Is Amour the answer?

Is Amour the answer? 

The latest movie Amour of Michael Haneke offers the spectators the pleasure to belong in his story regarding the old age and life’s end; the director of Hidden and The white ribbon makes us love again Amour since we need to remember it so as to decode its meaning in our own way.

Setting out on this personal journey to decode what I have internalized, after seeing the movie at the 18th international film festival of Athens Nychtes Premieras I am to recall the fifth verse of “the outpost”, a poem from the collection Paths of Tomas Tranströmer, -The great enigma, translated by Robin Fulton, New Directions Books, New York 2006-, which says: “Mission: to be where I am. / Even in that ridiculous, deadly serious/ role- I am the place/ where creation is working itself out.”

The reason why I recall now this verse is due to the elective affinities I detect between Amour and “the outpost”. In Amour, the irony of love considered as the other side of death is rife. For Georges, Jean-Louis Trintignant, the relationship between him and Anna, Emmanuelle Riva, has been crucial for all the years they lived together, but it is only upon her first stroke that he realizes he has grown from a normal husband into a unique and faithful mate. In Amour, the alienation of the two retired music teachers-from others-is an important factor so as to see the topical meaning of love and its reflections in kindness, understanding and compassion as well as the bad aspect of instincts and physical denial. By the same token, in coming to appreciate the worth of what he has, Georges is forever consigned to a painful life where no one place can fully be home except for home. There, Georges means. He is “topos”for Anna. He is the place where Amour is working itself out...

Therefore, in Amour, home is the only intimate refuge for love and pain; whereas love is viewed as the other side of death, related to the nature and origin of pain. Through Georges- Jean-Louis Trintignant, through his silently active and loving gaze, the importance of moral behavior is conveyed to the spectators. If it had not been for Haneke, however, this movie would have probably been a disaster; for, his issue is a delicate one that demands special treatment. It is Haneke who focuses on the male gaze in order to make the spectators see how it has internalized the female voice. His film direction casts light on the facets of human nature when life is seen as a spectrum of death.

Thus, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, two outstanding film personalities that have contributed to the history of cinema during their career, give exquisite performances as Georges and Anne. Apparently, they shape the theatre of love, where either relatives or even children seem so different and partially unable to feel the nature and life of the problem. Anna has been paralyzed; she confronts problems in speaking and communication; not only she cannot play the piano any more but also dementia after the strokes causes serious trouble and confusion in her daily life.

From the director’s standpoint, Amour is a dinner strictly for two that enables two mates to rethink about the truth of their relationship and common life that ran away like running water from the tap. When death knocks their door this evaluation comes to be crucial. Death reality needs no publicity and this feeling about the life’s end keeps up with the winter atmosphere throughout the film.

Anyway, it is the director’s skillfulness that guarantees the concise, exquisite result without bordering on depression. Within one Paris-type apartment the connotations used construct a film worthy of attention and support. It is interesting to observe how Haneke first narrates something and then chooses to show the object of narration in the film. After the film, the dialogue about the essence of love is topical again. Is love the answer to all those who damage their political unconscious by nurturing their one and only ego? In a nutshell, we owe Haneke a lot.

• Production year: 2012 
• Countries: Austria, France, Germany
• Directors: Michael Haneke
• Cast: Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant 
 Cannes Palme d' or 2012

first, the review appeared here:

Skyfall, not just another James Bond movie

Skyfall, not just another James Bond movie

M for Murder; Silva for Silver screen and Bond… James Bond, for what the extravagant bonds of the current materialistic life have contributed to the system of integral calculus in the course of time, from Shanghai to Makao and London. Apparently, his gun is as good as his bond. His name is as good as the spectators erase the ordinary past of thoughtful images in order to explore the great fate of the most famous secret agent in the history of cinema, read as another history, hysteria of “His Troy”… 

