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domingo, 23 de dezembro de 2007

Uma Certa Tendência do Cinema Francês (Truffaut) (em inglês)

A Certain Tendency of French Cinema

by François Truffaut

These notes have no object other than to define a certain tendency of French cinema, a tendency spoken of as psychological realism and to sketch out some of its limitations.

Ten or twelve films

While the French film industry produces about a hundred films every year, it is of course understood that only ten or twelve merit retaining the attention of critics and film-lovers, and the attention thus of this magazine Cahiers. These ten or twelve films make up what has been referred to notably as The Tradition of Quality. By their ambition, they compel the admiration of the foreign press, twice every year defending France’s colors at Cannes and Venice where, since 1946, they have quite regularly corralled medals, golden lions and grand prizes.

At the beginning of the sound period, French cinema was an honest marked-down copy of American cinema. Influenced by Scarface, we made the entertaining Pepe Le Moko. From that point, the French screenwriting owes its most definite progress to Jacques Prevert, Quai des Brumes (Port of Shadows) lives on as the masterpiece of the school spoken of as “poetic realism”.

The war and the post-war years have renewed our cinema. It has evolved through internal pressure and in the place of poetic realism - which can be said to have died out, closing behind itself Les Portes de la Nuit (The Gates of Night) - psychological realism represented by Claude Autant-Lara, Jean Delannoy, Rene Clement and Marcel Pagliero, was substituted.

Films of Screenwriters

If we rightly remind ourselves that not long ago, Jean Delannoy directed Le Bossu and La Part de l'ombre, Claude Autant-Lara Le Plombier amoureux and Lettres d'amour, Yves Allegret La Boîte aux rêves and Les Démons de l'aube, and that all of these films are properly known as strictly commercial ventures, then we must admit that the success or failure of these filmmakers was a function of the screenplays that they chose.La Symphonie pastoraleLe Diable au corpsJeux interditsManègesUn homme marche dans la ville are basically films of screenwriters. Then, is the unquestionable evolution of French cinema due essentially to the renewal of scenarists and subjects, to the audacity taken vis-a-vis masterpieces, and finally to the trust given to the public to be sensitive with subjects generally characterized as difficult? That is why the only question here will be of scenarists, those who, precisely, are at root-source of psychological realism, the core of the Tradition of Quality: Jean Aurenche et Pierre Bost, Jacques Sigurd, Henri Jeanson (recent work), Robert Scipion, Roland Laudenbach, etc...

It Is Well Known Today

After having tried his hand at directing, shooting two forgotten short films, Jean Aurenche has specialized in adaptation. In 1936, Jean Aurenche was credited, with Jean Anouilh, with writing the dialogue for Vous n'avez rien à déclarer and Les Dégourdis de la 11e. At the same time Pierre Bost was publishing in the NRF (Nouvelle Revue Francaise) some excellent novellas. Aurenche and Bost collaborated for the first time on Douce by writing the adaptation and the dialogue, which Claude Autant-Lara directed. None are not aware today that Aurenche and Bost have transformed adaptation by shattering the idea that had been had of it, and that for the earlier bias for the letter of the text, they have, one could say, substituted a respect for the spirit of the text, to the point that one of them has recently written this impudent aphorism: “An honest adaptation is a betrayal” (Carlo Rim, "Travelling et Sex-appeal").

Equivalence

The process called equivalence is the touchstone of adaptation as Bost and Aurenche practice it. This process assumes that there are in the novel being adapted scenes that are filmable and scenes that are not filmable and that instead of eliminating the latter (as was done not too long ago), scenes should be invented that the writer of the novel might have written for a film version.

“To invent without betraying” is the order of the day that Aurenche and Bost like to cite, forgetting that one can also betray by omission. Aurenche and Bost’s system is so appealing in the enunciation of its principles that no one has ever thought to check its practice exhaustively.

This is just what I propose to do here.

The whole reputation of Aurenche and Bost rests on two specific points;

1) Faithfulness to the spirit of the works that they are adapting.

2) The talent they bring into it.

This much spoken of faithfulness...

Since 1943, Aurenche and Bost have adapted and written the dialogue together for, "Douce" by Michel Davet, "La Symphonie Pastorale" by Andre Gide, "Le Diable Au Corps" by Raymond Radiguet, "Un Recteur a L'Ile de Sein" (“DIEU A BESOIN DES HOMMES“ film version) by Queffelec, "LES JEUX INCONNUS" (“JEUX INTERDITS“) de François Boyer, "LE BLE EN HERBE" de Colette. Moreover, they have written an adaptation of "JOURNAL D'UN CURE DE CAMPAGNE" which has never been shot, a screenplay dealing with "JEANNE D'ARC" only a part of which has recently been realized (by Jean Delannoy) and lastly the scenario and dialogue for L'AUBERGE ROUGE (brought to the screen by Claude Autant-Lara).

Note the profound diversity of inspiration of the adapted works and authors. In order to achieve this tour de force of remaining consistently faithful to the spirit of Michel Davet, Andre Gide, Raymond Radiguet, Henri Queffelec, Francois Boyer, Colette, and Georges Bernanos, it is necessary to possess, I imagine, a mental agility, a little common multiplication of personality, as well as a singuar eclecticism. It must be remembered that Aurenche and Bost have been drawn into collaborations with the most diverse of directors; Jean Delannoy, for example, conceives of himself gladly as a mystic moralist. But the trifling lowness of “Garcon Sauvage”, the meanness of “La Minute De Verite” , the triviality of “The Route Napoleon” show very well the irregularity of that calling. Claude Autant-Lara, on the other hand, is well-known for his non-conformism, his “advanced” ideas, and his ferocious anti-clericalism. Let us recognize in this filmmaker the merit of always remaining true to himself. Pierre Bost being the technician of the tandem, it is to Jean Aurenche that the spiritual part of their common tasks can be attributed. Educated by the Jesuits, Jean Aurenche has retained quite at once the nostalgia and rebellion of that experience. If he flirted with surrealism, he seems to have sympathized with anarchists groups in the 1930s. Must I say more about how strong is personality is and also how that personality is incompatible with those of Gide, Bernanos, Queffelec and Radiguet. But an examination of the works will, certainly, teach us more.

