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2018-07-17T19:37:28.423Z
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Illustration by Sergio MembrillasLegendary film critic Molly Haskell once wrote after seeing Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather that the final image of the film where Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) has the door closed on his wife, Kay (Diane Keaton), to conduct a business meeting has “reverberated through our culture” ever since. In terms of movies Haskell is specifically referring to the image’s metaphorical power of representing the course Hollywood would take in ignoring women for what is now, nearly fifty years. The image of Michael shutting the door essentially forces Kay into the fringes of his life and therefore the narrative of the movie, and I agree with Haskell that it has proven to be one of the more useful images in all of Hollywood, and filmmaking in general, ever since. What is ironic about the appearance of this culturally significant image in the early 70s is that it is in complete opposition to what second wave feminists were fighting for at the time. While feminists certainly have more important goals than whatever is going on in cinema, it is unfortunate that we still find ourselves in lock-step with the echoes of New Hollywood even today. We’ve just replaced the hyper-masculinity of something like motorcycle pictures with super-heroes. There have always been great movies about women, but it has since been increasingly hard to find them at multiplexes and theatres beyond the art house. The Quad Cinema’s “New York Woman” series is beautiful and...
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on MUBI. John Cassavetes's Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) is showing July 17 - August 16, 2018 in the United Kingdom and July 15 - August 14, 2018 in many countries around the world.It is difficult to write about a John Cassavetes film. His work, which is so elusive and textured in form and style, is deeply experiential. Watching his films is an immersive, enthralling, and often challenging experience. Although Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) is, in many ways, one of Cassavetes’s more accessible, straightforward and lighthearted films, it also embodies the meandering, irrational, and at times absurd and chaotic style that has come to define his body of work. Minnie and Moskowitz is Cassavetes’ revisionist take on the screwball comedy, following its titular protagonists Minnie Moore (Gena Rowlands) and Seymour Moskowitz (Seymour Cassel) as they negotiate the most unlikely of romantic courtships over a brief but intense four days. Episodic in structure, the film weaves back and forth between snapshots of Minnie and Moskowitz’s disparate lives before the two meet in a chance encounter. Chance, banality, and humor interweave throughout the film to paint a picture of its characters’ lives which are at once simple and profound. Minnie, played by the beautiful and mournful Rowlands, works at the L.A. county museum and curses cinema for filling her with unattainable ideals about love. She goes to the movies with her older, dowdy coworker Florence, and the two talk candidly about...
Andrew Luka Zimmerman's Erase and Forget (2017) is exclusively showing July 16 - August 15, 2018 on MUBI.The making of this film is perhaps as unconventional as the character through which the film explores its subject matter and themes, sadly all too relevant again today. It took me over ten years to make, against constantly changing and challenging odds. Ultimately, however, the independence that came from this way of working was important, to be able properly to explore the issues the film raises, in a way that hopes to open up debate rather than to fix it. This is why I don’t want, in this short introduction, to talk too much about how and why the film’s strategies are working, as I’d rather audiences find their own readings of the layered and sometimes seemingly contradictory material presented. The film, after all, is as much about representations, about the numerous forms of image making that communicate contemporary reality to us.Bo is an unreliable narrator. When you look at covert operations, those that succeeded we usually never know about, so we can only study the effects of those that spill into public awareness. I think the spaces in between official and private memory are where we might find a form of truth, in the gestures, the inflections of the voice, the words masking what’s unsaid behind them.Another tension lies in the relationship between the action movie genre and the news media, especially when speaking about war. For...
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on MUBI. Paul Schrader's The Canyons (2013) is showing July 14 - August 13, 2018 in the United Kingdom.Dyspeptic and sleazy and often as thick-headed as the selfish, solipsistic assholes around which its languid narrative unfurls, Paul Schrader’s The Canyons presents an unprecedented and unmitigated perspective on Hollywood’s toxic affluence, as judgmental as it is enamored of the iniquitous lives it depicts. It is a mess, certainly, but a fascinating, sometimes brilliant one, and necessary—a bizarre coalescence of influences and talents representative of and germane to the obsessions of its progenitors. Directed by Schrader and written by Bret Easton Ellis, the film has at its core a generational dichotomy, an insider’s sense of debasement filmed with a surveyor's inquisitiveness. (Few are as deft as Ellis at disemboweling the bilious lives of the Hollywood elite.) This tension between artists pervades the film, imbues the stylized pseudo-realism with a surreal specificity, as well as an artificial vagueness. In its indulgences, its visual garishness, the gimmicky casting and inane dialogue (Ellis seems unaware of, or unconcerned with, how real people speak, but these people barely qualify as human anyway), it excavates unseemly truths about the upper class, about the entertainment industry and its corrosive effects on the lives of the naively ambitious. It is the essential post-modern, post-theatrical, post-social media film, a lugubrious and leisurely-paced depiction of injudicious decisions free of consequence, duplicitous stratagems, and general human awfulness. It has...
