Io non ho ancora avuto il coraggio, non so' piu' er ghepardo di una volta (cit. colta)
Politica in senso lato, diciamo che nel mondo anglosassone le istanze di genere e razziali in questo momento sono ai massimi livelli. Pero' riconoscimenti del genere possono anche avere una ricaduta positiva, dal punto di visto cinematografico forse e' peggio ritrovare questi temi (di per se' importanti) appiccicati per forza in qualsiasi teen drama, commedia o poliziesco commissionato dalle piattaforme che tutti conosciamo.
Insomma, il problema non e' Chantal Akerman o il mattone di tre ore (un film puo' essere noioso e bellissimo, proprio come un libro), e' che il Cinema in questo momento mi pare una forma espressiva un po' in crisi su entrambi i lati dell'Atlantico.
Qualcuno ha addirittura visto nel 1999 un apice del cinema americano, non so se e' vero, ma certo e' che le speranze di allora di vedere un film di Hollywood e trovarci un mix intelligente, coraggioso e anche provocatorio sono andate rapidamente scemando:
Why 1999 Was Hollywood’s Greatest Year (Published 2019)
P.S. Comunque la piu' grande regista donna e' indubitabilmente Jane Campion, non dico da Sweetie che e' ancora grezzo ma almeno da An Angel at My Table del 1990. E che sia stata poco considerata per una ventina d'anni quello si che e' un vero peccato.
P.P.S. Copio l'articolo del NY Times perche' vedo un paywall. Al limite cancello domani
Why 1999 Was Hollywood’s Greatest Year
May 31, 2019
Brad Pitt, center, in “Fight Club,” directed by David Fincher.Twentieth Century Fox
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BEST. MOVIE. YEAR. EVER.
How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen
By Brian Raftery
Cinema’s best year ever
? For decades, Old Hollywood purists have argued for 1939, which brought us “Gone With the Wind,” “Stagecoach,” “The Women,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Dark Victory,” “Intermezzo” and many more. Others plant the flag for 19-seventy-
9; lately, the writer Rich Cohen has been churning out essays on Medium in praise of that year’s bounty: “Apocalypse Now,” “Mad Max,” “Being There,” “Alien,” “All That Jazz” and comedies such as “The Jerk,” “The In-Laws,” “Life of Brian” and “Real Life.”
Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon in “Election,” directed by Alexander Payne.Paramount Pictures
Now comes the culture critic Brian Raftery with “Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen.” He focuses on a bumper crop of breakthrough, subversive, auteur-driven movies — virtually all of which were released theatrically in 1999 — quoting the actor Edward Norton (of 1999’s “Fight Club”), who is hard pressed to name any other 12-month span “that had more really original young filmmakers tapping into the zeitgeist.”
Heather Donahue in “The Blair Witch Project,” directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez.Artisan Entertainment
Raftery makes a persuasive, entertaining case for the enduring impact of a passel of classics, from “American Beauty” to “American Movie” to “American Pie.” Among them: “The Matrix,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Three Kings,” “Being John Malkovich,” “The Best Man,” “The Insider,” “The Virgin Suicides,” “Magnolia” and “Election.” He weaves together film history and cheeky anecdotes from Hollywood insiders, recounting a midnight rave here, a nude ski run there. His tone, like the period’s, is jaunty but jaundiced. When “The Matrix” was conceived, he observes, “the mainstream web was still in its modem-wheezing early days.” “Fight Club,” he contends, had “the proper alchemy of madcap and menace.” Raftery’s voice and thesis suit today’s craving for Nineties Nostalgia.
