Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Haven't watched any movies in a while, or read much. Without input there is no output. So I had a return to ANCIANT movie day, and watched an Italian film called I fidanzati ("The Fiancees" or "The Affianced"). Directed by Ermanno Olmi (whose work I don't know at all), the movie had very minimal story (at least in the sense of 'dramatic conflict that leads to self-realization.') It's about an industrial worker of some sort living in Milan who's transferred to Sicily for a few months. The literal and cultural distance between Milan and Sicily leads to tension between the man and his fiancee (who has not gone with him). The movie is essentially a series of Neorealist-tinged vignettes about life in backwards, peasant-dominated Sicily. The man goes to a festival, deals with a landlord, works in his factory--basically goes about day to day life. Nothing much happens, but by the end of the film when the man returns to Milan he and his fiancee have reconnected emotionally. Their distance and uncertainty has turned into true love, and we sense that their-long prolonged wedding will soon take place.
Like a lot of Neorealist cinema, the movie veered a bit too close to documentary to thrill me very deeply. It was pleasant and unthreatening and undemanding, but I don't know if it did that much for me one way or another--other than making me want to go to Sicily (which is striking and beautiful, in a harsh, spare way).
After the movie, I worked--from about 3 to 10. Trying to make the play shine and sparkle. Right now it's a car with a strong powerful engine but with holes in the floorboard and without a working turn signal, brake light, stereo, et. al. It'll go--even go fast, I think--but the ride isn't going to be too pleasant for whoever's inside. So I have to get some nice fabric on the dash and figure out how to make the seats comfortable and attend to a thousand uninspiring details that make the difference between bad and good and great. Then, we take it to the Dakar Rally, and whup up on people.
All right. Off to go walking.