30 antes dos 30: A lista

Resultado de imagem para cinema paradiso

Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Em 2015, lancei a mim mesma o desafio de dar gás à minha cultura cinematográfica. A proposta era simples: ver 30 dos melhores filmes de todo o sempre antes de completar 30 anos. Além da conhecida lista de sugestões de Martin Scorsese a um jovem cineasta, que a pretensão não é tanta.

Faltam apenas dois (anos) e muitos dos filmes que entretanto, por sugestão de vários cinéfilos, somaram bem mais de 30.

Alguns já tinham sido vistos. Outros foram acrescentados por mim mesma à lista. Outros ainda não foram sugeridos mas mereciam um lugar, como o Casablanca, um dos meus preferidos de sempre.

A azul, os filmes que vi nos 26 anos antes da lista. Sobre os que, entretanto, fui vendo, ficam algumas palavras.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest | Milos Forman | 1975
ET | Steven Spielberg | 1982
Jaws | Steven Spielberg | 1975
Close Encounters of the Third Kind | Steven Spielberg | 1977
In the Mood for Love | Wong Kar-wai | 2000 | Sobre o filme
2046 | Wong Kar-wai | 2004
Raging Bull | Martin Scorsese | 1980
After Hours | Martin Scorsese | 1985
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La La Land: A vida não é como nos filmes

“La La Land” é o filme-sensação da temporada e o grande favorito aos Óscares.

Emma Stone e Ryan Gosling dão vida ao par romântico que protagoniza a história. O par romântico – aqui está o primeiro sinal de que “La La Land” não recupera só a tradição dos grandes musicais de Hollywood, como tem sido tão comentado. Mais do que isso, o que aqui se faz é recuperar a tradição dos grandes filmes de Hollywood.

Que não se pense só em “West Side Story” ou “Singing in the Rain”. É verdade que Ryan Gosling também se pendura de um candeeiro. (Mas, ó Gene Kelly, ele não se ri como tu.) É verdade que há uma canção, cujos acordes se vão repetindo ao longo da história, que as personagens identificam de imediato e o que espectador reconhece como sinal de um momento marcante. Da mesma forma que Rick vai pedindo a Sam que repita as notas de “As Time Goes By“, em “Casablanca”. (E até aqui o Seb’s é decalcado do Rick’s).

“La La Land” não se limita a copiar. Homenageia. Não repete o que Hollywood já fez durante décadas, nos tempos do bom cinema e das grandes estrelas; de quando o preto e branco desapareceu para deixar ver os vermelhos vivos dos batons das actrizes. Em vez de repetir, resgata do esquecimento da produção cinematográfica em série, de hoje, a capacidade de produzir uma história clássica, num formato clássico.

Não falta nada. Além da música e da dança, está lá a grande história de amor, de duas personagens que o acaso insiste em juntar. Está lá a admiração por aquela época de ouro do cinema, vivida nos bastidores onde são feitos os filmes, tal como em “Singing in the Rain”. Está o carisma dos protagonistas, como que a relembrar os nomes que ainda hoje celebramos, Hepburn (Audrey e Katharine), Davis, Hayworth, Gardner, Bergman. Bogart, Astaire, Kelly, Grant, até Sinatra. Está um rol de momentos de sapateado. Estão os cenários que desaparecem para focar uma só personagem. Está até o uso de uma palavra ridícula mas característica (Fred Astaire em “Funny Face”, com o clássico s’wonderful).

Há aqui tanta nostalgia, que imagino Woody Allen consumido pela sua incompreensão habitual, de quem anda, há anos, a tentar fazer filmes como os de antigamente.

Woody Allen GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Mas (e porque nestes filmes há sempre um mas) “La La Land” acaba por falhar. Enche-nos de expectativas no mais ingénuo desejo de que tudo corra bem com aquela bonita história. Achamos que tudo acabará bem, porque foi com estes clássicos que aprendemos que, nos filmes, tudo é perfeito. Mas “La La Land” acaba a tornar-se aquilo de que tentou fugir: um filme moderno. E, como qualquer filme dos nossos dias, não resiste a deixar para trás a sua versão cor-de-rosa e a dar-nos um verdadeiro banho de realidade.

É que, afinal, a vida não é como nos filmes. Não acabamos a dançar com vestidos brilhantes numa coreografia olímpica. Não acabamos num freeze frame de um beijo rápido (que Hollywood não deixava que os beijos se prolongassem além dos três segundos, naquela altura). Até porque – francamente – quem é que sabe sapateado, hoje em dia?

Woody Allen: Life is a grim, painful, nightmarish, meaningless experience

© Alex de Brabant/The Talks

© Alex de Brabant/The Talks

Pode-se amar duas pessoas ao mesmo tempo e isso só não acontece com uma sorte tremenda. A vida é uma maçada, uma tragédia, e só vai lá com mentiras. E envelhecer não é grande coisa.

