Abstract does not exist without concrete - or does it? Maybe it does but the concrete is the ultimate test: is it functional or not! Like a prototype: years and years of work and then - crashing difficulties because of some minor shit... but shit happens and if it doesn't I'll make it happen. Yeah, it is an old superstition, that if something is perfect it is also dead! So a crack, a flaw is essential, somehow it is always the way ahead to the next flaw. And you can't deny that flawless is also inhuman, not touching, dead...
No, that was not the subject... I always get carried to different direction by random thought... It is kind of fun because you'll never know where you'll end up... but it is also annoying because you won't get where you were bound to... so it is the effect of imagination to the world of reason. The reason being one big killer... but I'll get to that another time.
Love at first sight - huh... Define love - I believe that desire can awaken at first sight. The first sight kind of builds a bridge between two people and there is a chance to go on. Some people can not look straight in the eye. So it is obvious that there is no next, or maybe with someone who has not noticed... Oh, I'm not going to that stray, no. The first sight in 'Fifth Night Moon' between Lore and Wawa is not crucial, no. It is just a chance to have another glance. The first sight is wondering: Wawa sees this western woman lightly dressed sitting on a bed with a laptop - I imagine that Lore has an orange coloured shirt and she sits with her legs crossed light falling from her left, morning light essentially, and Wawa standing in the opening of the door just stepping on but only just. He sees her first, the golden girl in flow of light.. and then she rises her gaze to see him, dark figure with soft and friendly eyes, sad eyes...
He goes on and the next time they meet is some time later in the same morning. Lore comes to the kitchen while Wawa is preparing his breakfast. She stands in the doorway and watches him. He touches everything with gentleness that attracts Lore. He takes an egg and feels its shape in his hand. And the structure of the surface. He breaks the egg and she feels something crush, like she was the egg. And she thinks how it would feel to accept his touch, to yield to it, to want it... He does not know her thoughts but concentrates in cooking and just later on when they are eating and chatting he gets attracted at her way to smile very quickly and momentarily. Nothing lingering in it.... And he yarns to see it again.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
(236 min.) dir Jaques Rivette with
Michel Piccoli - Edouard Frenhofer
Jane Birkin - Liz
Emmanuelle Beart - Marianne
What is art? Cinema or painting? What is the artist doing when painting a picture or writing a book? How something becomes a masterpiece and something else not? For art there are many definitions, but maybe it after all could have something to do with some relative aspect of truth. Absolute truth as the artist has it purified. Fine slice with the TASTE. You know the thing: a street in a city and a warm night and you are not alone... for the rest of your life it is there: the scent of the street. sweat, lust... absolute moment, and that is what art is about - creating that absolute moment. Maybe it is like the absolute point zero - never achieved but nearing it.
Having seen part of this film some time ago it was a happy surprise to find it coming from Silver in the middle of an ordinary day - not so ordinary any more. It is a long movie - almost four hours, and almost nothing happens, nothing concrete, just an old man painting and some people wandering around... and these four hours are gently building the journey to absolute, subtle nuances, moments, empty moments, hues of colours, simple and vanishing: was it there or was it not. and at the same time there is the cruelty that lies inside all true art. it is not human but absolute.
They live in a country residence in France, Edouard Frenhofer, his wife Liz and Lis' daughter Magali. Liz stuffs birds and animals. Frenhofer is a painter, has really done something but now only portraits. Exquisite old house with stairs and rooms, windows and doors painted in faint shades of red, turqoise, ocre. Not so much furniture. Yard with gnarled trees and atelier, lot of space and some large canvases. The slow camera wandering in rooms and corridores after people or with people, sweeping doors and windowpanes, locks and handles, paintings and drawings on the walls, and books...
In the nearby village there is a hotel and a young painter Nicolas and his girlfriend Marianne reside there. They are visiting Frenhofer and also an old friend Porbus is there. Frehno, Porbus and Nicolas are discussing art, and somehow the talk drifts to a painting Frenho once tried to paint but did not succeed: la belle noiseuse. Porbus asks if he might not try again - he would buy the painting at a suitable price. Frenhofer is doubting. The first time he did it with Liz but had not courage to go to the end - he loved Liz and finishing the painting would have killed the love. Maybe. Nicolas offers Marianne as a model, and yes, Frenho shall try.
The girl gets frantic: what is Nicolas to promise on her behalf! And they are leaving for Paris tomorrow! But in the morning she is there asking for Frenhofer very early. They go to the atelier, and he shuffles with bottles and brushes and pens, and then he makes some sketches with ink to an old sketchbook. Marianne is in positions that tire her and finally when Frenho is dissatisfied with everything she is disappointed. She says goodbye intending to leave to Paris, but Frenho says 'till the morning'.
And she is there in the morning, and they continue. Step by step Frenho moves to bigger papers and finally to canvas and oils. He twists and wrenches her naked body and limbs to strange and cruel positions achieving nothing to satisfy him. Marianne gets cramps and he says that before it was a custom to tie a model to the wanted position so they could not move!
The house and garden breath all around. At times Liz comes to see the work sitting on the steps in the atelier.She also tries to warn the girl of how tough it might get and that she might suffer. But the girl is self-confident and just shrugs. But Frenho is afraid. He knows how hard is the price he has to pay to get at the final point and is reluctant to pursue the goal. With his wife he first loved to paint her, then loved her too much to paint her and finally chose to paint portraits, i. e. gave up. And now Liz is hurt when Frenho paints over an old canvas with her face on it replacing the face with a behind.
He is also afraid of himself or for his self esteem, not only of his revelations. He is an old man and death of depression and final silence loom ahead. Liz also is worried because of the process, worried for both of them. The girl is soft and submissive, and doesn't understand what Frenho is after. She feels the painter to slow down and give up, and she provokes him, challenges him to go further, to seek more. She chooses her poses, but when Frenho tries to capture them she curls to a nut. Frenho is disappointed but they are going on. And finally Frenho has a canvas (that is never shown to us). Marianne asks if it is ready and he says that it is for her to decide. So she looks at the picture and runs away shaken and shuts herself in a lavatory.
At night Liz comes to see the painting. And she draws a cross on the backside. The next day Frenho asks Magali to help and they brick the painting in a wall so that no-one shall ever look at it. And Frenho paints another picture, quickly and with ease, a white and light blue nude. This painting is for Porbus.
Marianne tells Liz that she understands now that there was real danger. This is the core, process fini. The soul of a woman delivered and then destroyed. The Death. As Liz said in their nightly discussions he was barren... nothing left but death.
Serene end with fruit and subtle conversations in the garden. And what is left is the memory of the sensitive camera slowly moving in the rooms and atelier and garden picking up lights and dusty colours, people moving like shadows in the midst... chasing other shadows...