Above: US 40" x 60" poster.Currently playing on MUBI in the United States as part of a mini Ealing Comedies series, Kind Hearts and Coronets is often considered Ealing Studios’ greatest achievement (it ranked at number six in the British Film Institute’s 1999 poll of the Best British Films of All Time). It was released in 1949 within the same two months as two other Ealing classics: Passport to Pimlico and Whisky Galore. All three were nominated for the 1949 British Academy Award for Best British Film, though all three lost out to The Third Man.A dark yet breezy satire of class and mores in Edwardian Britain, in which a dispossessed aristocrat plans to wipe out the line of succession to the dukedom he believes is his, one upper class twit at a time, Kind Hearts is most notable for Alec Guinness’s bravura turn as nine different characters (he was originally offered four roles and he loved the script so much he said “why four, why not eight?”). From the original posters for the film, however—the British quad below and the US poster above—it seems that the Guinness gimmick was not the major marketing point for the film that it became when the film was re-released in later years. Prominent in the earliest posters, the main character played by Dennis Price and his female co-stars are later eclipsed, especially in international posters, by the eight Guinnesses.In France and Belgium the film was released as “Noblesse...
Illustration by Adam JureskoIn veteran filmmaker Paul Schrader’s latest film, First Reformed, Ethan Hawke stars as Reverend Toller, a anguished priest from a small-town parish. He struggles to tend to a dwindling congregation, torn apart by political radicalism and overwhelming despair. The film’s stylistic approach is one of a static camera and minimalist look, borrowing from the vernacular of Robert Bresson, Schrader’s long-time cinema hero. As Toller finds himself increasingly drawn into extremes of both emotion and ideology, his journey presents a series of philosophical and religious questions to the moviegoer—the likes of which are rarely seen in contemporary American indie. On the eve of First Reformed’s Sundance London premiere in June, we took a phone call from Paul Schrader to discuss the film, Christianity in America, working with Ethan Hawke, and creating rules only to break them.NOTEBOOK: You’ve long been interested in the behavior of men who turn to violent extremism, in one way or another. The whole ‘Here is a man who stood up…’ school of thought. What is it about that psychology that fascinates you? PAUL SCHRADER: Well, it’s somehow embedded in the DNA in these Abrahamic religions: Christianity, and Judaism and Islam. It all starts with the blood. Everybody sacrifices: there are the symbolic bloody sacrifices of the son, the symbolic drinking of the blood for communion. And so...Christians often go off in this way. They’re connecting their suffering to Christ’s suffering. They’re suffering their way into heaven, and they...
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on MUBI. Jean-Luc Godard's The Rise and Fall of a Small Film Company (1986), which is receiving an exclusive global online premiere on MUBI, is showing July 13 - August 12, 2018 as a Special Discovery.Alfred Hitchcock may have been the one who famously likened actors to cattle, but leave it to Jean-Luc Godard to actually depict the analogy. Throughout Godard’s Grandeur et décadence d’un petit commerce de cinéma (The Rise and Fall of a Small Film Company), his comic 1986 contribution to the multinational “Série noire” program, the iconoclastic French auteur pokes and prods a roundup of filmmaking measures, from the casting corral and the necessary financial wrangling to the ever-evolving technical wilderness of modern media. Recently born again into the world of narrative filmmaking (a singular variety of narrative filmmaking, to be sure), Godard began the 1980s with Sauve qui peut (la vie) (Every Man for Himself, 1980), a release he dubbed his “second first film.” The transitional period that followed—and no one has had more transitional periods than Godard—went on to generate some of his finest work: the madcap Prénom Carmen (First Name: Carmen, 1983), the scandalous Je vous salue, Marie (Hail Mary, 1985), and the genre-twist Détective (1985). But the film Grandeur et décadence most resembles (aside from Le mépris/Contempt some twenty years before) is Godard’s Passion (1982), a similarly meandering, self-aware assessment of the moviemaking business. Godard’s submission to the television anthology, produced...
