prosinca 2012.

Paolo Sorrentino - Le conseguenze dell'amore (2004)

Sjedenje u ovom kafiću najopasnija je stvar u mom životu, kaže lik u dolčeviti, koji ne samo da izgleda nego se i ponaša 
100 % "egzistencijaliastički" (usamljenički živi u švicarskom hotelu jer je kažnjen da tu pere novac za mafiju). Zašto? Jer tu kao konobarica radi Olivia Magnani?
Stilizirana, art-mafioso Smrt u Veneciji (plus, prisjetimo se, "život je Švicarska")
Teško da su Talijani napravili bolji film od ovoga u zadnjih ohoho godina.

The Consequences of Love (Le Conseguenze dell'Amore)

  • The Consequences of Love (Le Conseguenze dell'Amore)
The Consequences of Love

When director Paolo Sorrentino (The Family Friend) was touring the film festivals with his 2001 film One Man Up, he passed the time by speculating about the secret lives of the people he encountered in the many hotels where he stayed. The eventual result of this speculation was the 2004 film Consequences of Love, a haunting and stylish examination of a solitary, purposeless life.
Toni Servillo plays Titta Di Girolamo, a forty-nine year old man who's spent the last eight years living alone in a Swiss hotel. Everything in Di Girolamo's life is sterile, from the hotel itself to the cold indifference with which he handles what human contact he can't manage to avoid. This sterility stretches to the style of the film, with its crisp film stock, clinical title sequence and ghostly electronic score. Even his habitual heroin use is passionless; he shoots up once a week, on a Wednesday morning, never deviating from his routine. The only purpose in his life revolves around the regular delivery to his room of suitcases full of money, which he deposits with a local bank.
Di Girolamo's long-standing routine is finally broken by a series of encounters, firstly with his stepbrother, who pays an unexpected and unwelcome visit, then with a pair of obnoxious Sicilian hitmen and finally with Sophia, a waitress whose friendly overtures Di Girolamo has been ignoring until she finally challenges him. 'I've worked here for two years and I greet you every day. You never answer. Have you, by any chance, realised I exist?' she asks him. When he finally sits down to speak to her, all we see of their first conversation is his opening comment, 'perhaps sitting at this bar is the most dangerous thing I've ever done in my life.' These words turn out to be prophetic, not just for Di Girolamo but also for Sophia.
He begins to open himself up to her, and to us, explaining about a mistake he made almost a decade before, when he lost a great deal of mafia money. As a result of this mistake he was sent to this hotel in permanent exile. The two people begin to forge a bond, but Di Girolamo has been alone in the hotel for too long. As the title suggests, there are dire consequences of Di Girolamo's attempt to reconnect with life, consequences rendered especially poignant because they are the consequences of love on the life of a man who has been forced to live for so long without love that, when he finally encounters it, he no longer knows what to do with it. - www.romefile.com/

If Luchino Visconti had made this superbly stylish and offbeat movie, he might have called it Living Death in Switzerland. It is only the second feature from its 35-year-old writer-director, Paolo Sorrentino, and it could be the best film to have come out of the Italian film industry, which is so badly addicted to sugariness and bombast, for some time. The Consequences of Love offers a deadpan black comic insight into mafia violence, and a Greeneian meditation on the spiritual lives of those intelligent, middle-management types sucked into its web of fear. The film's sheer elegance and angular poise, together with an hallucinatory sound design, stunned audiences when it was premiered last year in Cannes - and I thought that its lead, Toni Servillo, was robbed of the best actor award. It looks just as compelling the second time; Sorrentino's technical mastery and shaping of bizarre, dream-like scenes is gripping.
Servillo plays a middle-aged man called Titta, with a drawn, sensitive face. For over 10 years he has been the ghost-like permanent resident of a good-but-not-luxury lakeside Swiss hotel; he dresses well and smokes well in the high bourgeois Italian style, pays his bills on time but seems to have nothing - but nothing - to do. The staff become mildly intrigued by this impeccably turned-out figure as he drifts through the corridors, always prefacing his response to the mildest greeting with a disconcerting silence and stare. He drinks alone in the bar in his favourite corner seat, blankly tackling the chess problems in the paper and coldly rebuffing desultory attempts at conversation by other guests. Titta spends his evenings utterly alone with his room's depressingly brown decor, or perhaps playing cards with the cantankerous couple who used to own the hotel but lost it - appropriately enough - in a card game.
But Titta owns a gun. Sorrentino has a clever sequence in which Titta throws the weapon casually on his bed, then fastidiously chucks his jacket on top of it, and the camera stays on the jacket, allowing us to wonder if we saw the gun at all. (How long before other magpie directors steal that visual anti-joke?) Every week Titta receives a mysterious suitcase full of US dollars from a mysterious woman in dark glasses, and it is apparently his job to take it to the no-questions-asked Swiss bank to be counted and deposited. It is when he is visited by two scary cosa nostra assassins that the secret of his existence is revealed.
Everything in this intensely involving story of banishment, imprisonment and escape is made hyperreal by its dream-like visual compositions and outstanding control of sound. When some unfortunate gets whacked, we hear the gunshot, then the dull thud of the bullet, then the tinny clang of the spent casing - all enunciated in a crisp one-two-three which has been meticulously, almost musically, scored.
Islanded amidst a sea of commerce and violence, Titta's spiritual anomie is made to look exhilarating and even thrilling. The torpor and alienation of the man's day-to-day life is converted into clashing drama by the loud electro-pop which will materialise with knife-sharp suddenness on the soundtrack, as Titta mopes around by the lake or makes his way down to the car park to get into his expensive automobile - music which will vanish with equally jarring suddenness. In the bar one evening, Titta is distracted by the faint noise of a horse-drawn funeral cortege in the street outside, muffled by the glass; suddenly Sorrentino switches his point-of-view to the outdoors with the loud clattering of hooves as we look back through the glass at Titta within, yearning for his own oblivion. He is, as he informs us in voiceover, part of a secret global sect made up of men and women of all races and creeds: the insomniacs. And he is also a heroin addict, an activity he indulges in at a fixed weekly time and which appears to bring him neither pleasure nor pain.
Sorrentino shows us, however, that Titta is no mere cipher: there are poignant scenes in which family impinge on his life. His wife makes an exasperated telephone call and Titta has a testy conversation with his angry teenage daughter. And there is a tremendously funny and unexpected appearance by his younger brother who is a handsome "surf instructor" with Byronic hair and has a comically obvious non-connection with his prissy depressive sibling.
The only person who appears genuinely to care for Titta is, miraculously, Sofia (Olivia Magnani) the beautiful young woman who works behind the bar. Under Sorrentino's direction, the two actors adroitly show her gentle interest piercing his carapace of haughty self-pity and self-regard. Titta has been passionately embracing his own earthly damnation and despair; now he feels he is teetering on the brink of a different spiritual precipice. The consequences of love, he tells Sofia, are dangerous - and indeed they are.
This is a movie composed in a high arthouse manner, certainly, but what a treat it offers those who want to savour its highly singular style: a total immersion in Sorrentino's sensuous, scary sound and vision.

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