Father Amédée Ayffre knew very well how to analyze La Symphonie Pastorale and to delineate the relationship of the written work to the filmed work. “A reduction of faith to religious insight in Gide’s work, against now a reduction to rather limited insight. . . This decline of quality will be matched now, according to a law well known to aestheticians, by a increase in quantity. They will add two new characters: Piette and Casteran made responsible to represent certain feelings. Tragedy becomes drama, even melodrama ("Dieu au cinéma", p.131).

What troubles me about this much talked about process of equivalence is that I am not at all certain that a novel includes scenes that are not filmable, and yet less certain that the scenes ordained as not filmable be so for everyone. Praising Robert Bresson for his faithfulness to Georges Bernanos, Andre Bazin finished his excellent article, “The Style of Robert Bresson” with these words, “After ‘The Diary of a Country Priest‘, Aurenche and Bost are nothing more than the Viollet-Leduc of adaptation.”

All those who know well and admire Bresson’s film remember the admirable scene in the confessional where Chantal’s face “began to appear little by little, par degrees” (Georges Bernanos). When several years prior to Bresson, Aurenche had written an adaptation of “Diary of a Country Priest”, an adaptation rejected by Georges Bernanos, Aurenche judged that scene to be not filmable and substituted the scene reproduced here:

“Do you want me to hear you here?” (He points to the confessional.)

“I never go to confession”

“However, you must have gone to confess yesterday since you received communion this morning”

“I did not receive communion”.

He looks at her, very surprised.

“Pardon me I gave you communion”.

She move rapidly towards the pew that she had occupied that morning.

“Come and see”

The priest follows her. Chantal points to the missal she had left there.

“Look in this book, Monsieur. I probably no longer have the right to touch it.”

The priest, most intrigued, opens the book and discovers between two pages the host there that Chantal had spit out. His face is dumbfounded and shattered.

“I spit the host out” Chantal says.

“I see” the priest says in neutral tones.

“You have never seen that, have you?” Chantal says, hard and almost triumphant.

“No, never” the priest says appearing calm.

“And do you know what must be done?”

The priest closes his eyes for a brief second, thinking it over or praying. He says “ This is very simple to repair, Miss. But it is horrible to commit.”

He heads towards the altar carrying the open book. Chantal follows him.

“No it is not horrible. what is horrible is to receive the host in a state of sin.“

“So you are in a state of sin”

“Less than others. but it is all the same to them.”

“Do not judge”.

“I don’t judge, I condemn.” Chantal says violently.

“Be quiet before the body of Christ.”

He kneels before the altar, takes the host from the book and shallows it.

A discussion on faith in the middle of the novel pitted the priest against an obtuse atheist named Arsene. “When one dies, everything dies”. This discussion in the Aurenche-Bost adaptation takes place over the priest’s grave between Arsene and a different priest and ends that film. “When one dies, everything dies” would have been the last line of that film. The one that carried it. Maybe, the only one that the public remembered. Bernanos did not conclude with, “When one dies, everything dies” but “Whatever happens, all is grace”.

“To invent without betrayal”, you say. It seems to me to be a case of quite a little bit of invention for a great deal of betrayal. A detail or two still. Aurenche and Bost could not make “Diary of a Country Priest” because Bernanos was living. Robert Bresson has declared that, Bernanos being alive, he would have taken more liberty with the book. So, Aurenche and Bost are inconvenienced by Bernanos’ being alive, while Robert Bresson is inconvenienced by Bernanos’ being dead.

The Mask Torn Off...

From a simple reading of this excerpt, this emerges:

1) Continual and deliberate problems of infidelity to the spirit as to the letter.

2) A very noticeable taste for profanity and blasphemy.

The infidelity to the spirit taints as well “Le Diable Au Corps” that story of love which became a film both anti-militarist and anti-bourgeois, “La Symphonie Pastorale”, Gide’s story of an amorous pastor becomes Beatrice Beck, “Un Recteur de L’ile de Sein”, (whose title they swapped for the suggestive “Dieu a Besoin des Hommes”) in which the islanders are shown to us like the memorable “cretins” of Bunuel’s “Land Without Bread”.

As for the taste for blasphemy, it shows itself constantly, in a manner more or less insidious, according to the subject, the director, indeed even the star. I recall from memory the confessional scene in “Douce”, Martha’s burial in “Le Diable Au Corps”, the profaned hosts in their adaptation of “Diary of a Country Priest” (a scene transferred to “Dieu a besoin des hommes”), the complete screenplay and Fernandel’s character in “L’Auberge Rouge”, all the scenario of “Jeux Interdits” (“Forbidden Games”), (the brawl in the cemetery).

All of this points out that Aurenche and Bost are writers of openly anti-clerical films, but as films featuring cassocks are the style, they have taken to bowing to this style. But - they think - that in order to not betray their convictions, the thesis of blasphemy and profanation, the dialogue of double-entendres, they prove, here and there. to friends that they know the art of “screwing the producer” while giving him satisfaction, and “screwing” the just as satisfied public audience.

This process deserves the name “alibism”: it is excusable and its use is a necessity in an epoque when one is required to constanly feign stupidity in order to work intelligently. But if it is the good war to “screw the producer”, is it not a bit outrageous to thus “re-write” Gide, Bernanos and Radiguet?

In truth, Aurenche and Bost work like all the screenwriters of the world, as Spaak or Natanson did before the war. In their mind, the whole story is comprise of the characters A D C D. At the heart of this equation all is organized by function of criteria known about them alone. The sleeping around occurs according to a collective symmetry, some characters disappear as others are invented, little by little the script distances itself from the original becoming something that is rough yet glossy, Step by step, a new film makes its solemn entry into the Tradition of Quality.

Very well, you will tell me...

You will say to me, “We’ll agree that Aurenche and Bost are not faithful, but do you then deny their talent?” Talent, indeed, is not a function of fidelity, but I can imagine a worthy adaptation only if written by a man of cinema. Aurenche and Bost are basically men of literature and I criticize them here for holding film in contempt by underestimating it. They behave toward the scenario like someone who thinks that they are reforming a delinquent by finding him work. They always believe themselves to be “doing the maximum” by paring its subtleness, that science of nuance that makes short shrift of modern novels. It is not the least default of interpretation in our art in thinking we honor it in using literary jargon. (Don’t they speak of Sartre and Camus in the work of Pagliero, and of phenomenology in the work of Allegret?)