George Clooney, left, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube in David O. Russell's ''Three Kings.''Murray Close/Warner Brothers
In what the author describes as a cinematic counterinsurgency, many Class of ’99 filmmakers — weaned on TV remotes, joysticks, music videos and the web — dispensed with linear narratives and incorporated the “A.D.D.-addled storytelling of modern nonfiction television.” Chronology was crunched in the ecstasy-laced “Go,” the micro-budgeted “Following” and “Run Lola Run,” which played out like a video game. Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s “The Matrix,” as Raftery sees it, tapped into the idea that “online, reality was becoming bendable,” a concept encapsulated in a revolutionary CGI sequence
in which Neo (Keanu Reeves) miraculously evades a hurtling bullet. “‘The Matrix,’” Raftery writes, “nudged viewers to develop their own slowed-down, omniscient, bullet-time view of the world around them: Who controls my life?” Indeed, the themes of “The Matrix,” including our quest to decipher hidden, alternative realities, still bewitch us. (A few months ago, in fact, New York magazine published “19 Things ‘The Matrix’ Predicted About Life in 2019.”)
Al Pacino, left, and Russell Crowe appear in the Michael Mann film “The Insider.”Frank Connor/Buena Vista Pictures, via Associated Press
These maverick directors borrowed from hacker and web culture, their films foreshadowing social media’s dark descent. The internet colors Spike Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich,”
in which sojourners adopt the actor John Malkovich’s body as their avatar. According to Malkovich himself, Charlie Kaufman’s script addressed the media-fueled “need we have … to lead sort of virtual lives.” This compulsion to recast one’s identity was also at the twisted core of 1999’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” as well as “Man on the Moon,” in which Jim Carrey essentially transformed himself (on set and off) into the gonzo performance artist-comedian Andy Kaufman. Without the web, there would have been no “Blair Witch Project,” the homemade sham-snuff horror movie that became a case study in online promotion. The indie film’s faux vérité shared the fraudulent authenticity of a new genre, reality TV. And once “Blair Witch” went viral, as Raftery puts it, it helped “fringe fears go mainstream,” a fright-wig stepchild of Oliver Stone movies and “The X-Files.”
Many of the movies, Raftery points out, came with a fin de siècle
edge: a pervading apocalyptic angst. The story lines, with their aggrieved outsiders and collapsing families, prophesied our current condition, post-9/11 — plagued as we are by forever wars, increasing wealth disparity and the oppressive rise of the autocrat, the bigot, the corporate state. Frogs rain from the sky in “Magnolia.” The Burnham household implodes in “American Beauty.” Sexual obsession and decadence envelop “Eyes Wide Shut.” Angry young white guys rage against the machine in “Fight Club,” whose release was postponed in the wake of the killings at Columbine. “Boys Don’t Cry,” which recounts the murder of Brandon Teena, a transgender man, was filmed, Raftery says, just as “Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, pistol-whipped and tied to a fence in … Wyoming.”
For all this, the book has its hiccups. Raftery, despite a nice shout-out to John Hughes, favors ’90s kids-in-crisis films over “crummier Reagan-era teen movies.” There’s no mention of “Quiet: We Live in Public,” the dystopian social experiment webcammed 24/7 on the eve of the new millennium — until the cops shut it down. That said, Raftery dares to think bigger than the big screen. He explains that once HBO rolled out “The Sopranos” in January 1999, its influence would prove seismic: Thereafter, a generation’s most engaging onscreen stories would be serials, viewed in our homes or on our phones. He notes, as well, that in 1999, when AOL began its $165 billion play for the Time Warner colossus, the deal presaged the current Digital Ice Age, in which tech (Netflix, Amazon et al.) is slowly slaying the Hollywood dinosaur.
Raftery’s right. Nineteen-ninety-nine did
rewire how we tell stories in moving pictures. Morpheus, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
Then again, “
Best. Movie. Year. Ever.” may also be biased, inflating the significance of the cultural touchstones of its author’s youth. In that regard, I’d like to speak up for 1968, which turned out “
2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Yellow Submarine,” “The Producers,” “Bullitt,” “The Lion in Winter,” “Night of the Living Dead,” …
David Friend, an editor at Vanity Fair, is the author of “The Naughty Nineties: The Triumph of the American Libido.”
BEST. MOVIE. YEAR. EVER.
How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen
By Brian Raftery
387 pp. Simon & Schuster. $28.99.