Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma begins quietly and thoughtfully with the character, Cleo, played beautifully by Yalitza Aparicio, who serves a well-to-do family in their home in a suburb of Mexico City. Her life, seeming so insular and placid, will expand to engulf the film’s universe. Every action and word of hers has a hidden meaning, and minor gestures seen early in the movie will be echoed by more serious and violent actions later.
Bernardo Bertolucci’s recent death left us with an unsolvable problem. Over the course of a fifty-year career, he wrestled with ideas both grand and small, from the tragically human to the sublimely divine. His focuses were on sex and growing old, politics and youth, and the ways in which we define ourselves and how systems inevitably try to break those selves. He examined relationships – those between men and women, people and politics, parents and children, and the seemingly unbridgeable gap of class. As is the tendency with art, especially when it’s at its best, it’s never quite clear how we’re supposed to interpret Bertolucci, how we’re supposed to “figure it all out.” His films were critical of oppressive regimes and systems, and yet those regimes and systems were filled with people who were beautifully, messily, sympathetically human. His style was maximalist and loud, and he reveled in the visceral and the glorious and the taboo. His work screamed from the screen even when his characters whispered. His films were always beautiful, even when their subjects weren’t.
The Hamon Blog wants to know what you’re currently reading, watching, or listening to. On entering the elevator on the first floor of Hamon, you will notice a message board filling up with recommendations from library users. Continue reading “What are you reading, watching, or listening to?”
We thank library patron George de Verges for submitting this film review.
Mr. Turner, the movie by Michael Leigh with Timothy Spall as the bluff and enigmatic painter, features seascapes and vistas known to anyone who has studied a catalog of his work. To confirm the biographical details of his life as found in the film, I re-read Peter Ackroyd’s J.M.W. Turner (available at Hamon), and found the details generally accurate or at least within the range of scholarly dispute. Continue reading “Film Review: Mr. Turner”