venerdì 25 luglio 2014

Adelheid - Frantisek Vlácil

un film di molti silenzi, di attese, di estranei, di umiliazioni, Viktor e Adelheid vivono nella stessa casa (requisita ai tedeschi, nei Sudeti), senza conoscersi mai, non sembrano avere neanche una lingua comune.
Viktor arriva dall'Inghilterra, torna in patria per un lavoro importante, ma non capisce bene lavoro e la patria, Adelheid è una tedesca che, dopo la seconda guerra mondiale, deve abbandonare tutto, e tornare in Germania.
l'occhio di Frantisek Vlácil è perfetto, e non tralascia nessun particolare.
non è un film da prima serata alla tv, per fortuna.
non ti distrai un attimo e quando sembra alla fine...
pare che il regista abbia fatto dei capolavori, intanto ho iniziato con questo, senza nessuna delusione, anzi - Ismaele

In all honesty, I find František Vláčil's cinema hard to talk about, and not because it's too complex or difficult to interpret. The real difficulty comes when all you have at your disposal to do it justice are mere words. You could, of course, remedy this by presenting copious screencaps, pointing out elements you like, and yet, even in this form, it wouldn't be enough.  Not by a long chalk. It goes without saying that his meticulously composed shots will look beautiful, but in doing so, you'll miss the motion. You'll miss the alchemy of it all unfolding before your eyes and the strange, haunting presence that resonates in every frame and maybe even between them.
OK, I'll freely admit that what I'm suggesting may sound a little hyperbolic. However, what I'm attempting to describe is less ghost in the machine and more a presence of the director himself – and no, I don't mean his departed spirit – that he gives part of himself away with each film, and if you could, you'd probably see that very essence sandwiched between the stock and the image printed upon it. The speed of the projector or more appropriately the spin of the DVD drawer means we miss it physically, but feel it emotionally instead.  This sensibility is something that Vláčil and only Vláčil can bring to the screen…
Adelheid is a taut, powerful and compelling film. A Character study on the one hand and love story on the other, Vláčil's first colour film is not only a challenge from a visual perspective, but also an emotional one. Though it may not be one of the most well-known constituents of the director's output, it's no less interesting. This is a must for any fans creating intent on creating their own collection of the director's work or indeed, with a love of Czech cinema. Highly recommended.

Although František Vláčil’s directing career continued to 1987, Adelheid (1969) was the last of his films to get much exposure outside his native country. It also marked the end of his most creatively fertile period: in the years following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Communist authorities prevented him from making features until 1976…

František Vláčil is surely one of the greatest directors to have ever lived. For what it’s worth, he is certainly one of my favorites…
The complexity of racial history and its impact on the individual is played out between the two main characters of Viktor and Adelheid in a way that only Vláčil can make visible. They don’t speak each others language – at least Viktor has very little German and Adelheid seems to be pretending she can’t understand any Czech. Therefore much of the film is tied up in the subtle interactions between Viktor and Adelheid  that we view from Viktor’s perspective.We know almost nothing about the two main characters.  In Viktors case we only know the little he reveals to others, and he is obviously hiding a great deal, and in Adelheid’s case we only know what others deem interesting or important enough to say about her. There is both opposition and attraction between Viktor and Adelheid. Initially Viktor is attracted to her physically, but over time this develops into an intense connection. We are never sure for Adelheid, because she is a servant, and therefore is bereft of free will. This is left deliberately ambiguous and open to interpretation…
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