1975: 2 movies

posted 2015 May 11

L'histoire d'Adèle H.
Directed by François Truffaut 
Written by François Truffaut, Jean Gruault,
and Suzanne Schiffman
Cinematography by Néstor Almendros
Editing by Martine Barraqué, Yann Dedet,
Jean Gargonne, Michèle Neny,
and Muriel Zeleny 
Production design by Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko
Costumes by Jacqueline Guyot 
Make-up by Thi-Loan Nguyen
Music by Maurice Jauber
Starring Isabelle Adjani and Bruce Robinson

   A disturbing tale on unrequited love. Possibly the saddest movie on the subject. Very beautiful and stunningly good actress, very cold, crisp lighting and sound. A woman wrestling with fame, a dead sibling, and heartbreak is unwilling to let her lover go. And I mean, never. The thing that makes the movie great is how all aspects of the movie, from make-up and costumes to acting and editing, are all pointed towards the grey area between the protagonist, Adele, being a pitiful loser and being an admirable conqueror. As a testament to the reality and intrigue of the movie, your judgement on which side of the grey she falls on may change with your age and wisdom.
   The title translates from French to "The story of Adele H."

Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman
Produced by Måns Reuterswärd
Cinematography by Sven Nykvist
Editing by Siv Lundgren
Production design by Henny Noremark
Set decor by Anna-Lena Hansen and Emilio Moliner 
Costumes by Karin Erskine and Henny Noremark
Choreography by Donya Feuer
Starring Josef Köstlinger, Irma Urrila,
Håkan Hagegård, Elisabeth Erikson,
Ulrik Cold, and Birgit Nordin

   An joyous effort to transfer the experience of opera through cinema. By including shots of the audience and the opera actors off-stage, we are reminded of the communal activity of attending live opera, how everyone is aware of that it is a ceremony dedicated to pretending as well as focusing on the sublime music, stagecraft, and voices. The close-up shots of the actors' faces gives us a more nuanced opera, and the amazing sets fill the audience with a sweet sense of wonder. Of course, being in the hands of director Bergman and cinematographer Nykvist, we are treated to splendid camera-shots and new highlightings of Mozart and Schikaneder's original opus. For example, the close-up on Pamina's face as she and Tamino journey through hell makes us wonder whether the entire opera is actually Pamina's dream, brought on by psychological fears surrounding the shift from daughter to wife, from virgin girl to experienced woman, and from an individual to part of a united two-some.
   The title translates from Swedish to "The magic flute", in reference to Mozart's German opera "Die Zauberflöte".

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