venerdì 29 agosto 2014

Wise blood (La saggezza nel sangue) – John Huston (as Jhon Huston)

tratto da un romanzo di Flannery O'Connor, il primo suo libro pubblicato nel 1952 (che leggerò, è sicuro).
protagonista è Brad Dourif (che era Billy, qualche anno prima, in “Qualcuno volò sul nido del cuculo”), appare in una piccola parte anche Harry Dean Stanton, come anche John Huston.
il film è straordinario e profondo, ricco di situazioni e pieno di sorprese.
ambientato in qualche stato del sud degli Usa, Hazel Motes, reduce di qualche guerra, molto confuso, ad essere generosi, di guarda in giro e fonda "la Chiesa della Verità senza Gesù Cristo Crocefisso".
impossibile da raccontare, non facile da trovare, ma indimenticabile.
guardatelo e godetene tutti - Ismaele 

Alla fine degli anni '40, tornato al paese natio della Georgia, il reduce di guerra Hazel Motes comincia a predicare un proprio vangelo, quello di una chiesa della verità senza Cristo né redenzione. Ma c'è un suo "doppio", un falso predicatore che lo contraffà. Tratto dal romanzo (1952) di Flannery O'Connor, sceneggiato dai fratelli Benedict e Michael (anche produttore con la moglie Kathy) Fitzgerald, comincia nelle cadenze ilari anche se inquietanti di un'agra commedia di costume e sprofonda a poco a poco in una drammaticità di dolorosa assurdità. In questo 2° film in terra americana della sua vecchiezza Huston si tiene a distanza dai personaggi, assecondato dalla fotografia livida, un po' spettrale quasi da acquario, di Gerry Fischer. C'è la consueta sagacia nella galleria delle figure minori, lo humor, la navigata capacità di controllare la materia narrativa, ma anche la rinuncia al pittoresco e al folclore. Rari altri film hanno raccontato con altrettanta efficacia il sentimentale sacro che alberga nell'homo americanus e i modi aberranti, ossessivi, ridicoli con cui si manifesta. Fedele a F. O'Connor, Huston ha fatto un film divertente e terribile. Forse terribile perché è divertente.

…Based on Flannery O'Connor's novel, the film is incredibly odd, not merely in its collection of grotesques - par for the course in a Southern Gothic allegory - but in its style and tone; it's based on a book written in the 50's, clearly set in the 70's but with characters who act like they are from the 30's. It's a mish-mash of styles that reminded me of Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish, which also combines different eras to create a singular, dreamlike world. Wise Blood also shares with Rumble Fish a philosophical tone as both films revolve, in one way or another, around young men trying to make sense of the world who are confronted with differing existential ideas. Tonally, the film feels more like a movie that would have been made 10 years later than it was. It's matter-of-fact approach to its bizarre characters reminded me of Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man and other mid-90's American Independent films. The anachronistic combination of the very 70's visual style and the not at all 70's tone was really disconcerting...

John Huston filme un monde délabré d'handicapés mentaux et sociaux. Les personnages sont déliquescents, les maisons s'effritent, les rues pissent la misère, les voitures suintent et couinent. Un monde qui s'écroule où seule la religion est donnée comme planche de salut. Or, il s'avère qu'elle est peut-être le moteur le plus actif de cette dégénérescence, aussi éclatée que les frontières mentales de cette pauvre engeance. Elle apparait aussi vieille et moisie que cette société racornie, abandonnée aux mauvaises herbes. Huston filme une société américaine déchue, aux rides aussi profondes qu'encrassées, où le sentiment religieux est perverti par un cynisme marchand. In God we trust. C'est assez schématique comme analyse, j'en conviens, ne m'en veuillez pas trop, je ne peux pas faire mieux…

Most film fans will have a handful of titles in their collection that they cannot view with any degree of objectivity. And so it should be. It signifies when the appreciation of a work of art or entertainment is driven by an emotional response rather than an intellectual one. You can work out why it's a great movie later, but for now it's all about love, and rational analysis has no part of it.
But take the next step and you'll quickly find yourself re-categorised from film buff to hopeless obsessive. It's a move that prompts sensible people to shake their heads and ask after the state of your sanity, and for those standing next to you at the bus stop to take a discrete step backwards as you enthuse to a fellow devotee. You have become in the eyes of the normal world a geek. It's a condition that sees people every year dress up as characters from Star Trek and meet to exchange Klingon greetings, or to meet at Portmeirion and re-enact scenes from The Prisoner. It's what prompted those two fans of Withnail & I to visit locations used for the film for one of the extras of the film's last DVD incarnation, and what inspired myself and my own personal Withnail to trudge to the village of Turville in Oxfordshire to photograph each other at the sites at which Went the Day Well was shot. And it's just such a relationship with the 1979 film Wise Blood that led to two evenings of outrageous silliness at a local pub in which my friend, dressed as the film's lead character and sporting a dodgy Tennessee accent, had the landlord on his knees yelling evangelical Hallelujahs as tears of laughter poured down his face.
Now if you've never seen Wise Blood – and there's a fair chance you haven't – then you'll probably be wondering just what it is about it that could provoke such a response. Mind you, if you have seen it you'll probably be none the wiser. This is no case of "just see it and you'll get it," as there's a fair chance that you won't. It's a personal thing, one of those times when a film and a character strike such a chord that the response resists rational explanation. Such is the case with Hazel Motes, a name as burned onto my consciousness as Dracula, Judah Ben-Hur or Hannibal Lector…

2 commenti:

  1. Io ho letto il libro. Non mi ha entusiasmata, mi ha lasciata perplessa. Lo rileggerò in futuro.

    1. molti anni fa ho letto qualcosa di Flannery O'Connor, questo suo primo libro no.
      il film è buonissimo, prova a cercarlo.