‘The world to come’: the ‘western’ without guns or cinema free from its eternal and stale obsession with phalluses

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Sunday, 6 September 2020 – 19:08

Mona Fastvold surprises with ‘The world to come’, a reverse reading of the oldest and most moldy tradition of cinema. At her side, Luca Guadagnino presents a very minor documentary on Salvatore Ferragamo and the Iranian Majidi offers the first candidate for the Golden Lion.

Katherine Watterston y Vanessa KIrby en ‘The world to come’.

In a recent article, the magazine ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ it completely amended the history of cinema. Without regard. He did it on behalf of all those who have never appeared on either side of the screen. Of all those, to be precise. In this long century and a quarter stories have been told not so much of men as of a world thought by men. And that includes even the air conditioning temperature. Stories of conquest, violence, disillusioned heroes and sad romances have been told. They are stories of people to whom another (almost always another) heals their wounds, washes their clothes, makes them food, worries about their triumphs, calms their suffocating narcissism and feeds their offspring. They are stories in the name of beauty understood as an exercise in training and mastery. And reflection. They are stories spit out between the hollows of the fangs. They are stories criticized by someone (almost always him) to whom another (again another) praises his powerful and accurate taste. Vanity reaches everyone. I mean, a disgust that oozes testosterone on all four sides.

And in the middle, as a paradigmatic example of nonsense, the ‘western’, the sacred space of adventure and discovery where long and short weapons, the extermination of the weak (be it Indian or buffalo), the mystification of pillage (also called conquest of the West) and the fever for instant wealth end up being the most handy antecedent of the crudest reggaeton video clip . With forgiveness. Let’s say that the cinema was born identified with a phallus, be it the one with the revolver, the one with the Winchester 73 or the one with the towers of Monument Valley.. And so on. As well, ‘The world to come’, of Mona Fastvold is (as it was before ‘Meek’s Cutoff‘by Kelly Reichardt) the best example and even refutation of all the above.

The Mostra was thus surprised by a film that tells the love story of two women (Katherine Waterson and Vanessa Kirby) in the middle of a lost place nowhere in the West. We are in 1856 and what you happen to see is a universe as perfectly common and identifiable as, suddenly, new. What matters runs through the day to day of two women martyred by the cold, the inhospitable and the misunderstanding. And in between, the possibility of a battle that in its privacy wants itself as a total war against the world.

The wisdom of the film is to offer yourself slowly off the field. The passion runs between long letters read aloud and barely minimal gestures that do not even reach whispers. The director, who is also a screenwriter for films like ‘Vox Lux‘ The ‘The childhood of a leader, adapts a story by Jim Shepard and, aided in the script by the author of ‘antiwestern‘ ‘The murder of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford‘(Ron Hansen), succeeds in constructing a perfectly identifiable universe, but upside down. Perhaps the risk assumed is excessive. At times, history is stopped in each of its findings, which are many, without being able to fully integrate them in an organic and fluid way. Be that as it may, it counts as the first step in everything to come. And that, for what it has in refutation of almost everything, is much and much to be appreciated.

Luca Guadagnino in the presentation
Luca Guadagnino in the presentacin de ‘Salvatore. Shoemaker of dreams’.EFE

GUADAGNINO SHOE BAG

Beside him, the great presentation of the day was carried out by a job undoubtedly less than Luca Guadagnino. ‘Salvatore. Shoemaker of dreams‘(shoemaker of dreams) is a documentary about Salvatore Ferragamo who, in addition and from a poorly concealed modesty, also wants to be a self-portrait. What the director of ‘wants to tellCall me by your name‘is the story of a man assaulted by an obsession with perfection. From a tiny town, Bonito, to the Hollywood of stars like Audrey Hepburn o Marilyn Monroe. He dressed all of them feet.

In reality, the director almost renounces authorship. Everything in the film is a tribute: to his work, to his passion and to his family. And the resources used are all protocol. Talking busts are mixed with archival images and with Martin Scorsese that at this point he is able to comment on almost everything. The idea is to achieve the meaning and work of a creator who fights against fashions, trends, mass productions and against his own tyrant concept of beauty that, in the author’s opinion, it’s a fascist concept. Fall ah. Obviously, Guadagnino brings his admiration to identification.

Iran actress
Iranian actress Shamila Shirzad from ‘Sun children’.AFP

For the rest, the official section did not want to say goodbye without the presentation of an author with the making of a classic. ‘Sun children’, from iran Majid Majidi, moves between the slightly pink neorealism of other times and the more timelessly modern ‘Dickesian’ fable. The film tells how some street children enroll in a school with the sole purpose of finding a treasure supposedly hidden between its foundations.

The children of the sun that announces the title are the cros of the street of Tehern and of any place of the world. The film moves between light drama and sad comedy. And between those two extremes build a world that seeks not so much novelty as honesty. The nuance matters. Majidi, to put us, is a veteran director of Jafar Panahi’s generation. And it shows in the forcefulness, clarity and radical rejection of any mannerisms. We point her out as the first obvious candidate for Len de Oro.

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