Why don’t you ever tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, the same end, and the same agony?
Erich Maria Remarque
Perhaps Erich Maria Remarque would have wished he had never had the experiences that inspired his transcendental novel. All Quiet on the Western Front marked a turning point in the world of literature and its adaptation for the cinema in 1930 by Lewis Milestone paved the way for anti-war films. Director Delbert Mann also adapted Remarque’s play into a television movie in 1972. Now it’s Edward Berger’s turn, almost a hundred years after the first adaptation hit the big screen.
The screen could never contain her, nor could those 2 hours and 47 minutes of Blonde (2022). Marilyn is larger than life itself, not even death has been able to spoil her figure. Scandals, food to feed morbidly hungry stomachs and the perfect fertilizer to make the figure even more enigmatic. Andrew Dominik knew that he was going to enter a rough terrain, that he was going to be put under the magnifying glass for the mere fact of approaching one of the figures who helped create the Hollywood industry. The seasoned director decided to undertake the task from the part that he is best at, the visual discourse. To put together his story, he relies on the homonymous novel by the American Joyce Carol Oates. At over 700 pages, the book, published in 2000, became a bestseller and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Adam McKay could well have taken fragments of daily life, edited them coherently, and he would have gotten the same script from Don’t Look Up (2021). What we are given in code of satire is nothing more than the harsh reality of our times. Between the lines of parody and humor we come across the decadent world of mass media, social networks, opportunistic politicians and self-proclaimed entrepreneurial gurus of technology and markets. What the speech proclaims, we know, we live it and even little matters to us.
The reality is vulgar. That is why I want to make films, even though I have only seen three or four films.
I wish it was all deciding between sleeping with the woman of your dreams or having the best player in the world play for your favorite team. Between provocative dreams of youth and bitter drinks of the purest reality, Paolo Sorrentino weaves the story of The Hand of God (2021). The Neapolitan has conceived his most personal work, a self-portrait. His cinema has hit audiences hard and his ability to explore the human soul and understand the world around him is impressive. With The Great Beauty (2013) he reminded us of the great Italian masters who preceded him while spawning a legendary film.
Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog.
Surely under the dust of the old North American west many stories remain buried. Much has changed since the era of archetypal Westerns. The genre has found life again and again thanks to directors who take risks and take it down unexplored paths. Veteran director Jane Campion joins that list and with The Power of the Dog (2021) she leaves us a film that breaks some molds and delves into the psychological profile of the characters to compose from the intimate. The actions are born from the wishes of the characters, everything revolves around their deepest desires and what happens in the foreground always has a more complex background.