Ou isto é tudo muito verdade – e ele é o único a conseguir admiti-lo, torturado por isso – ou é o delírio de um génio louco pessimista.

A conversa de Woody Allen, o cínico original, no projecto The Talks.

Mr. Allen, do you truly believe that happiness in life is impossible?

This is my perspective and has always been my perspective on life. I have a very grim, pessimistic view of it. I always have since I was a little boy; it hasn’t gotten worse with age or anything. I do feel that’s it’s a grim, painful, nightmarish, meaningless experience and that the only way that you can be happy is if you tell yourself some lies and deceive yourself.

I think it’s safe to say that most people would disagree.

But I am not the first person to say this or even the most articulate person. It was said by Nietzsche, it was said by Freud, it was said by Eugene O’Neill. One must have one’s delusions to live. If you look at life too honestly and clearly, life becomes unbearable because it’s a pretty grim enterprise, you will admit.

I have a hard time imagining Woody Allen having such a hard life…

I have been very lucky and I have made my talent a very productive life for me, but everything else I am not good at. I am not good getting through life, even the simplest things. These things that are a child’s play for most people are a trauma for me.

Can you give me an example?

Checking in at an airport or at hotel, handling my relationships with other people, going for a walk, exchanging things in a store… I’ve been working on the same Olympia Typewriter since I was sixteen – and it still looks like new. All of my films were written on that typewriter, but until recently I couldn’t even change the color ribbon myself. There were times when I would invite people over to dinner just so they would change the ribbon. It’s a tragedy.

Do you distrust the good things in life?

Life is full of moments that are good – winning a lottery, seeing a beautiful woman, a great dinner – but the whole thing is tragic. It’s an oasis that is very pleasant. Take a film like Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. This is a film of great tragedy, but there is a moment when he is sitting with the children and drinking milk and eating wild strawberries. But then that wonderful moment passes and you come back to what existence really is.

Are you equally pessimistic about love?

You are much more dependent on luck than you think. People say if you want to have a good relationship, you have to work at it. But you never hear it about anything you really like, about sailing or going to soccer games. You never say: I have to work at it. You just love it. You can’t work at a relationship; you can’t control it. You have to be lucky and go through your life. If you are not lucky you have to be prepared for some degree of suffering. That’s why most relationships are very difficult and have some degree of pain. People stay together because of inertia, they don’t have the energy. Because they are frightened of being lonely, or they have children.

Can a man love two women at the same time?

More than two. (Laughs) I think you can. That’s why romance is a very difficult and painful thing, a very hard, very complicated thing. You can be with your wife, very happily married, and then you meet some woman and you love her. But you love your wife, too. And you also love that one. Or if she’s met some man and she loves the man and she loves you. And then you meet somebody else and now there are three of you. (Laughs) Why only one person?

Things might get a bit tricky if one were to follow your advice…

It’s important to control yourself because life gets too complicated if you don’t, but the impulse is often there for people. Some say society should be more open. That doesn’t work either. I think it’s a lose-lose situation. If you pursue the other woman, it’s a losing situation and it’s not good for your relationship or your marriage. If your marriage is open and you’re allowed to, that’s no good either. There’s no way, really in the end, to be happy unless you get very lucky.

Do you ever cry?

I cry in the cinema all the time. It’s probably one of the only places I ever cry, because I have trouble crying. In Hannah and Her Sisters there was a scene where I was supposed to cry, and they tried everything, but it was impossible. They blew the stuff in my eyes and I couldn’t cry, but in the cinema I weep. It’s like magic. I see the end of Bicycle Thieves or City Lights. It’s the only place – never in the theater and almost never in life.

You used to star in almost all of your films, but in recent years you’ve been in less and less of them. Why?

Only because there is no good part. For years I played the romantic lead and then I couldn’t play it anymore because I got too old. It’s just no fun not playing the guy who gets the girl. You can imagine how frustrating it is when I do these movies with Scarlett Johansson and Naomi Watts and the other guys get them and I am the director. I am that old guy over there that is the director. I don’t like that. I like to be the one that sits opposite them in the restaurant, looks in their eyes and lies to them. So if I can’t do that it’s not much fun to play in the movies.

What’s your take on getting older?

I find it a lousy deal. There is no advantage getting older. You don’t get smarter, you don’t get wiser, you don’t get more mellow, you don’t get more kindly, nothing good happens. Your back hurts more, you get more indigestion, your eyesight isn’t as good, you need a hearing aid. It’s a bad business getting old and I would advise you not to do it if you can avoid it. It doesn’t have a romantic quality.

Will you ever stop making films?

I simply enjoy working. Where else could I develop ambition? As an artist, you are always striving toward an ultimate achievement but never seem to reach it. You shoot a film, and the result could have always been better. You try again, and fail once more. In some ways I find it enjoyable. You never lose sight of your goal. I don’t do my job to make money or to break box office records, I simply try things out. What would happen if I were to achieve perfection at some point? What would I do then?