Don’t forget to select your favorite films!
There's beauty and terror on the US/Mexico border; sometimes they're inherently intertwined, such as in bullfighting and during an approaching thunderstorm, and sometimes, as the Ross brothers show in their newest film, they're creatively juxtaposed, with fireworks and fiestas up front and cartel killings hovering mostly in the background. The film casts a wide net and it's hard to pin down a political agenda, although it's clear that border security demagoguery is perhaps even more dangerous to the people on the ground than the gangland violence. Shared culture and sociability are the true heroes, with anything that, to paraphrase the film, "divides amigos" the ultimate enemy.
Relatively short, somber, and nerve-wracking, Ermanno Olmi's tragic portrait of an Italian army unit on the front lines of WWI is a monochromatic symphony of grizzled faces in cramped, sad surroundings. The men are pinned down by unseen snipers, commanded by distant authorities, and subject to the indifferent weather. Olmi is still a quiet, unassuming, but morally insistent master, paring down his late style into only the barest essentials of light, speech, and emotion.
The English title is the bitterly ironic Greenery Will Bloom Again.
Could this have been a game-changing psychedelic, philosophical sci-fi epic of gargantuan proportions, somehow bankrolled by a Hollywood studio? I guess, but I sure as hell wouldn't have ponied up the money for a project like this, with only a weighty scrapbook and a surrealistic supergroup helmed by an excitable madman to recommend it.
The movie itself is badly-shot auteur-stroking of the highest order, as indulgent of its subject as Jodorowsky is of himself, but the art and imagery do…