Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Sunday morning

This morning I went to the Scottish National Gallery for the first time.
I need time to incorporate scenes, colours, forms and topics together. The gallery is not immense but I always prefer not to see a great numbers of art works all at once; I reckon I will go back there, it’s free and sometimes this is a good point on which organize your priority.
I knew I didn’t have to go downstairs where the shop is, I didn’t actually need to spend money. But sometimes you can’t be bothered to follow your moral principles and you just take the moment as it comes!
I bought a Henry Cartier Bresson poster, one of his shots in China during the communist revolution. Honestly this is a Cartier Bresson I didn’t know before, my familiarity with him belongs to his Parisian portraits, for example Sartre’s image. The poster I bought depicts a group of Chinese people crammed in a very small space. They are looking at the camera, some of them seem terrorised by what is likely to happen next, but a few are kind of smiling and I don’t know if the reason for that is their awareness of being captured by somebody else’s eyes and work.

Well, not even a fragment of second and my mind was immediately transferred to BIUTIFUL, an authentic masterpiece of this year that is about to finish.
A bunch of Chinese people are found dead all in the same room where they used to sleep together at the limit of what can be called a human experience. Later their bodies will be hidden in the sea but with no success since they will be carried back to the shore.
This is Barcelona, not the shining fun fair well known by European people with no better desire in their life than the one to represent the standard prototype for tourists. Inarritu’s choice talks about the city’s suburbs, far away from the artistic centre and they are the location for a perfect tragedy. And when I say tragedy I’m referring to the Greek kind of tragedy, sometimes too intense judged from a contemporary point of view.
We do know what a drama is but our mainstream cinema leads us to believe and hope in a happy ending anyway, no matter the gravity of the topic.
Inarritu’s movie is the story of Uxbal, an immense Bardem who is dealing with his life coming to an end. He is a family man but the family seems to have fallen apart: his wife is in fact too unstable to carry on the duties and responsibilities out for bringing up her children.
The movie is completely lyrical, I know it could sound paradoxical, but there is something in all the poverty and darkness shown which makes the viewer think about purity and catharsis. I do believe it deals with the power of bond that links Uxbar to his kids. Something in these blood ties which goes beyond the inescapable desperation of an all too-human reality.
Every time Bardem has to face the most brutal times of his sickness, he is by him self in the toilet. The place is extremely small as if it could suffocate him, exactly the same place where Sean Pean coughed to death while he was smoking his addiction to cigarette. Too many references to be described just as randomness. There is obviously a connection between the two movies. In some way they both could describe a significant situation in Inarritu’s personal life (the film director dedicated Biutiful to the memory of his father) and the bathroom could possibly represent a meaningful locus.
Well, that’s what the poster I bought made me think about.
At the end I guess it was worthwhile.

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