Percussionist, professor, free-jazz drummer, acupuncturist, herbalist, independent electro-cardiologist, martial artist, sculptor—Milford Graves doesn’t settle down and he doesn’t stick to one thing. Rather, these different identities all feed into this autodidact and polymath’s interest in the body and the human heart, as well the natural world’s relationship with them. Graves the man, the musician, his lifestyle, and his unwavering beliefs are the subject of Jake Meginsky and co-director Neil Young’s recent film, Milford Graves: Full Mantis (2018), which with Stephen Schible’s Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (2017), is one of two portraits of artists now playing in New York City.Born on August 20, 1941 in Jamaica, Queens, Milford Graves is one of the seminal figures of free jazz, avant-garde jazz, or any other type of classification that describes the genre of the late 1950s and 1960s. Although his discography is slim (which is perhaps due to the fact that his drumming is so singular that it isn’t conducive to jazz’s preponderance for group playing), in this period you can hear his music on Albert Ayler’s Love Cry (1968), Sonny Sharrock’s Black Woman (1969), and on the albums released by the New York Art Quartet (for which he was a member of). In 1973, out of necessity to make ends meet for his wife and children, he took a job teaching various subjects at Bennington College in Vermont, which lasted until 2012, when he retired. He also created his own martial arts called “yara” (a Yoruban word for “nimbleness”), which...
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.NEWSClaude Lanzmann, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Satre, 1967. Photo via Rithy Panh.
  • Shoah director and singular cinematic chronicler of the Holocaust, Claude Lanzmann has sadly left us. Daniel Lewis provides a comprehensive remembrance for The New York Times. Last year, we wrote on his last five films films, Napalm and The Four Sisters, a quartet of documentaries.
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  • An oddly modern trailer showcasing the new gorgeous restoration of Jacques Rivette's first masterpiece (starring Anna Karina!), The Nun (1966).
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“It’s about more than the music.” This is what one of the talking heads in Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney insists—that the story of legendary pop vocalist Whitney Houston is about more than her music. Houston’s grisly descent into drugs and addiction certainly has a steeper dramatic arc than the rise-rise, slow fade-and-fall trajectory of her celebrated voice, which was severely damaged by the time she was found face down in a hotel bathtub at the age of 48 in February of 2012.Except, the music is a big part of Houston’s story. Daughter of soul singer Cissy Houston, cousin of Diane and Dee Dee Warwick, goddaughter to Darlene Love and unofficial niece to Aretha ‘Auntie Ree’ Franklin, she was born into family of singers. An instantly recognisable mezzo-soprano with a powerful, clean, goosebump-inducing belt, her emotional range could reach celestial highs, buoyed by her trademark melismas and stemming from her gospel training under Cissy’s tutelage. In one of Whitney’s talking head clips, founder of Arista Records Clive Davis says of her 1985 hit ‘The Greatest Love of All’ that she “found meaning in that song I’m sure not even the composers were aware of.” Her seventh and final record ‘I Look to You’ was released in 2009 to critical acclaim, earning Houston her first number one album since 1992’s soundtrack to The Bodyguard, but her comeback doesn’t fit the film’s classical narrative and so it is omitted. In an interview with NME magazine Macdonald admits that he had no interest...