In truth, Aurenche and Bost water down the works that they adapt as the evidence shows either in the sense of betrayal or in the sense of timidity.

Here is quick example: In Radiguet’s “Le Diable Au Corps” Francois meets Martha on a train platform, Martha jumps from a moving train; in the film, they meet in a school transformed into a hospital. What is the purpose of this equivalence? To permit the scenarists to bring in anti-militarist elements added to the work, in concert with Claude Autant-Lara. Now. it is evident that Radiguet’s idea was cinematic while Aurenche and Bost’s invented scene is purely literary. One could, you can believe it, multiply these examples into infinity.

One day it will be necessary . . .

Secrets are kept for only a short time, recipes are revealed, new scientific knowledge becomes the subject of papers at the Academy of Science and since, to believe Aurenche and Bost, adaptation is an exact science, one day it will be necessary that they apprise us in the name of what standard, in accordance with what system, with what internal, mysterious geometry of the work, they cut, add to, multiply, divide and “repair” masterpieces? Once having expressed the idea that these equivalences are only timid tricks to skirt the problem, to resolve on the sound track problems that concern image, a good cleaning in order to no longer get on the screen anything except for the knowledgeable framing, complicated lighting, polished photography, now all the perennials of “the tradition of quality”, it is time to examine the films adapted by and with dialogue by Aurenche and Bost. and to seek the persistence of certain ideas which explain without justifying the constant infidelity of these two screenwriters for the works that they take for “pretext” and “opportunity”. Summed up in two lines, here is how Aurenche and Bost screenplays treated by Aurenche and Bost appear.

La Symphonie Pastorale”: He is a pastor. He loves and he has no right to.
Le Diable au Corps”: They make love and they have no right to.
Dieu a besoin des hommes”: He says Mass, gives blessings and the last Sacraments and he has no right to.
Forbidden Games”: They bury and they have no right to.
Le Blé en Herbe”: They love each other and they have no right to.

You may well tell me that I also recount here the story of the novel which I do not deny. But I would remind you that Gide has also written: "La Porte Etroite", Radiguet : "Le Bal du Comte d'Orgel", and Colette : "La Vagabonde", and that not one of these novels has tempted Delannoy or Autant-Lara. Let me also point out screenplays, which I do not believe it would be useful to speak of here, that go in the way of my theory: “Au delà des grilles“, “Le Château de verre“, “L'Auberge rouge...” Thus the skill of the promoters of the Tradition of Quality to chose only subjects which lend themselves to the misunderstandings on which the whole system rests. Under the cover of literature, and, of course, of quality, they give the public its dose of darkness, non-conformity and facile audaciousness.

The influence of Bost and Aurenche is huge. . .

Writers who have compose film dialogue observe the same imperatives; Anouilh, between the dialogue for “Dégourdis de la 11e” and “Un caprice de Caroline chérie“, introduced in more ambitious films his universe which is awash in a bitterness of clutter with Nordic mists transposed to Brittany (“Pattes blanches“) as a background. Another writer, Jean Ferry, also conforms to the fashion and the dialogue for “Manon” could very well have been written by Aurenche and Bost. “He thinks I am a virgin and in real life, he’s a professor of psychology.” Nothing better to hope for from a young screenwriter. Simply, they are taking over, being careful to touch on any of the taboos. Jacques Sigurd, a newcomer to “scenario and dialogue”, teams up with Yves Allegret. Together, they have furnished French cinema with some of it blackest masterpieces. “Dédée d'Anvers“, “Manèges“, “Une si jolie petite plage“, “Les Miracles n'ont lieu qu'une fois“ and “La jeune folle“. Jacques Sigurd has very quickly adapted himself to the recipe. He must be endowed with an admirable disposition for syntheses for his screenplays oscillate between Aurenche and Bost, and, Prevert and Clouzot, the whole glibly modernized. Religion never becomes a part but blasphemy always makes its timid entrance thanks to some little angels or good sisters who cross on-screen when their presence is most unexpected. (“Manèges“, “Une si jolie petite plage“). Crudity, through which they aspire to “stir the guts of the bourgeios”, is found in lines like “He is old, he could croak” (“Manèges“). In “Une si jolie petite plage” Jane Marken envies the prosperity of Berck because of its tuberculosis patients: their families come to visit them and they bring their trade. (Think of the prayer of the Rector de l'Ile de Sein). Roland Laudenbach, who would seem to be the most gifted of his brethren, has collaborated on the most typical films of this state of mind: “La Minute de vérité“, “Le Bon Dieu sans confession“, “La Maison du silence”. Robert Scipion is a gifted man of letters; he has written only one book, a pastiche privately printed; he daily frequents the cafes of Saint-Germain-des-Prés; he has the friendship of Marcel Pagliero who is called the Sartre of cinema probably because his films resemble articles in “Temps Modernes”. Here is some dialogue from “Amants de Brasmort”, a populist film whose “heroes” are seamen, as the dockers are the heros of “Un homme marche dans la ville”, “Woman are friends who are made to bed down.” “You do what procures for yourself, for that you will get up on anyone, you can say that again.” In one reel of film towards its end, in less than six minutes, the words “slut, whore, bitch and bullshit”. Now is this realism?

Thinking Back to Prevert . . .

Considering the monotony and steadfast baseness of the scripts of today, one finds oneself thinking back to the scripts of Jacques Prevert. He believes in the devil and thus in God. And if most of his characters had been by this lone whim made guilty of all of the sins of creation, space is left always for a couple, a new Adam and Eve, on whom as the film ends, the story is going to recommence.

