Ravishing Guadagnino against beauty fascism and great Matt Dillon against forgetfulness

Ravishing Guadagnino against beauty fascism and great Matt Dillon against forgetfulness

San Sebastián surrenders to the greater glory of the eight-hour series of the Italian 'We are who we are' while falling in love with 'The great Fellove', a marvel signed by Matt Dillon

Ravishing Guadagnino against beauty fascism and great Matt Dillon against forgetfulness

Guadagnino is convinced that beauty is a fascist concept. When asked about the aestheticization of the image, he stops the gesture, slightly lulls his voice and declares himself violently against it. Not everything, but almost. “Cinema and beauty are not good companions. Moreover, they are opposed. Cinema has to do with the possibility of knowledge. We live enslaved by beautiful images, supposedly beautiful … Beauty as it is marketed today is a instrument of oppression. When I hear of absolute beauty or 'great beauty' the Nazi films of Leni Riefenstahl come to mind … The concept of beauty, to conclude, is very conservative … It is fascist “. And having said that, Guadagnino breathes happily at the sure astonished face of the interlocutor.

Suddenly, the San Sebastian Festival decided to make room for the director of ' Call me by your name ' who is also president of the jury. And he did it in a big way. It seems strange that between ' Patria ' and ' We are who we are ', that's the name of the Italian series, so far this festival has been projected more hours of television (eight on one side and as many on the other) than from cinema if we limit ourselves to the official competition section. If this is the future, we are going bad. Is it true that 'Any crybabies around' could be seen ? , by the Japanese Takuma Sato, and the remarkable and surprising debut as a documentary filmmaker (as a fiction director he premiered in 2002 with 'The City of Ghosts') by actor Matt Dillon and which goes by the name of ' The Great Fellove '. But their presentations with their respective photos, press conferences and misplaced statements were moved to the next day, Tuesday.

Be that as it may, the most remarkable thing about 'We are who we are ' is that it doesn't seem like a series. That is, despite being structured in episodes, airing on HBO and obeying a style book carved in marble, there is really no plot, 'plot' or narrative thread to follow. It is not so much a nineteenth-century serial , as, let's put it that way, post- contemporary ballet. What matters is not so much the central text as the countless footnotes that flood the margins. In fact, for a good part of the footage, the sensation faced by the viewer is that of attending a ritual (perhaps coven) with the representation space displaced. Everything runs out of the field in the diffuse terrain of desires for what time has called adolescence.

In the strange and anomalous space of a North American military base in Italy, a young man and a young woman play fetch. Not so much between them, as inside. She dresses as a boy and he begins to feel attracted to a partner. Sexual identity, the celebration of anger, the pleasure of chaos and the evidence of hormones are the only arguments of a production that plays to be confused with the narrative. Also 'We are who we are' is lost, doubts, interrogated and finally offered to the viewer as a deep, meditated and obsessive exercise in cinema. This was.

Ravishing Guadagnino against beauty fascism and great Matt Dillon against forgetfulness

In the first two chapters, the same story is told from two points of view, his and hers; a perfect introduction to everything that will come next. Of course, what Guadagnino proposes is quite similar to a serial or twelve-tone film essay pending exclusively on the gesture. It is not so much an uninvolved, distant, or abstract observation, as it is energetic, existential, or organic. And so on even the most exhaustive and exhausting of exhaustion. It overwhelms and excites in equal parts.

The broken and always vibrating approach to the portrayed object is undoubtedly appreciated. Guadagnino's camera, far from the preciousness of much of his previous works, wants to shed the almost amoral virtuosity of the simply beautiful. Out of Instagram filters. The idea is to offer a raw image of adolescence while discussing the repetition codes that make up a large part of the series. Beauty resides in the ability to passionately and without excuses portray issues such as doubt, the cloudy, despair, fear or simply everything ugly. We have arrived.


For the rest, while waiting for his walk on the Kursaal carpet, Matt Dillon surprised with a documentary about a lost legend of Cuban music in which he has supposedly been muddled for a whole life. Suddenly, Francisco Fellove Valdez, singer of scat, is that man that everyone, educated or less, can not help but adore. Although I don't know it yet. Do you remember 'Searching for sugarman'? Well, that's where 'El Gran Fellove' goes, that's what it's called.

The film, as instructive as it is delightfully funny (whatever the preceding cheesy means), reviews the life of the man who at the age of 16 composed ' Mango mangue ', a commonplace in Latin jazz. Emigrated from Cuba to Mexico in the 1950s, Fellove became an almost avant-garde star as admired by his colleagues as loved by the public. And so on until he disappeared and was found again in the 90s at the age of 77 by, in effect, Matt Dillon.

The film is structured around the recording of a new yet unreleased album (it will be released, it is said at the end, in 2021). In the studio, trumpeter Alfredo 'Chocolate' Armenteros and a young generation of contemporary musicians surround and shelter the legend who strives to revive his glories. And on this stage set more or less in the present, 'El gran Fellove ' travels a lifetime with testimonies from old colleagues like Chucho Valdez, Dandy Beltrán or his 'enemy' and rival Melón; priceless archival images, and the evidence that if we did not know anything about this man until today it is time to redeem ourselves and remedy so much emptiness.

Far from the gravity of 'Buena Vista Social Club', by Wim Wenders, Matt Dillon's proposal supported by the masterful hand of his editor Jason Cacioppo is more like an intrigue film where the villain is the viewer's own ignorance and the hero is simply the best dancer. That or a period melodrama in which the gallant is the one who knows the love songs. That or a movie of a thousand tiny catastrophes. There are reasons for enthusiasm and they all sing 'Mango mangue'.

Dillon himself explains everything here on Tuesday.

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