'The Chimera': the utopian cinema of Alice Rohrwacher and the plundering of desecrated Italy | Culture | EUROtoday

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In a second of The chimera, the distinctive new movie by Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, a personality tells the protagonist that he has the present of discovering what’s misplaced, these historic treasures whose worth he himself defines as that of “objects that have been seen by many eyes.” Rohrwacher's personal cinema (Fiesole, 1980) is thus associated to the hidden place pursued by the archaeologist-dowser performed by the British actor Josh O'Connor. A brand new tragic hero for this director who, like him, feeds on the circulate of the traditional world and the gaze of others, the dwelling and the useless.

Nobody tells about Italy immediately, its previous utopian and anarchist subsoil, its previous of minstrels, harlequins and columbians, its everlasting magnificence, like Rohrwacher; an uncommon filmmaker, comparable solely to her compatriot Pietro Marcello (Martin Eden, Scarlet) in his efforts to revive on his personal phrases the poetic and humanist legacy of the Italian neorealist custom. Rohrwacher's dreamlike pictures transfer between the sacred and the earthly with the very important fatality of the martyr Pasolini (“I will leave in a verse”), the road tenderness of Fellini's The avenue (1954) and the revolution of kindness that Rossellini proclaimed in Francis, minstrel of Gods (1950).

A moment from the movie 'The Chimera'.
A second from the film 'The Chimera'.

The journey of The chimera It takes place within the eighties, when younger Arthur (an excellent Josh O'Connor in his helpless purity) wakes up on a returning practice, in the midst of an odd dream that locations him past quick actuality. Arthur is an angelic and ragged younger man whose filthy linen go well with provides him the aura of a real dandy. A romantic hero who suffers the lack of his love and who, obsessive about dying and funerary artwork, survives with a gaggle of tomb robbers (tombarolis) who cope with Etruscan mortuary items. Rohrwacher exhibits us a legendary territory positioned between the manifest layer of historical past, by which carnies and rogues make enjoyable of every thing with the lightness of mountebanks, and its deepest dimension. Between drama and pantomime, the filmmaker summons fascinating pictures because of her mixture of tones, music, display codecs and images grains, from Super 8 to 16 and 35 millimeters.

Hand in hand with O'Connor's character, Rohrwacher additionally lands, as in his great Happy Lazarus (2018), in a world of ruined palaces. There, in a previous of gorgeous peeling frescoes, the decadent matriarch performed by Isabella Rossellini survives, whose presence shouldn’t be anecdotal. The daughter of the totem of neorealism, of the filmmaker who warned of the “self-destructive fury” of the civilization of consumption and leisure, represents in The chimera to the dwelling who nonetheless speak to the useless. Because below the load of custom, and regardless of its pores and skin and its decrepit partitions, there’s additionally room for a final breath, caused by the character of Italy, performed – and it doesn’t appear coincidental both – by a overseas actress, the luminous Carol Duarte. She is the hope of a misplaced utopia, the final hyperlink with the unique fable of the goddess, which the filmmaker explicitly summons to resurrect it below a female and communal splendid. It is a manner of understanding life and artwork, plundered by a market that rots and profanes every thing, as a thriller by which the previous order, with its inevitable ultimate sacrifice, provides rise to a brand new world.

The chimera

Address: Alice Rohrwacher.

Interpreters: Josh O'Connor, Carol Duarte, Vincenzo Nemolato, Isabella Rossellini, Alba Rohrwacher.

Gender: drama. Italy, 2023.

Duration: 130 minutes.

Premiere: February 19.

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