Psychological realism, not real, not psychological

There are scarcely only seven or eight screenwriters working regularly in French cinema. Each of these screenwriters has only one story to tell and each aspires to the success at the “deux grands”, and it is no exaggeration to say that the one hundred or so French films shot each year recount the same story: the victim, in general, a cuckold. (This cuckold will be the only sympathetic character in the film if he was not immensely ridiculous: Blier-Vilbert, etc.). The deceit of those close to him and the devote hatred borne between his family members, lead the hero to his ruin, the injustice of life and for local color, the meanness of all others (the priest, caretakers, neighbors, passers-by, the rich and the poor, the soldiers etc)

Amuse yourself through long winter evenings trying to find the titles of the French films which do not conform within this framework and while you are there, discover in which of these films this sentence or its equivalent does not figure as dialogue spoken by the film’s most contemptible couple. “There are always those who have money ( or ’luck’, or ’love’, or ’happiness’ ), oh! things are so unjust right to the end”. This school which aims for realism always destroys it right at the exact moment of reaching it so anxious is it to contain its characters in a sealed-off world. barricaded there by formulas, word games, and maxims which let them show off what they are right in front of our eyes. The artist cannot always dominate his work. He is sometimes its God, other times its creature. One knows the modern play whose main character, in peak form when the curtain rises, finds himself fully amputated as the play ends, as a successive loss of each of his limbs has marked the changing of acts. Curious world where the least failed of actors uses the word Kafkaesque to denote his domestic modifications. This kind of cinema comes straight out of literature, half Franz Kafka, hald Emma Bovary! the only films shot in France the authors believe that they are remaking “Emma Bovary”. For the first time in French literature, authors adopt a far away relationship as regards to their subject, that subject becoming like an insect encircled under an entomologist’s microscope. But if at the beginning of his enterprise, Flaubert might have said, “I’ll drag them all through the mud with justification” (such as the authors of today would so gladly make for their epigraph), he might declare after the fact, “Madame Bovary, that is me” I doubt that today’s authors could repeat this sentence in the own personal manner.

Direction, the director, and the texts

The subject of these notes is limited to an examination of film solely in point of view of screenplays and screenwriters. But I think I should state that directors are and should want to be responsible for the scenarios and the dialogue that they delineate. Films of writers, I wrote earlier, and indeed Aurenche and Bost will not contradict me. When they hand in their screenplay, the film is finished. The director, in their eyes, is the gentleman who puts frames around that screenplay. And alas that is the truth. I spoke of this mania for adding burial sequences everywhere. And yet death is always evaded in these films. Let us remember the realistic death of Nana or of Emma Bovary in the Renoir films. In “La Symphonie Pastorale” death is simply an exercise in make-up and cinematography. Compare a close-up of the dead Michele Morgan in that film with Dominique Blanchard in “Le Secret de Mayerling” and with Madeleine Sologne dans “L'Eternel retour“ it is the same visage. Everything happens after death. Let us cite this declaration from Jean Delannoy with perfidy that we will dedicate to French screenwriters. “When it happens that when talented authors, either in the chase for money or thru weakness, surrender one day to film-writing, they do it with a deep sense of having abased themselves. They give in more to a strange effort towards mediocrity, anxious as they are of not compromising their talent, and some, in order to write for the cinema, must understand themselves from the bottom.” (“La Symphonie pastorale” or “L'Amour du métier“, in the journal Verger, November 1947). I must immediately challenge a sophism which will not fail you will to confront me with by manner of argument. “This dialogue is spoken by scoundrels and to better expose their baseness we furnish them with this tough language. This is our way of being moralists.” To which, I reply that it is inaccurate that these words are mouthed by the most wretched characters, Indeed, in “psychological realist” cinema, there are nothing but ignoble characters so much do the authors claim a superiority over their characters that those who, by some chance, are not revolting are immensely grotesque. Finally, these abject characters who speak these abject words, I know a handful of men in France who are incapable of conceiving them, some filmmakers whose vision of the world is at least as worthy as Aurenche and Bost, or Jacques Sigurd and Henri Jeanson. I am speaking here of Jean Renoir, Robert Bresson, Jéan Cocteau, Jacques Becker, Abel Gance, Max Ophuls, Jacques Tati and Roger Leenhardt. This is a group of French filmmakers and we find - curious coincidence - that they are authors who often write their own dialogue and sometimes invent the stories that they put up on the screen.

I am still going to be told . . .

“But why“, I am still going to be told, “why can you not bring a similar admiration to all the filmmakers who work making the core of this tradition of quality which you mock so freely? Why not admire Yves Allegret as much as Jacques Becker, Jean Delannoy as much as Robert Bresson, or Claude Autant-Lara as much as Jean Renoir?” Well, I do not believe in the peaceful co-existence of the tradition of quality and the cinema of auteurs. At base Yves Allegret and Jean Delannoy are but caricatures of Henri-Georges Clouzot or Robert Bresson. It’s not the desire to make a scandal that leads me to deprecate a cinema so praised elsewhere. I remained convinced that the unduly prolonged existence of “psychological realism” is the cause of the public’s incomprehension when confronted works as new in concept as “Le Carrosse d'or“, “Casque d'or“, indeed “Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne” and “Orphée“. Long live that gall, indeed. Still it needs to be revealed where it is truly. At the end of this year, 1953, were it necessary for me to make a catalogue of the audacities of French cinema, you would not find there the vomiting of “Les Orgueilleux”, nor the refusal of Claude Laydu to be blessed with holy water in “Le Bon Dieu sans confession”, nor the pederasty of the characters in “Le Salaire de la peur“, but rather Mr. Hulot’s pace, the maid’s soliloquys in “La Rue de l'Estrapade“, the staging of “Le Carrosse d'or“, the direction of the actors in “Madame de...”, as well as Abel Gance’s experiments with multiple screen projection. You will have to understand that these are the audacities of men of cinema and not of scenarists, of metteurs-en-scene and not of mere scribblers. I will hold up as an example the significant failure that the most brilliant directors and scenarists of the Tradition of Quality encounter when they endeavor at comedy; Ferry-Clouzot: “Miquette et sa mère“, Sigurd-Boyer: “Tous les chemins mènent à Rome“, Scipion-Pagliero: “La Rose rouge“, Laudenbach-Delannoy: “La Route Napoléon“, Aurenche-Bost and Autant-Lara: “L'Auberge rouge” or if you want “Occupe-toi d'Amélie”. Anyone who has ever attempted to write a screenplay knows very well that comedy is the most difficult of genres, that which asks the most work, the most talent and also the most humility.

