Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα past. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα past. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, 26 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Stories We Tell (2012)





Director: Sarah Polley
Writers: Sarah Polley, Michael Polley (narration)
Stars: Michael Polley, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Harry Gulkin
Production: Canada
Duration: 108'


This is a story of a family and their mother, whose personal life affected everyone around her. She is the mother of the director, Sarah Colley, an acclaimed Canadian filmmaker who decided to dive into her own past, her family's history in order to create one of the most breathtaking and deepest documentaries of our times. 

"Stories We Tell" talks about Diane, a young ambitious actress whose energy and vitality is contagious to the people who know her. One day, at a play she was participating, she met a young guy named Micheal who was meant to be her husband. With him she lived a happy shared life, along with their four children - two from a previous failed marriage of Diane - when Sarah was born. Their life didn't change that much, not until Diane passed away from cancer, when Sarah was still quite young. 

The youngest and most different of all, the director herself, gives the necessary space to her interviewees to unfold their own side of their family story, revealing - what started as a joke in the beginning - the possibility that Sarah might be the result of an short affair her mother had. After searching, Sarah will discover that her mother had indeed an affair when she played in a play years ago. What will she come across after this revelation that changed everybody's life? Who is the father and what will happen to Micheal if he finds out?

The unfolding of the many stories is not necessarily narrated with that order. What starts as a portrait of Diane and a family, slowly turns into a deeper and stronger story. Nothing is what it seems in the beginning and Sarah knows that. The interviews she held with her brothers and sisters, her father and friends of Diane, are revealing, through the powerful effect of the editing, a magnificent story about family bonding and love. 

The main story is being narrated by Micheal, Sarah's father, as a monologue that he wrote himself. He talks about his life and his relationship with Diane with pure honesty, displaying only particles of the stories we are being told. Sarah takes over the narration at times, leaving many of the protagonists to tell their own. Along with the interviews we see real footage of Diane through the years, but also reconstruction of her life with actors. Those glimpses of memory lost in time provide a melancholic and nostalgic tone to the film, like all these are happening to somebody else, anyone in this world, like those images are part of anyone's life. 

The way this personal documentary is filmed and edited is the main core of its importance. How she put the fragments together and how she managed to build this tension and this depth - without even trying to be sentimental - it is remarkable. Pieces of personal stories come together and create a mosaic that talks further from the obvious. It is not just a personal story anymore. Because the stories of each and everyone's lives are a mere reflection of our own current self. 

Sarah manages to talk about her own life with such an objectivity. She magnificently unfolds the stories of her own life without even intervening. It is like she is letting us do the judgment on either what is being told or the characters and their actions. The fact that we don't really see her clear point of view shows only the artistic and cinematic magnitude of her existence. Nobody could ever do this more successfully than Sarah Polley. 

While the stories unfold, we see how Sarah gives equal narration space to both of her fathers - the biological and the one who raised her. This decision does not minimize the importance of the story and it exalts the director even more. Michael is the father who raised her and loved her. A man who put his family first, neglecting at times his wife, is a lonely person with immense wit and humor. The biological father, a drifter who stares now at the past and the life he could have had, is someone quite different and yet a bit the same. The sure is they have one thing in common: their daughter. 

"Stories We Tell" is an immense proof of pure cinematic art and human influence. It changed the way personal stories are told by making the "my story" into an "our story", by making it universal. This documentary talks bravely about true love and life itself. How the course of our lives is so closely connected with the one of our families and our friends. This documentary is about us all, and not Sarah alone. It is about our own stories and the way they influence our very own future. This humanity and universality you discover here is and will be beyond comparison. 







Τετάρτη, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2013

Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

Director: Alain Resnais
Writer:  Marguerite Duras
With: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas
Duration: 90’
Production: France, Japan

Elle is a French actress shooting a movie in Hiroshima. She meets Lui, a married Japanese architect. Together they share their opinions about the war, about life and love, until all of their past is being unraveled.

This movie and its story have a strong sentimental base. At the beginning the war pictures and the words that accompany them are breathtaking. We are being introduced to a couple that met in Hiroshima. The details of their relationship and their background are being slowly revealed.

First everything is about the war. As the story goes the focus changes and goes to the couple’s past, particularly Elle’s past. Then, she will slowly expose herself to buried memories and feelings. The strong and confident French actress will become a scared little girl and nothing can save her. She is exposed to love, sentiments, and strong feelings. Slowly she will remember that once she did fell all these again. The turbulence that the past provokes makes her act in complete denial of the present.

The constant denial of Elle’s lover depicts the general denial of such a destructive war that makes your heart doom. The power of her own story is so magnificent that deletes somehow the struggle of their departure (she has to go back to France to her husband, he is married in Hiroshima).

Several images scattered create the essence of memories tried to be forgotten through the years, the alcohol though, manages to withdraw them from the oblivion darkness to the realistic surface of the present. He listens carefully as the moments of grief and despair she recalls appear, pretending to be the lover she lost once and for all.

All these information she reveals, do expose why she has lived what she has lived, but not in any case justify the actions of her surroundings towards her. Her betrayal is so powerful her own parents lock her in this basement; she is being constantly humiliated for this unfortunate – but so fortunate for her still – affair with the German soldier during the Nazi occupation.

She loved him with all of her human senses. She never regrets her love for him and now this Japanese man makes her relive this strength in her soul. He makes her remember the true love she once experienced and so tragically lost. She is deadly afraid that all these will happen again. Scared and alone she starts drifting through Hiroshima, trying to settle her thoughts, trying to put her own feelings in order.

He is following her, trying to convince her to stay with him, but she – like a dog experiencing a traumatic incident – believes that such a strong love will result to her “imprisonment” again. The loss, the emptiness, the grief of losing a lover were so intense, she never wants to live it again. The unclear ending proves not only that the destinations does not even matter, but also that strong feelings can overcome any type of fear ever existed in one’s mind and soul.


Yes she probably stayed, we don’t know for how long, we will never know, but at least she managed to talk about this traumatic experience, to let it out, there exposed, ready to be judged or dismissed. She managed to somehow accept it deep in her heart, without accusing or regretting, but only sharing it, reliving it and finally discarding it to permanent oblivion