quinta-feira, 30 de março de 2006

Os fantasmas de outra guerra.

Que esperam todos?
O vento dos crimes noturnos
Destrói augustas colheitas,
Águas ásperas bravias
Fertilizam os cemitérios.
As mães despejam do ventre
Os fantasmas de outra guerra.
Nenhum sinal de aliança
Sobre a mesa aniquilada.
Ondas de púrpura,
Levantai-vos do homem.
Murilo Mendes

My Darling Clementine, John Ford

nuvens erráticas devoram rivais

Nymphs and Satyr (1873) Bouguereau

Cabo Frio
Nuvens passageiras
miragens peregrinas enfunadas pelo Nordeste
queda de folhagem
muda retórica

O Sudoeste dá rédeas à repulsa
nuvens erráticas devoram rivais
Orfeu despedaçado por bacantes drapejadas de vapor

Em dia sem vento
a falta de engenho permite
purezas de sabão e macieiras em flor
talco no chão do banheiro
sorvete marca Aristófanes

Mas quase sempre ele pisa seus véus

Duas mãos de cinza desmaiado
sobre fundo esmaltado é perícia
luxo magnífico e corrupto
realização elegante de algum mandarim
leque de plumas de avestruz tintas de rosa
levemente agitado diante da luz

quarta-feira, 29 de março de 2006

A Raiva de Pasolini

La Rabbia di Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini & Giuseppe Bertolucci, Italy, 2008, 83m; 35mm, color, sound

In 1959, Gastone Ferranti, owner of Astra Cinematografica and Opus Film, two of Italy’s leading documentary film production companies, decided to cease the production of Mondo Libero: film giornale d’attualita, a weekly cinema newsreel established in 1951. Three years later, he came up with the idea of exploiting the Mondo Libero audiovisual archives in order to make a feature film. His idea was to cut and re-edit the newsreel sequences in such a way as to create an entirely new product.

According to the original project, the film was to be divided into six episodes, a strategic rather than casual choice in view of the fact that episodic films were becoming one of the most profitable genres in Italy (box-office takings in the first half of 1962 were dominated by the success of De Sica, Fellini, Visconti and Monicelli’s Boccaccio ’70, an expensive auteur film which was very different from the majority of episodic films produced at the time).

Ferranti wanted each episode of his film to be made by a different director. The directors he chose all belonged to more or less the same generation and were all either at their directing debut or (as in the case of Pasolini) had only made one film so far.

At the start of the summer of 1962, Pasolini was still finishing his second film, Mamma Roma. Eight months after his directing debut with Accattone!, a film received well by both the critics and the public, Pasolini decided to accept the producer’s proposal (an action he was to repeat on only one other occasion in 1969 with regard to the making of Medea) and immediately—at least according to Ferranti— confirmed his interest in making the first episode.

As Pasolini recounts, “Ferranti invited me to make a film about a Martian who comes to earth. His initial idea was to have the film directed by a number of directors, however this idea was soon forgotten and I was left alone.” Thus the project developed into a feature film directed by Pasolini.

At the end of August 1962, Pasolini presented Mamma Roma at the Venice Film Festival. A radio interview provided the first moment in which Pasolini referred to the project as La Rabbia (a title he had already given to a poem published in September 1960), which he defined as an “essay film in journalism.” In the autumn of 1962 Pasolini previewed the newsreel footage at his disposal. This was probably the moment at which he decided to make a very different type of film. “When I examined the material I was astounded. I have never seen such a collection of squalid events, such a depressing illustration of international indifference, such an exaltation of banality. Fortunately, in the midst of all this banality and squalor, every so often there was a beautiful smile, an image of two eyes frozen in an expression of joy or pain, or an interesting sequence full of historic meaning. Attracted by these details, I tried to make my film, a film I thought would only work if the commentary could be presented in verse. My aim was to invent a new film genre, to write an ideological and poetic essay with new sequences.”

Pasolini’s project was thus conceived as “a show of indignation against the unreality of the bourgeois world and its consequent historic irresponsibility. [A project whose aim is] to document the presence of a world which, unlike the bourgeois world, is deeply steeped in reality, a reality which is true love for a tradition which only revolution can generate.”