All things bourgeois

The dominant trait of psychological realism is an anti-bourgeois disposition. But what are Aurenche and Bost, Sigurd, Jeanson, Autant-Lara, and Allegret if not bourgeois? And what are the fifty thousand new readers who never fail to attend each film drawn from a novel, if not bourgeois? What is the merit of an anti-bourgeois cinema made by the bourgeois for the bourgeois? How well we know that workers rarely appreciate this kind of cinema even when it aims to adapt itself to them. They refused to recognize themselves as the stevedores of “Un homme marche dans la ville” or as the seamen of “Amants de bras-mort“. Maybe it is necessary to send the children out onto the landing in order to make love, but their parents scarcely like to hear themselves say it, especially on film, even “benevolently”. If the public likes to slum under the guise of literature, it also likes doing it under the guise of social issues. We perceive that perhaps the public prefers simple little foreign films because these show people such as they ought to be and not such as Aurenche and Bost believe they are.

As one palms off a good address

It is always good to conclude, that pleases everyone. It is noteworthy that the “great” directors and the “great” scenarists all made little films a long time ago amd that the talent that they brought there did not suffice to distinguish them from the others (those who did not bring talent). It is also noteworthy that thye have also come to Quality at the same time, as one palms off a good address. and then a producer earns more - as a director - earns more money making Le Ble en Herbe than The Passionate Plumber. “Courageous” films reveal themselves to be profitable. The proof: Ralph Habib abruptly renounces the semi-pornographic, realizes Les Compagnes de la nuit and declares himself Cayatte. Now what prevents Andre Tabet, Jacques Companeez, Jean Guitton, Pierre Very, Jean Laviron, Yves Ciampi, Gilles Grangier from overnight making intellectual cinema, from adapting the masterpeices (if any remain) and, of course, of adding burials all over the place? Thus, on that day, we will be in the "tradition of quality" up to our necks and French cinema, rivaling with “psychological realism”, with “harshness”, with “strictness”, with “double meaning” will be no longer anything but a vast burial ground where one could leave the Billancourt studio to enter more immediately the cemetery which seems to have been placed along side it quite expressly in order to pass straightaway from producer to gravedigger. Only, by means of repeating to the public which it identifies with the “heroes’ ot its films, it will in the end believe this and, on that day when it understands that this great big cuckold of misadventures whom they solicit to pity (a little) and to laugh at (a lot) is not, as they thought, the cousin or their neighbor across the hall but themselves,. this abject family, their family, this scoffed religion, their religion and thus on that day, it risks showing itself ungrateful towards a cinema which is applying itself to show life such as one sees it on a fourth floor on Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Certainly, I have to recognize it, of passion and even of prejudice overseeing the deliberately pessimistic scrutiny that I have undertaken of a certain tendency of French cinema. I am assured that this well-known school of psychological realism has to be in order that Le Journal d'un curé de campagneLe Carrosse d'orOrphée,Casque d'orLes Vacances de Monsieur Hulot can in their turn be. But our authors who want to elevate the public have to understand that maybe they have deviated from from the primary roads to engage it for those, subtler, of psychology. They have pass into the sixth class so dear to Jouhandeau but a class can not be redoubled indefinitely.

Acho que

esta bela e apoteótica cena da entrada do Mensageiro (Emma Thomson), da fabulosa mini-série Angels in America (2003), não poderia servir melhor os meus propósitos de também enfeitar o blog com um postezinho amável de Natal.
Greetings, prophets.



A Uma Locomotiva No Inverno.

L'Arrivée D'Un Train À La Ciotat, Irmãos Lumière, 1895



"To A Locomotive In Winter"
by WALT WHITMAN


THEE for my recitative!
Thee in the driving storm, even as now--the snow--the winter-day
declining;
Thee in thy panoply, thy measured dual throbbing, and thy beat
convulsive;
Thy black cylindric body, golden brass, and silvery steel;
Thy ponderous side-bars, parallel and connecting rods, gyrating,
shuttling at thy sides;
Thy metrical, now swelling pant and roar--now tapering in the
distance;
Thy great protruding head-light, fix'd in front;
Thy long, pale, floating vapor-pennants, tinged with delicate purple;
The dense and murky clouds out-belching from thy smoke-stack;
Thy knitted frame--thy springs and valves--the tremulous twinkle of
thy wheels; 10
Thy train of cars behind, obedient, merrily-following,
Through gale or calm, now swift, now slack, yet steadily careering:
Type of the modern! emblem of motion and power! pulse of the
continent!
For once, come serve the Muse, and merge in verse, even as here I see
thee,
With storm, and buffeting gusts of wind, and falling snow;
By day, thy warning, ringing bell to sound its notes,
By night, thy silent signal lamps to swing.

Fierce-throated beauty!
Roll through my chant, with all thy lawless music! thy swinging lamps
at night;
Thy piercing, madly-whistled laughter! thy echoes, rumbling like an
earthquake, rousing all! 20
Law of thyself complete, thine own track firmly holding;
(No sweetness debonair of tearful harp or glib piano thine,)
Thy trills of shrieks by rocks and hills return'd,
Launch'd o'er the prairies wide--across the lakes,
To the free skies, unpent, and glad, and strong.

A história é cíclica.



FMI
de JOSÉ MÁRIO BRANCO (1976)