But not in this case; Sam Mendes knows how to “play” the spectator. He is an agile administrator of patience, given that you expect from him until the end of the “Skyfall” comes. In a word made of do’s and don’ts, where first and foremost money “talks” and builds consciousness, the presence of James Bond -Daniel Craig- confirms its parallel absence. It stresses on the demand for another hero who is going to be a gun and a gunman at once. That is, it is necessary for Mendes to call upon a hero concerning the human nature proper. And here Silva -Javier Bardem -comes. Silva symbolizes the person beyond the weapons; he incarnates the ex defeated, the expiatory victim of the system being judged as unwanted by M-Judi Dench-. His role works in two senses: as participant in the plot and at the personal level, as an inner parallel psychic truth, with which the construction of the film a priori does not comply. Bond may be first in his class but Silva is gifted of a penetrative look. Whereas, Bond is not only controlled by the system but also perpetuates its power, Silva is the equivalent to the self-commitment and apparent independence. 

Trying to deal with the meaning of guns in the movie, we could deduce that the gun appears at once as what should be taken, what should be expected and yet as what is dangerous to take. This happens because the reality of a gun consists that of a thing and so the thing itself given forges a bilateral bond; therefore, according to this deduction it is taken for granted that the issue of guns has to be considered as the other –bad this time- facet of the bond established between donor and recipient. 

Additionally, Mendes invented the “Skyfall” residence in Scotland according to the logic he had to strike a match. The match-James Bond- existed. However, he had to light up the fire. On this occasion, no better place but a remote land of shadows could have ever been existed to fulfill his aim. At this point the film transfers the spectator to a microscopic theatrical condition, whereas the written name “Skyfall” leads to foster its self-relativity; a feeling of loss and oblivion pervades the atmosphere until the old man suggests Bond he leave immediately before conditions deteriorate. Anyway, the old man’s gesture of removing his hat is not just a pious one but tends to slow the action of that cruel scene down much more than simply empathizing with the fact of death. In conclusion, “Skyfall” is based on a witty script according to which James Bond is not conventionally in the mood for love and war but needs his other hero, Silva, so that a suspicion of theories regarding Oedipus Complex, in relation to castration- by the way, from M to Silva- and similar gender issues, arouses throughout the film. It is the so called ‘‘feel good entertainment’’ with exquisite interpretations including also that of the future M, Ralph Fiennes, and Naomie Harris; with some blood, Martini or beer and boom of guns… 

For Greece: Feelgood Entertainment


So ‘‘Green’’, so Intraterrestrial…

So ‘‘Green’’, so Intraterrestrial…
The odd life of Timothy Green

Is there any space for an “intraterrestrial” being in our lives? Timothy Green is the pure natural project. He is a unique child because his birth comes from the ground. Actually, he comes to life after his parents’ strong will to obtain a child despite the huge difficulties they meet to adopt one. So, Peter Hedges gives his strong metaphysical answer to the social and physical conditions that make couples abstain from their role in a family and as a result, they become excluded from the experience they could possibly live. 
But, how about the way the film develops itself? It is clear that Hedges has incorporated cultural, philosophical and social principles that approach the current and hot issue in relation to the family reality. Raising a child turns to be a basic matter from the standpoint that parents have to deal with diverse problems, mostly regarding stereotypes and the way parents should learn -but not just teach- their children how to build their own character without being exposed to fake patterns of life, where the origins of stereotypes have to be found. 
However, the film The odd life of Timothy Green released by Disney, looks like a mature proposal for families with children just two months before Christmas. Trying to depict how extraordinarily dramatic life is, the film seeks to commemorate the moment itself in terms of life evanescence and temporality parallelized to that of nature. In short, the point is clear. We have to look for the substance in everyday moment. There joy seems to be. In a conclusion, there are a lot of remarkable moments such as the similarity between leaves and tears, or even the inventiveness of Timothy regarding a new pencil made by leaves but finally the film lacks in giving the spectator a more cohesive and at the same time political message. Saying so, the film construction partially leads to a somehow romantic stagnation in which ideas and opinions shape the content but cannot make interesting art, that is, challenge the existing forms and structures. Sound effects could lead to such a venture. But for Disney, it is ok. Not all right but o.k.