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Thread: From M. Zakharov to I. Calvino

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    From M. Zakharov to I. Calvino

    Some months ago (31st or 32nd of May) I saw a beautiful film directed by Mark Zakharov.
    I was so impressed by this film that I gave a copy to a colleague of mine -- I have become a sort of Italian ambassador for Soviet films among my colleagues.
    There followed an interesting debate which I’d like to share.

    The Very Same Munchhausen is a film rich in humorous scenes and dialogues, perhaps with satirical allusions to contemporary events, but it is above all a story about a man who, despite Martha’s love, feels alone and misunderstood. Or rather, it is a story of man who, despite his love for Martha, fails to understand and accept his society, his city, his world.

    In Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, it is said that all things that are lost on Earth could be found on the Moon. The Baron knows that on the Moon there exists the intelligence of many humans who on Earth are considered wise and sensible. This is perhaps the reason why the Baron wishes to go to the Moon (or rather, to return there). Reading these remarks, you could ask me the same question put to Ariosto: Ludovico, wherever have you found such rubbish?
    - Messer Lodovico, dove trovaste mai tante coglionerie? Господин Лодовико, где ты нашел такой вздор?

    I believe that certain films, like certain poems or novels, are like dreams. And dreams always conceal a riddle which in turn conceals a desire, or its opposite, a fear. Like dreams, this film is made of desire and fear, of misleading and absurd perspectives, where each thing hides in itself another thing. We could say, to borrow some words from Calvino: The pleasure you derive from a film depends on the answer it gives to your question... or on the question the film asks you and to which it compels you to respond.

    The Baron’s final embrace of Martha is a beautiful and tender gesture: with his arms and hands he cradles her head and presses it to his chest. It’s as if he wished to carry away with him her eyes, her mouth, her brain, and give her a little of his heart before travelling to the moon in search of something he could not find in his city. One could comment on the Baron’s final farewell to his city with the help of Calvino’s ever relevant words:
    “My dear citizens, the inferno of the living is not something that will be. If there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno that we inhabit everyday, that we form by being together. There are two ways to not suffer it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you no longer see it. (Baron, join us. Join us, baron. Господин барон, присоединяйтесь. Присоединяйтесь к нам, барон).
    The second is risky and demands constant attention and apprehension: seek out and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno—then make them endure, and give them space.
    I will try to find a third way: do as Astolfo did in the Orlando Furioso, and fly to the Moon.
    Smile, my dear viewers, smile. Улыбайтесь, господа! Улыбайтесь.”

    The film ends on a poignant musical note, and the viewer finds herself with her eyes full of tears.

  2. #2
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    Calvino

    Quote Originally Posted by Vbar
    to borrow some words from Calvino: The pleasure you derive from a film depends on the answer it gives to your question... or on the question the film asks you and to which it compels you to respond.
    Really well said. What's the source, please? Ty!
    If I was kiddin' you, I'd be wearin' a fez and no pants. (Lennie Briscoe)

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    Re: Calvino

    Quote Originally Posted by quartz
    Quote Originally Posted by Vbar
    to borrow some words from Calvino: The pleasure you derive from a film depends on the answer it gives to your question... or on the question the film asks you and to which it compels you to respond.
    Really well said. What's the source, please? Ty!
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/18789131/Calv ... ble-cities

    It takes 30-60 seconds to load.
    Page 12

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    Re: Calvino

    Quote Originally Posted by Vbar
    Quote Originally Posted by quartz
    Quote Originally Posted by Vbar
    to borrow some words from Calvino: The pleasure you derive from a film depends on the answer it gives to your question... or on the question the film asks you and to which it compels you to respond.
    Really well said. What's the source, please? Ty!
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/18789131/Calv ... ble-cities

    It takes 30-60 seconds to load.
    Page 12
    Ah yes! I have that book! Really good stuff.
    If I was kiddin' you, I'd be wearin' a fez and no pants. (Lennie Briscoe)

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