Cachucho não é coisa que me traga a mim
Mais novidade do que lagostim
Nariz que reconhece o cheiro do pilim
Distingue bem o mortimor do meirim
A produtividade, ora aí está, quer dizer
Há tanto nesta terra que ainda está por fazer
Entrar por aí a dentro, analisar, e então
Do meu 'attachi-case' sai a solução!
FMI Não há graça que não faça o FMI
FMI O bombástico de plástico para si
FMI Não há força que retorça o FMI
Discreto e ordenado mas nem por isso fraco
Eis a imagem 'on the rocks' do cancro do tabaco
Enfio uma gravata em cada fato-macaco
E meto o pessoal todo no mesmo saco
A produtividade, ora aí está, quer dizer
Não ando aqui a brincar, não há tempo a perder
Batendo o pé na casa, espanador na mão
É só desinfectar em superprodução!
FMI Não há truque que não lucre ao FMI
FMI O heróico paranóico 'hara-quiri'
FMI Panegírico, pro-lírico daqui
Palavras, palavras, palavras e não só
Palavras para si e palavras para dó
A contas com o nada que swingar o sol-e-dó
Depois a criadagem lava o pé e limpa o pó
A produtividade, ora nem mais, célulazinhas cinzentas
Sempre atentas
E levas pela tromba se não te pões a pau
Num encontrão imediato do 3º grau!
FMI Não há lenha que detenha o FMI
FMI Não há ronha que envergonhe o FMI
FMI ...
Entretém-te filho, entretém-te, não desfolhes em vão este malmequer que bem-te-quer, mal-te-quer, vem-te-quer, ovomalt'e-quer, messe gigantesca, vem-te vindo, vi-me na cozinha, vi-me na casa-de-banho, vi-me no Politeama, vi-me no Águia D'ouro, vi-me em toda a parte, vem-te filho, vem-te comer ao olho, vem-te comer à mão, olha os pombinhos pneumáticos que te orgulham por esses cartazes fora, olha a Música no Coração da Indira Gandi, olha o Muchê Dyane que te traz debaixo d'olho, o respeitinho é muito lindo e nós somos um povo de respeito, né filho? Nós somos um povo de respeitinho muito lindo, saímos à rua de cravo na mão sem dar conta de que saímos à rua de cravo na mão a horas certas, né filho? Consolida filho, consolida, enfia-te a horas certas no casarão da Gabriela que o malmequer vai-te tratando do serviço nacional de saúde. Consolida filho, consolida, que o trabalhinho é muito lindo, o teu trabalhinho é muito lindo, é o mais lindo de todos, como o astro, não é filho? O cabrão do astro entra-te pela porta das traseiras, tu tens um gozo do caraças, vais dormir entretido, não é? Pois claro, ganhar forças, ganhar forças para consolidar, para ver se a gente consegue num grande esforço nacional estabilizar esta destabilização filha-da-puta, não é filho? Pois claro! Estás aí a olhar para mim, estás a ver-me dar 33 voltinhas por minuto, pagaste o teu bilhete, pagaste o teu imposto de transação e estás a pensar lá com os teus botões: Este tipo está-me a gozar, este gajo quem é que julga que é? Né filho? Pois não é verdade que tu és um herói desde de nascente? A ti não é qualquer totobola que te enfia o barrete, meu grande safadote! Meu Fernão Mendes Pinto de merda, né filho? Onde está o teu Extremo Oriente, filho? Ah-ni-qui-bé-bé, ah-ni-qui-bó-bó, tu és 'Sepuldra' tu és Adamastor, pois claro, tu sozinho consegues enrabar as Nações Unidas com passaporte de coelho, não é filho? Mal eles sabem, pois é, tu sabes o que é gozar a vida! Entretém-te filho, entretém-te! Deixa-te de políticas que a tua política é o trabalho, trabalhinho, porreirinho da Silva, e salve-se quem puder que a vida é curta e os santos não ajudam quem anda para aqui a encher pneus com este paleio de Sanzala e ritmo de pop-xula, não é filho?
A one, a two, a one two three
FMI dida didadi dadi dadi da didi
FMI ...
Come on you son of a bitch! Come on baby a ver se me comes! Come on Luís Vaz, 'amanda'-lhe com os decassílabos que os senhores já vão ver o que é meterem-se com uma nação de poetas! E zás, enfio-te o Manuel Alegre no Mário Soares, zás, enfio-te o Ary dos Santos no Álvaro de Cunhal, zás, enfio-te o Zé Fanha no Acácio Barreiros, zás, enfio-te a Natalia Correia no Sá Carneiro, zás, enfio-te o Pedro Homem de Melo no Parque Mayer e acabamos todos numa sardinhada ao integralismo Lusitano, a estender o braço, meio Rolão Preto, meio Steve McQueen, ok boss, tudo ok, estamos numa porreira meu, um tripe fenomenal, proibido voltar atrás, viva a liberdade, né filho? Pois, o irreversível, pois claro, o irreversívelzinho, pluralismo a dar com um pau, nada será como dantes, agora todos se chateiam de outra maneira, né filho? Ora que porra, deixa lá correr uma fila ao menos, malta pá, é assim mesmo, cada um a curtir a sua, podia ser tão porreiro, não é? Preocupações, crises políticas pá? A culpa é dos partidos pá! Esta merda dos partidos é que divide a malta pá, pois pá, é só paleio pá, o pessoal na quer é trabalhar pá! Razão tem o Jaime Neves pá! (Olha deixaste cair as chaves do carro!) Pois pá! (Que é essa orelha de preto que tens no porta-chaves?) É pá, deixa-te disso, não destabilizes pá! Eh, faz favor, mais uma bica e um pastel de nata. Uma porra pá, um autentico desastre o 25 de Abril, esta confusão pá, a malta estava sossegadinha, a bica a 15 tostões, a gasosa a sete e coroa... Tá bem, essa merda da pide pá, Tarrafais e o carágo, mas no fim de contas quem é que não colaborava, ah? Quantos bufos é que não havia nesta merda deste país, ah? Quem é que não se calava, quem é que arriscava coiro e cabelo, assim mesmo, o que se chama arriscar, ah? Meia dúzia de líricos, pá, meia dúzia de líricos que acabavam todos a fugir para o estrangeiro, pá, isto é tudo a mesma carneirada! Oh sr. guarda venha cá, á, venha ver o que isto é, é, o barulho que vai aqui, i, o neto a bater na avó, ó, deu-lhe um pontapé no cu, né filho? Tu vais conversando, conversando, que ao menos agora pode-se falar, ou já não se pode? Ou já começaste a fazer a tua revisãozinha constitucional tamanho familiar, ah? Estás desiludido com as promessas de Abril, né? As conquistas de Abril! Eram só paleio a partir do momento que tas começaram a tirar e tu ficaste quietinho, né filho? E tu fizeste como o avestruz, enfiaste a cabeça na areia, não é nada comigo, não é nada comigo, né? E os da frente que se lixem... E é por isso que a tua solução é não ver, é não ouvir, é não querer ver, é não querer entender nada, precisas de paz de consciência, não andas aqui a brincar, né filho? Precisas de ter razão, precisas de atirar as culpas para cima de alguém e atiras as culpas para os da frente, para os do 25 de Abril, para os do 28 de Setembro, para os do 11 de Março, para os do 25 de Novembro, para os do... que dia é hoje, ah?
FMI Dida didadi dadi dadi da didi
FMI ...
Não há português nenhum que não se sinta culpado de qualquer coisa, não é filho? Todos temos culpas no cartório, foi isso que te ensinaram, não é verdade? Esta merda não anda porque a malta, pá, a malta não quer que esta merda ande, tenho dito. A culpa é de todos, a culpa não é de ninguém, não é isto verdade? Quer isto dizer, há culpa de todos em geral e não há culpa de ninguém em particular! Somos todos muita bons no fundo, né? Somos todos uma nação de pecadores e de vendidos, né? Somos todos, ou anti-comunistas ou anti-faxistas, estas coisas até já nem querem dizer nada, ismos para aqui, ismos para acolá, as palavras é só bolinhas de sabão, parole parole parole e o Zé é que se lixa, cá o pintas azeite mexilhão, eu quero lá saber deste paleio vou mas é ao futebol, pronto, viva o Porto, viva o Benfica, Lourosa, Lourosa, Marraças, Marraças, fora o arbitro, gatuno, bora tudo p'ro caralho, razão tinha o Tonico de Bastos para se entreter, né filho? Entretém-te filho, com as tuas viúvas e as tuas órfãs que o teu delegado sindical vai tratando da saúde aos administradores, entretém-te, que o ministro do trabalho trata da saúde aos delegados sindicais, entretém-te filho, que a oposição parlamentar trata da saúde ao ministro do trabalho, entretém-te, que o Eanes trata da saúde à oposição parlamentar, entretém-te, que o FMI trata da saúde ao Eanes, entretém-te filho e vai para a cama descansado que há milhares de gajos inteligentes a pensar em tudo neste mesmo instante, enquanto tu adormeces a não pensar em nada, milhares e milhares de tipos inteligentes e poderosos com computadores, redes de policia secreta, telefones, carros de assalto, exércitos inteiros, congressos universitários, eu sei lá! Podes estar descansado que o Teng Hsiao-Ping está a tratar de ti com o Jimmy Carter, o Brezhnev está a tratar de ti com o João Paulo II, tudo corre bem, a ver quem se vai abotoar com os 25 tostões de riqueza que tu vais produzir amanhã nas tuas oito horas. A ver quem vai ser capaz de convencer de que a culpa é tua e só tua se o teu salário perde valor todos os dias, ou de te convencer de que a culpa é só tua se o teu poder de compra é como o rio de S. Pedro de Moel que se some nas areias em plena praia, ali a 10 metros do mar em maré cheia e nunca consegue desaguar de maneira que se possa dizer: porra, finalmente o rio desaguou! Hão te convencer de que a culpa é tua e tu sem culpa nenhuma, tens tu a ver, tens tu a ver com isso, não é filho? Cada um que se vá safando como puder, é mesmo assim, não é? Tu fazes como os outros, fazes o que tens a fazer, votas à esquerda moderada nas sindicais, votas no centro moderado nas deputais, e votas na direita moderada nas presidenciais! Que mais querem eles, que lhe ofereças a Europa no natal?! Era o que faltava! É assim mesmo, julgam que te levam de mercedes, ora toma, para safado, safado e meio, né filho? Nem para a frente nem para trás e eles que tratem do resto, os gatunos, que são pagos para isso, né? Claro! Que se lixem as alternativas, para trabalho já me chega. Entretém-te meu anjinho, entretém-te, que eles são inteligentes, eles ajudam, eles emprestam, eles decidem por ti, decidem tudo por ti, se hás-de construir barcos para a Polónia ou cabeças de alfinete para a Suécia, se hás-de plantar tomate para o Canada ou eucaliptos para o Japão, descansa que eles tratam disso, se hás-de comer bacalhau só nos anos bissextos ou hás-de beber vinho sintético de Alguidares-de-Baixo! Descansa, não penses em mais nada, que até neste país de pelintras se acho normal haver mãos desempregadas e se acha inevitável haver terras por cultivar! Descontrai baby, come on descontrai, arrefinfa-lhe o Bruce Lee, arrefinfa-lhe a macrobiótica, o biorritmo, o euroscópio, dois ou três ofeneologistas, um gigante da ilha de Páscoa e uma Grace do Mónaco de vez em quando para dar as boas festas às criancinhas! Piramiza filho, piramiza, antes que os chatos fujam todos para o Egipto, que assim é que tu te fazes um homenzinho e até já pagas multa se não fores ao recenseamento. Pois pá, isto é um país de analfabetos, pá! Dá-lhe no Travolta, dá-lhe no disco-sound, dá-lhe no pop-xula, pop-xula pop-xula, iehh iehh, J. Pimenta forever! Quanto menos souberes a quantas andas melhor para ti, não te chega para o bife? Antes no talho do que na farmácia; não te chega para a farmácia? Antes na farmácia do que no tribunal; não te chega para o tribunal? Antes a multa do que a morte; não te chega para o cangalheiro? Antes para a cova do que para não sei quem que há-de vir, cabrões de vindouros, ah? Sempre a merda do futuro, a merda do futuro, e eu ah? Que é que eu ando aqui a fazer? Digam lá, e eu? José Mário Branco, 37 anos, isto é que é uma porra, anda aqui um gajo cheio de boas intenções, a pregar aos peixinhos, a arriscar o pêlo, e depois? É só porrada e mal viver é? O menino é mal criado, o menino é 'pequeno burguês', o menino pertence a uma classe sem futuro histórico... Eu sou parvo ou quê? Quero ser feliz porra, quero ser feliz agora, que se foda o futuro, que se foda o progresso, mais vale só do que mal acompanhado, vá mandem-me lavar as mãos antes de ir para a mesa, filhos da puta de progressistas do caralho da revolução que vos foda a todos! Deixem-me em paz porra, deixem-me em paz e sossego, não me emprenhem mais pelos ouvidos caralho, não há paciência, não há paciência, deixem-me em paz caralho, saiam daqui, deixem-me sozinho, só um minuto, vão vender jornais e governos e greves e sindicatos e policias e generais para o raio que vos parta! Deixem-me sozinho, filhos da puta, deixem só um bocadinho, deixem-me só para sempre, tratem da vossa vida que eu trato da minha, pronto, já chega, sossego porra, silêncio porra, deixem-me só, deixem-me só, deixem-me só, deixem-me morrer descansado. Eu quero lá saber do Artur Agostinho e do Humberto Delgado, eu quero lá saber do Benfica e do bispo do Porto, eu quero se lixe o 13 de Maio e o 5 de Outubro e o Melo Antunes e a rainha de Inglaterra e o Santiago Carrilho e a Vera Lagoa, deixem-me só porra, rua, larguem-me, zórpila o fígado, arreda, 'terneio' Satanás, filhos da puta. Eu quero morrer sozinho ouviram? Eu quero morrer, eu quero que se foda o FMI, eu quero lá saber do FMI, eu quero que o FMI se foda, eu quero lá saber que o FMI me foda a mim, eu vou mas é votar no Pinheiro de Azevedo se eu tornar a ir para o hospital, pronto, bardamerda o FMI, o FMI é só um pretexto vosso seus cabrões, o FMI não existe, o FMI nunca aterrou na Portela coisa nenhuma, o FMI é uma finta vossa para virem para aqui com esse paleio, rua, desandem daqui para fora, a culpa é vossa, a culpa é vossa, a culpa é vossa, a culpa é vossa, a culpa é vossa, a culpa é vossa, oh mãe, oh mãe, oh mãe, oh mãe, oh mãe, oh mãe, oh mãe...