A month later, the project became more ambitious and, indeed, in a brief interview Pasolini confirmed that he had already decided that the commentary to his film should be partly lyrical, partly prose. Pasolini also used the interview to make a significant statement about the aim of his film, which he believed was to provide “an alternative to alienation in years of wellbeing … La Rabbia is both a protest film and a report on those things that threaten us most: fascism and insensitivity. A film against fear, a film which enables us to see those who are ‘angrily’ working against us.”

Pasolini decided to involve Carlo di Carlo (a young filmmaker who had already made a well-received documentary on Marzabotto and had worked as Pasolini’s assistant director on Mamma Roma) in the making of La Rabbia at the end of 1962 and engaged him to look for footage regarding events missing from the Mondo Libero archive but nevertheless necessary for the film, such as sequences on life in the Soviet Union from the Italy-USSR Association archives, as well as footage regarding Cuba, the liberation of the colonies from the dominion of European power, the long war in Algeria, and reproductions of paintings and drawing from books and art catalogues (especially works by Ben Shahn, Renato Guttuso, George Grosz, Jean Fautrier, and Georges Braque). Di Carlo was also asked to find music for the film and especially a rendition of Tomaso Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor.

Pasolini’s film contaminated both the visual and the audio elements of the footage with which he was provided in order to show the events in question from a completely different point of view. Re-edited according to a diametrically opposite approach, the images lost their original, “cowardly” mien or “identity” and became Pasolini’s creations. Despite the dullness of the commission he had received, Pasolini made a film, which oriented the producer’s ambitions in a completely different direction, creating a utopian film-poem of rare complexity and refinement using material originally destined for use as a slovenly propaganda and availing him of only the most mediocre economic facilities.

Having finished the initial editing of the film, but prior to commencing dubbing, Pasolini showed La Rabbia to Ferrenti. As Pasolini later confirmed, he “worked on it for weeks and weeks, it was a massacring task. Editing is a terrible job. When the producer saw the film, he said that he would never manage to get it approved like that. I was bound by contract and thus for legal reasons was forced to come to an agreement with him. We studied various solutions and together agreed that my film should be followed by another block made by another director.”
As Ferranti already had a distribution agreement with Warner Bros Italia, he needed to balance the political message purveyed in Pasolini’s film with a film of a completely different ideological character. He saw the idea of accompanying Pasolini’s film with Giovanni Guareschi’s contribution as a way of creating a kind of film version of a popular satirical column edited by Guareschi in Candido magazine (entitled “Visto da Sinistra, Visto da Destra”) in which events were supposedly analyzed from both the left and the right wing points of view, although in reality the column satirically suggested that the left wing point of view did nothing but confuse the event described while the right wing approach gave an honest account of the matter.

Physically and morally changed by a one-and-a-half-year prison sentence served in 1953 (for slander) and orphaned by Candido magazine from which he had resigned, Guareschi needed work. In January 1963 he was only too pleased to move to Rome and commence work in the Opus Film studios, sharing a workshop with Pasolini who was cutting and re-editing his film in order to reduce its length to just 50 minutes and thus leave time for Guareschi’s contribution. Pasolini’s film—a finely honed, 90-minute feature which he had already finished—had nothing to do with the rough, Manichaean controversy that Guareschi was preparing, a film which merely exploited virulent satire to exalt colonialism and a suspiciously fascistic, racist anti-Americanism, and lacked any subtlety or dialectic. Furthermore, the two directors were absolute strangers to one another: Pasolini barely knew Guareschi and found no interest in his work, while Guareschi openly scorned Pasolini’s ideas and mocked his homosexuality in veiled terms. In order to generate a sense of expectation for the film, Ferranti issued various press releases regarding the atmosphere of tension created by the two directors and in February commenced a publicity campaign which suggested that the two directors were working in the same workshop separated by a kind of home-made “Berlin wall” in such a way as to avoid having to meet. According to the publicity campaign, the two directors of La Rabbia were “champions” of the left and the right engaged in a head-to-head battle.