Bruno Dumont's CoinCoin et les Z'inhumainsThe lineup for the 2018 festival has been revealed, including new films by Hong Sang-soo, Radu Muntean, Mariano Llinás and others, alongside retrospectives and tributes, and much more.PIAZZA GRANDEBlackKkansman (Spike Lee, USA)Blaze (Ethan Hawke, USA)Coincoin et les Z'inhumains (Bruno Dumont, France)I Feel Good (Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern, France)Le vent tourne (Bettina Oberli, Switzerland, France)Les Beaux Esprits (Vianney Lebasque, France)Liberty (Leo McCarey, USA)L'ordre des medecins (David Roux, France)L'ospite (Duccio Chiarini, Italy, Switzerland, France)Manila in the Claws of Light (Lino Brocka, Philippines)Birds of Passage (Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra, Colombia)Ruben Brandt, Collector (Milorad Krstic, Hungary)Se7en (David Fincher, USA)Searching (Aneesh Chaganty, USA)The Equalizer 2 (Antoine Fuqua, USA)Un nemico che ti vuole bene (Denis Rabaglia, Italy, Switzerland)What Doesn't Kill Us (Sandra Nettelbeck, Germany)CONCORSO INTERNAZIONALEGlaubenberg (Thomas Imbach, Switzerland)A Family Tour (Liang Ying, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia)Diane (Kent Jones, USA)La Flor (Mariano Llinás, Argentina)Yara (Abbas Fahdel, Lebanon)Menocchio (Alberto Fasulo, Italy, Romania)Too Late To Die Young (Dominga Sotomayor, Chile)Ray & Liz (Richard Billingham, United Kingdom)Hotel By the River (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea)A Land Imagined (Siew Hua Yeo, Singapore, France, Netherlands)M (Yolande Zauberman, France)Sibel (Çagla Zencirci, Guillaume Giovanetti, Turkey, France,...
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on MUBI. Philippe Garrel's A Burning Hot Summer (2011) is showing June 22 - July 22, 2018 in many countries around the world.There is a moment in Philippe Garrel's A Burning Hot Summer which stands out. Three characters attend a party. Frédéric (Louis Garrel), a painter, and Paul (Jérôme Robart), a budding writer, sit together discussing their work. “I’ll base a character on you one day…you won’t recognize yourself,” Paul suggests. Frédéric responds: “maybe I’ll be better…better than in real life.” In the next room, Frédéric’s wife Angèle (Monica Bellucci) dances with a number of partners to ‘Truth Begins’ by Dirty Pretty Things. Garrel’s camera, normally restrained, breaks free, loosely tracking Angèle’s path from one partner to another, only to be obstructed by the movements of other dancers as the foreground becomes increasingly abstracted by their fluid movements around the room. No one figure has control over the others. The scene, shot in a single take, is a rare moment of freedom in an otherwise rigid and formally austere film that it underscores just how trapped Angèle has been leading up to this moment.The male gaze haunts Philippe Garrel’s cinema: “Cinema was designed by men and it is always they who determine our portrayals, our ways of seeing things and telling things.”1  His male protagonists are plagued by a pathological need to own every aspect of the women in their lives, a dichotomy realized in its purest form in 1974’s Les hautes solitudes: an uncomfortably...
The Notebook is the North American home for Locarno Film Festival Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian's blog. Chatrian has been writing thoughtful blog entries in Italian on Locarno's website since he took over as Director in late 2012, and you can find the English translations here on the Notebook as they're published. Within a few days of each other, two great men passed away. They created unforgettable films, one by distilling light, the other by gathering unexpressed or long forgotten words. Their activity and their weight in film history are immeasurable, and it would make no sense to juxtapose them. I did not have the privilege of knowing them. I have neither the pretense nor the possibility to remember them with thoughts that go beyond common knowledge. That being said, their passing leads me to reflect on the significance of my cinephilia, a word that is currently used in a fairly generic way. I wonder what allowed me to come across Robby Müller’s work and recognize it even when it shifts from one mode to another—I remember that I wished to look into his body of work after seeing Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, where celluloid becomes matter to the extent of resembling an old lithography. I also wonder how, roughly in the same time period, I was able to intercept the oeuvre of Claude Lanzmann. Or rather, “his” film. How I felt the urgency to not only see Shoah more than once but to also show it to other...