Mãe, eu quero ficar sozinho... Mãe, não quero pensar mais... Mãe, eu quero morrer mãe.
Eu quero desnascer, ir-me embora, sem ter que me ir embora. Mãe, por favor, tudo menos a casa em vez de mim, outro maldito que não sou senão este tempo que decorre entre fugir de me encontrar e de me encontrar fugindo, de quê mãe? Diz, são coisas que se me perguntem? Não pode haver razão para tanto sofrimento. E se inventássemos o mar de volta, e se inventássemos partir, para regressar. Partir e aí nessa viajem ressuscitar da morte às arrecuas que me deste. Partida para ganhar, partida de acordar, abrir os olhos, numa ânsia colectiva de tudo fecundar, terra, mar, mãe... Lembrar como o mar nos ensinava a sonhar alto, lembrar nota a nota o canto das sereias, lembrar o depois do adeus, e o frágil e ingénuo cravo da Rua do Arsenal, lembrar cada lágrima, cada abraço, cada morte, cada traição, partir aqui com a ciência toda do passado, partir, aqui, para ficar...
Assim mesmo, como entrevi um dia, a chorar de alegria, de esperança precoce e intranquila, o azul dos operários da Lisnave a desfilar, gritando ódio apenas ao vazio, exército de amor e capacetes, assim mesmo na Praça de Londres o soldado lhes falou: Olá camaradas, somos trabalhadores, eles não conseguiram fazer-nos esquecer, aqui está a minha arma para vos servir. Assim mesmo, por detrás das colinas onde o verde está à espera se levantam antiquíssimos rumores, as festas e os suores, os bombos de lava-colhos, assim mesmo senti um dia, a chorar de alegria, de esperança precoce e intranquila, o bater inexorável dos corações produtores, os tambores. De quem é o carvalhal? É nosso! Assim te quero cantar, mar antigo a que regresso. Neste cais está arrimado o barco sonho em que voltei. Neste cais eu encontrei a margem do outro lado, Grandola Vila Morena. Diz lá, valeu a pena a travessia? Valeu pois.
Pela vaga de fundo se sumiu o futuro histórico da minha classe, no fundo deste mar, encontrareis tesouros recuperados, de mim que estou a chegar do lado de lá para ir convosco. Tesouros infindáveis que vos trago de longe e que são vossos, o meu canto e a palavra, o meu sonho é a luz que vem do fim do mundo, dos vossos antepassados que ainda não nasceram. A minha arte é estar aqui convosco e ser-vos alimento e companhia na viagem para estar aqui de vez. Sou português, pequeno burguês de origem, filho de professores primários, artista de variedades, compositor popular, aprendiz de feiticeiro, faltam-me dentes. Sou o Zé Mário Branco, 37 anos, do Porto, muito mais vivo que morto, contai com isto de mim para cantar e para o resto.