Realizing he had nothing else to lose, Pasolini accepted the situation and decided to wade right in with the writing of an “open letter” to his antagonist. The tone used in Pasolini’s letter was, to say the least, harsh. Indeed, having commenced with words such as “you are insensitive to ugliness. Thus you have chosen mediocrity. This is the reason why, although I respect you as a humorist, I respect you less as a writer.”

Pasolini did not see Guareschi’s half of the film until the eve of the release, but immediately informed the press of his absolute disdain: “I knew that Guareschi would make a reactionary, populist film, but what I have seen goes beyond the furthest realms of my imagination. [Guareschi’s film] is a manifestation of Nazism.[…] If Eichmann were to rise from the grave and make a film, this is the type of film he would make. This is an Eichmann film made through a third party. It is contemptible. In view of the despicableness and stupidity of this film, which unfortunately accompanies mine, I have decided to withdraw my name… I cannot let my name be allied with that of Guareschi in such an undertaking. Although the two parts of the film are absolutely separate, in a certain sense they are joined together and they will be seen as single entity by an immense audience… I thought I had an interlocutor with whom it would be possible to disagree, not one who is suffering from some sort of prelogical syndrome… I do not even want to be seen as an antagonist in the absorption of such monstrous ideas by young people who are defenseless before such a demagogue.”

Generally speaking the film was received by the critics with reservation. Guareschi’s half was panned outright and Pasolini’s contribution did not generate any great enthusiasm. In cinemas, La Rabbia was received with absolute indifference, an indifference that seemed to be strangely encouraged by Warner Bros, which distributed very few copies of the film. In view of the ferociously anti-American content of Guareschi’s half of the film, Warner may have deliberately sabotaged its success, making La Rabbia the only Pasolini film to be censored as the result of another director’s contribution and causing the producer’s plan to avoid censorship problems by including Guareschi’s contribution to well and truly backfire.

In the end, Pasolini did not withdraw his name as he had initially announced he would, but never took up Ferranti’s invitations to make a new version of La Rabbia, with a view to setting up a head-to-head clash between the two directors (as now commonly seen on commercial television), a project to which Guareschi readily agreed. Henceforth, Pasolini only mentioned the film on extremely rare occasions. In a conversation with students from the Rome Experimental Film Centre, he declared that “La Rabbia presents a rather confused, irrational idea which is not yet well defined or determined, an idea which pervades all my work of those years […]: the idea of a new period of prehistory. My sub-proletariats live in an ancient period of prehistory, the real period of prehistory, while the bourgeois world, the world of technology and the world of neo-capitalism are heading towards a new period of prehistory. Any similarity between the two prehistories is purely casual.”

In 2007 Tatti Sanguinetti uncovered the differences between the integral version of Pasolini’s commentary and the commentary that accompanied the 1963 version of the film, and thus discovered the existence of the first, longer version of La Rabbia. He then identified each of the newsreels used by Pasolini and discovered that Pasolini’s texts were often either based on the images shown in these newsreels or echoed commentaries but overturned their meaning.

The 1963 version of La Rabbia was restored by Bologna Film Library and it was decided to commission Giuseppe Bertolucci to provide a semblance of how Pasolini’s original feature film might have looked. Bertolucci “proceeded […] with extreme caution, as, even though I was working with the benefit of inventory, I nevertheless wanted my personal input to be minimal. One of the reasons why the reconstructed part of the film is more breathless is because I wanted to be as neutral as possible and to avoid any accusation of subjectivity. My aim was to use the indications provided by Pasolini in the text in order to organize the material in the way he had originally intended. The version edited by Pasolini is punctuated by a number of pauses and the music is different. I decided to stick to Albinoni’s Adagio as it is the only piece that Pier Paolo uses more than once in the film, the film’s sole musical leitmotiv. I could have used other pieces of music too, but how was I to choose them? The operation would have been too arbitrary. The choice of voices was difficult too. I had many doubts.” The voices which read the text of the reconstructed version of La Rabbia are provided by Giuseppe Bertolucci and the poet Valerio Magrelli.

—Roberto Chiesi

terça-feira, 28 de março de 2006

Contemplo o incêndio.