In collaboration with the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Tomoyasu Murata's A Branch of a Pine Is Tied Up (2017) is showing exclusively on MUBI from July 9 - August 8, 2018 as part of the series Competing at Oberhausen.I have worked on a series that will consist of five puppet animations, portraying the view of Mujo on the subjects of prayer, chronicling and faith. This latest film entitled A Branch a Pine Tied up is the third work of the series.In the film, I employ motifs that I used at my solo show 2 in 2009: “Yin and Yang,” “this life and afterlife”, “uniform twins” and “faults and faults”. These motifs represent “emotion, memory and faith” for Japanese. This story simultaneously depicts the phenomenon that is caused by the huge force in the collision of faults and the psychological phenomenon of twin girls. I symbolically puts the two paired things in the work: turning on / off the switch, overlapping two pictures, a shrine in the space between two rocks, the twin Magatama which is known as the Curved Jewel, and two things what we can see and cannot see.The Japanese archipelago is a unique island formed by about 2000 active faults. They cause huge earthquakes all over in Japan in 100-year, 300-year, 500-year and 1000-year units. The earthquake caused the most serious damage in Japan on March 11, 2011 is one of the huge earthquakes that occur at intervals of a hundred years. Everyone was...
Scores on Screen is a column by Clare Nina Norelli on film soundtracks.When French documentarian Alain Resnais was commissioned to produce a short film about the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, it initially seemed to him an impossible and daunting task. How does one convey onscreen the sheer magnitude of the horrific atomic attack and its devastating effects; how to reproduce on celluloid the ongoing trauma of that fateful August morning as experienced by the Japanese people? Resnais ultimately decided to focus his film on the “impossibility” of talking about, or fully knowing, the tragedy of Hiroshima. Eschewing the documentary form he was familiar with, the director instead embarked on his first narrative film, Hiroshima, mon amour (1959), enlisting the help of the celebrated French writer Marguerite Duras to write the film’s scenario and dialogue.   Resnais still retained documentary-style images of the ruins of Hiroshima and the city’s survivors, but the suffering of the city is filtered through the eyes, memories, and words of the film’s two protagonists, “He” and “She” (portrayed by Eiji Okada and Emmanuelle Riva respectively), a Japanese architect and a French actress who engage in an extramarital one-night stand. In framing the horrors of Hiroshima via their affair, Resnais brings us closer to the tragedy of war, and the tenderness and intimacy that transpires between these two relative strangers as they try for love amongst the physical and psychological ruins of not only Hiroshima, but their own wartime pasts, further...
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on MUBI. Vladimir Durán's So Long Enthusiasm (2017), which is receiving an exclusive global online premiere on MUBI, is showing from July 5 - August 4, 2018 as a Special Discovery.It’s become almost commonplace to observe that Kafka’s novella Metamorphosis isn’t about an ugly-looking bug, but instead about the inner workings of a family in a time of crisis. When we can’t depend on the support of others, what personal inner resources might we reveal?A similar question drives the Colombian filmmaker Vladimir Durán’s feature debut, So Long Enthusiasm (2017), in which members of a tight-knit family—three sisters in their 20s and an eleven-year-old boy, Axel (Camilo Castiglione)—find themselves cooped up in their apartment in Buenos Aires, with guests and friends coming and going, as their mother, Margarita (Rosario Bléfari) convalesces, locked up in her bedroom.“Dysfunctional is the new normal” could be the guiding motto for the film, as it is, in a way, in Kafka’s story, in which Gregor Samsa must think through and get around the biological limitations of his insect body. In Durán’s film, the limitations are not physiognomic but spatial—the children communicate with their mother either through a window that connects the bathroom with her room, or through her bedroom’s door. Quirky moments of companionship and play ensue, such as tapping out rhythms on the door with Axel, to pass time, or giving incessant relationship and psychological advice to somewhat aloof Antonia (Mariel...
Paul Schrader's Light Sleeper (1992) is showing June 9 - July 9, 2018 in the United States.Light SleeperPopularly known as the screenwriter of Taxi Driver (1976), Paul Schrader’s work in cinema extends well beyond this seminal collaboration with Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, from his beginnings as a film critic to his continued career as a director. When asked how his background as a critic influenced his work as a filmmaker he uses a telling example to outline the two modes of approaching the cinematic medium. Responding cautiously, he explains that for him the analytical impulses of the critic may be
"as much for good as bad, maybe in fact more for bad. Because a critic in many ways is like a medical examiner. You know, you open up the cadaver, and you want to see how and why it lived. And a writer, a filmmaker, is, on the other hand, much like a pregnant woman. You know, you’re just trying to keep this thing alive and nurse it and feed it and hope that it comes out alive. And so you have to be very careful not to let the medical examiner into the delivery room. You know? Because he will kill that baby. He’ll just tear it apart and say, 'Oh, this is an interesting baby!' Rip!"1
As explicitly proposed in these two scenarios, a film may be treated as an infant in delivery, or a deceased body prepared for autopsy. An overly binaristic...
