domenica 13 maggio 2012

Ménilmontant - Dimitri Kirsanoff

uno di quei film che contiene molto cinema che verrà dopo.
grande bel film, con omicidi, amore, abbandono, solidarietà.
da non perdere (8.0 su imdb) - Ismaele

Dimitri Kirsanoff's Ménilmontant is a masterpiece of silent cinema, taking a simple melodramatic plot and transforming it into a deeply affecting work of art with the sheer force of the poetic, intense visuals that Kirsanoff uses to tell his story. The film follows a pair of sisters who leave the country for the city after their parents are slaughtered in a mysterious axe murder. Unusually for the time, there are no intertitles, so the plot is communicated entirely with imagery. This economical storytelling gives the film a lean, stripped-down aesthetic that makes it seem eminently modern. All the unnecessary exposition is trimmed away, and the opening axe murder is boldly stylized and brutally effective, even as its exact details remain unclear. Kirsanoff's dense, rapid-fire montage is perfectly suited to capturing the insane violence that orphans the two girls. Later, as the film traces the disintegration of the sisters' relationship after a man comes between them, Kirsanoff employs a wide variety of aesthetic tools, from superimposition to expressive closeups to poetic non-narrative shots of the urban surroundings...
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...In Ménilmontant si fondono l’impegno estetico e quello sociale con risvolti psicologici. In questo, Kirsanoff rivela la sua vicinanza all’esperienza del cinema russo, ad Ejzenstejn in particolare, quando già nella prima convulsa sequenza, il regista scandisce l’azione con una furia ritmica che moltiplica la scioccante drammaticità di un brutale assassinio, alternando primi piani e campi stretti e frammentando la scena sotto i colpi di un montaggio che poco meno di quarant’anni prima anticipa con simili funzioni la violenza espressiva dell’Hitchcock di Psycho. L’incipit introduce immediatamente un clima cupo e instabile, dove ciò che accade non ha premesse o spiegazioni, ma in cui la consequenzialità degli eventi non è mai stravolta o irrazionale. La ragione dell’omicidio di due genitori è oscura, la narrazione si concentra subito sulle due figlie (Sibirskaia e Beaulieu) che dopo qualche tempo si trasferiscono in città per guadagnarsi da vivere...
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...Dimitri Kirsanoff's film centers on two young country girls who flee to the city after their parents are brutally murdered (we are given very few details as to who did this or why). The film's narrative is very sketchy, as there are no intertitles, and the two girls have similar features and are dressed similarly throughout most of the film. One of the girls, played by the wonderful Nadia Sibirskaia (Kirsanoff's wife), goes off with a man while her sister stays home in their tenement. When she returns home she soon has a baby, and her sister goes off (presumably as a prostitute) with the man. Sibirskaia presumably becomes homeless until she is ultimately reunited with her sister. The man they went away with earlier shows up again, only to be killed by a random criminal.

The film's slim and fragmented plot does nothing to convey the extraordinary and evocative world Kirsanoff creates through a barrage of disparate techniques lifted from German expressionism, Soviet montage, Hollywood melodrama, and the French avant-garde. The opening massacre is shown through a rapid Eisenstein-inspired montage; the compression of time and dreamlike waywardness of the girls' journey is presented through a series of lap dissolves; and the wintry, desolate atmosphere of Menilmontant (a poor, working class district on the eastern edge of Paris) is conveyed by an impressionistic use of documentary footage...

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