Por fim, desce o pano
sobre o dia que findou.
É tempo de ficar a sós
com os meus fantasmas.
Após ter sido sumido
Ulisses na metrópole,
regresso ao meu casulo
de crisálida envergonhada,
repleto de sonhos vagabundos
que aqui vão hibernando.
Estou pronto para abraçar
a saudade nesta pausa
dorida fora de horas.
Com pálpebras coladas
à pele, contemplo o incêndio
prestes a principiar.
Hesito. Marco passo.
Hesito novamente.
(Por que é que tem de ser
assim sempre tão difícil?)
Escrevo sobre o que me faz sofrer
(o que sinto e o que não sinto).
Escrevo sobre os despojos
do crepúsculo que virá.
É este o meu ritual de amar
absurdos e tardios devaneios.
Agrada-me ficar assim:
de mão estendida, rendido
às migalhas do vazio que
nunca soube decifrar.
Alheio a tudo,
vou desembrulhando
a noite em câmara lenta.
Tomo o meu tempo.
Não tenho pressa.
Com dedos inseguros
percorro os passos
nómadas da sonâmbula
cidade, enquanto o prédio
em frente encena indistintas
silhuetas, na esperança talvez
de apanhar a boleia do último semáforo.
Como sempre, o silêncio impuro
marca o compasso deste meu
crime perfeito sem fronteiras.
Não tenho plano estabelecido.
Limito-me a lamber as feridas
do meu olhar cansado, dizendo
que sim: a morte é uma flor.
Recomeço. Hesito novamente.
Sem bússola, mapa borda fora,
arrisco nomear coisas rente à terra.
Sonho com mares desnudados
e vislumbres de melancolia
em carne viva - a cor do desespero.
Fico atento às vozes esquecidas.
Expectante, com o dedo no gatilho,
reacendo os estilhaços das veias rasgadas,
pronto a atear rastilhos de sílabas obscuras.
As minhas noites são assim.
Passo-as em claro, na companhia
da minha solidão, hesitando escombros
de beleza, vigiando estrelas perdidas.
Mas eis que chega a hora de me deixar vencer
pelo sono e de assim sucumbir perante
incandescentes lágrimas sem história.
Amanhã estarei de volta ao rascunho
dos ínfimos gestos desprovidos de magia.
Despir-me-ei do assombro de estar vivo.
Vestirei a máscara do costume - disfarce
exemplar que, em vão, procuro enganar
o rasto do lume - a bênção inútil do amor.
No final de contas, bem vistas as coisas,
pode quase tudo a poesia: pedir perdão,
iluminar a errância de não sabermos
para onde partimos e reconhecer que
em breve nos iremos transformar em
fantasmas que serão ou não lembrados.
Em troca, apenas nos pede que
escutemos o rumor do coração:
o envelope vazio de nunca chegar.
E é já muito dizer assim adeus.

Ricardo Gil Soeiro 

segunda-feira, 27 de março de 2006


Why are there beings at all, and why not rather nothing? That is the question. 

Martin Heidegger, in What is Metaphysics? (1929)

Double Suicide, Masahiro Shinoda, 1969

Funeral parade of roses, Matsumoto, 1969 

sábado, 18 de março de 2006

a história tem de ser feita ao contrário.

A Roda, Abel Gance, 1932

O jeito em que todas as coisas foram colocadas instigou-me à vocação selvagem da desordem; estimula-me o pensamento de desmanchar tudo: os sítios nos tempos. Porque a história tem de ser feita ao contrário.
Herberto Helder

terça-feira, 14 de março de 2006

STEREODOX : Entranhas ameaçam lançar-se

segunda-feira, 6 de março de 2006

''- J'écoute personne!''

La Marie du Port, Marcel Carné, 1950

Sarah Bartell 

domingo, 5 de março de 2006

: song of myself

Sophie's Choice, Alan J. Pakula (1982)

sexta-feira, 3 de março de 2006

''I don't have to go like this, I've got better clothes.''

Flamingo Road, Michael Curtiz, 1949

''os dias são feitos de noites intermináveis''

Bill Henson