On paper, A Skin So Soft will probably look like another one of Canadian auteur Denis Côté’s off-center, exploratory documentaries. The filmmaker’s tenth feature follows the daily routine of six Quebecois bodybuilders, and their almost maniacal dedication to the art of building the perfect body. But we know, both from his skewed fictions (like Carcasses, Vic & Flo Saw a Bear or Boris without Beatrice) and from his tilted documentaries (Bestiaire, Joy of Man’s Desiring), that there’s always more to his films than meets the eye. As it turns out, this free-form documentary, shot with a minimal crew for a ridiculously small amount of money, is out to find the people that are hidden inside the body armor—the workout as revelation of an identity, a personality, the muscles as a mere facade for the person inside. It’s a film that Côté himself describes as one of his personal favorites, something that has been confirmed by A Skin So Soft’s warm reception in the festival circuit: premiering in the main competition at Locarno in the summer of 2017, it has since been screened at TIFF, NYFF, Jeonju, CPH:DOX, Viennale, Cinéma du Réel, Doclisboa, FICUNAM and BFI London.In Locarno, shortly after the film’s premiere, I sat down with Côté for a lengthy conversation that revealed some of his lodestars: assuming his auteur status without scaring away the audience, asking questions while withholding the answers, making sure his audience gets to have an experience rather than just being passive observers. NOTEBOOK:...
Continuing a summer of extraordinary Asian cinema programming in New York City, which has seen over the past two months retrospectives on Sylvia Chang and Chang Cheh, the New York Asian Film Festival and the upcoming Japan Cuts, comes a retrospective starting July 5th at the Museum of Modern Art on the films of Lau Kar-leung. A choreographer, actor, and director, Lau was the central figure in the Golden Age of martial arts cinema, a period which began in 1967 with the break-out success of The One-Armed Swordsman, reached its classical perfection with 1978’s The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and came to an end in 1994 with Drunken Master II. That Lau choreographed the former and directed the latter two is no coincidence. It was his commitment to verisimilitude in stunt choreography, in training the actors under his command, from the biggest stars to the most minor extras, in traditional kung fu fighting styles, and then integrating those techniques with the showmanship of popular opera acrobatics, that made the Shaw Brothers films of the late 60s and 1970s the most extraordinary action films in the world. Filming in relatively long takes, framing to best display the athletic skills of his performers, rather than obscure their movements, eschewing all but the most basic of special effects (a trampoline-aided leap here or there), Lau’s films form the Platonic ideal of fight cinema. They are to the blurry, hyperactively-cut, CGI-enhanced action films of today what the musicals...
"Too much beauty is disgusting," said Robert Bresson, a dictum put to the test in Carosello Napolitano (Neapolitan Carousel), Ettore Giannini's 1954 history of Neapolitan song, 130 minutes of beautiful music, singing, costumes, set design, cinematography, direction and people (Sophia Loren alone could cause beauty-overload). It's just screened at Il Cinema Ritrovato in a dazzling new restoration.As Hollywood was responding to The Red Shoes by inflating its musicals with longer and longer "ballets," suspending the plot and allowing Gene Kelly to strut his stuff, Giannini went a stage further, following Tales of Hoffmann by making a film in which song and dance threaten to overwhelm narrative altogether.But there are actually three kinds of interwoven story in this film: first, we meet a family of show people, homeless and impoverished, scraping a neo-realist existence in post-war Naples, living on the songs of the past. Then we dive into stylized renditions of history, with the songs themselves creating short stories which can be explored via ballet sequences choreographed by The Red Shoes' Leonide Massine. The stories are connected by visual devices rather than by narrative connection, but add up to a history of Naples and its songs. Traveling through the centuries are the show people, eternally poor and hungry, immortal like the Wandering Jew, symbolic figures obviously, but also earthily real.Giannini boldly leaps from theatrical studio sets to real locations, sometimes letting the stagey backdrops bleed into reality, sometimes simply cutting via a match on movement from sound stage to...