parte 1.


parte 2.

sábado, 22 de dezembro de 2007

ignis fatuus

''Os êxitos humanos são moeda falsa, pura fancaria.''
René Crevel, in O Meu Corpo e Eu



Hatari!, Howard Hawks, 1962

domingo, 16 de dezembro de 2007

''Com os dedos no crânio despedimo-nos.''




Odilon Redon
Le Juré – O sonho termina com a morte, 1887~


Welles by Cecil Beaton. 
(Esta fotografia persegue-me.)

quarta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2007

STEREODOX - No matter the kind of fish you are

3 Women, Robert Altman, 1977


Stay Golden
: Au Revoir Simone

domingo, 9 de dezembro de 2007

STEREODOX : Perdido no meio de circunstâncias demasiado banais.

The Killers, Robert Siodmak, 1946

RADIOHEAD
KARMA POLICE

Karma police, arrest this man, he talks in maths
He buzzes like a fridge, hes like a detuned radio
Karma police, arrest this girl, her hitler hairdo, is making me feel ill
And we have crashed her party
This is what you get, this is what you get
This is what you get, when you mess with us

Karma police, Ive given all I can, its not enough
Ive given all I can, but were still on the payroll
This is what you get, this is what you get
This is what you get, when you mess with us
And for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself
And for a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself

sábado, 8 de dezembro de 2007

STEREODOX - Janela com vista para a fuga.

Agatha et Les Lectures illimitées, Marguerite Duras, 1981


Fat Girl, Catherine Breillat, 2001


THE PASSENGER
Iggy Pop & The Stooges - 1977

segunda-feira, 3 de dezembro de 2007

Do Corpo ao Silêncio


 
MEDIR O PULSO À PALAVRA

comíamos o corpo com as palavras na terra
dizíamos a terra com o corpo na palavra
metíamos as mãos no tempo e a terra no corpo

tirávamos palavras do corpo para a terra
e semeávamos a palavra dada ao corpo
alimentávamos a terra enquanto era tempo
e servíamos de corpo à terra sem palavras

escrevíamos como se enterrássemos um relógio
de corda e aguardássemos que desse frutos
para vender ou trocar por mais tempo juntos

sentimos o corpo programado
para se desligar num tempo médio
na equidistância do corpo ao silêncio

TIAGO PATRÍCIO