“In art, there is only artifice. Let us therefore praise an artifice that is cultivated without remorse, which consequently acquires a greater sincerity rather than artifice masked by itself as by others under hypocritical pretexts. The true is as false as the false; only the archi-false becomes true.”—Luc Moullet, Cahiers du cinema no. 87, September 1958
“it’s full of geometry and darkness and light, perfect neon artificiality that bends and bounces off of the cold city surfaces of a lovingly photographed los angeles, often shot from the inside of the cab of our titular driver, suggesting a sort of insulated perspectivism. the los angeles we see is the same los angeles ryan gosling sees and it’s a city that peers back into gosling and, as an effect, back into the audience.
for me, that scene where gosling brings mulligan and her character’s son to that wild growth and river at the edge of the cement canal is emblematic of the entire feature and specifically gosling’s character/performance. the driver is a cold, detached child of the city. he is a stunt man, as is constantly reminded: “he works for the movies.” so, there is a sense of artificiality to gosling, a sense of sociopathy. immediately coming out of the picture, i compared him to de niro in TAXI DRIVER. but, there is a significant difference. and that’s that, unlike de niro’s character, the driver has something genuine and wild and beautiful somewhere inside of him, however engulfed and hidden by his misanthropy or his coldness. somewhere inside of him, just as this unexpected natural stream seems to flow out of the man-made, concrete waterway, is something almost pure, a “real human being.” to me, the driver as a mysterious figure, ambiguously sociopathic yet shyly striving for a humanity in a situation of ultra-violence and danger, is perhaps the most startling aspect of the film.”
Ennio Morricone - The Ecstasy Of Gold (via The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
“’How does a film-maker make sure his music is heard? Let me give you an example. If someone has not been invited to a party, but wants to go, what does he do?’ [Ennio] Morricone acts out some noisy Italian bonhomie: ‘Hello everybody, hello.’
‘He doesn’t do this. He knocks at the door, asks for permission to come in, enters the house and then starts meeting people. The music in a film must enter politely, very slowly. The composer does not have to write music at the actual moment a character enters a room - it might be too much. So there is this slow, delicate entry, with a simple sound that allows the film-maker to lower the other, naturalistic sounds.
The human ear can distinguish no more than two sounds of different quality at the same time. Some very nice music doesn’t work because of that: if it is too strong, it can become an element that disturbs the film, rather than giving something to it. Yet in some cases the music must be very, very strong, when it is necessary to give a particular dynamic to the storytelling course of the film, rather than, say, a person’s feelings.”
-excerpted from Morricone profile “Screen Saver”, The Guardian (via)
Excuse me for being presumptuous, but in answer to a previous question; basically, China has a very diverse film industry, but also a pretty particular one, so there are no really obvious directors to begin with.... probably, however, the work of Johnnie To, Jia Zhangke, Tian Zhuangzhuang and Wong Kar Wai are good places to start. Plus the Hong Kong martial arts stuff is definitely worthwhile (Ringo Lam, for one, makes very accessible but pretty damn good martial arts films).
What Chinese movie do you like best? (If you have ever seen any Chinese movie...)
East Asian cinema is a pretty big gap in my knowledge, unfortunately. I haven’t seen too many films from Mainland China, although I’m slightly more familiar with Hong Kong films, and the Chinese-language work of directors like Ang Lee and Wong Kar Wai.
I’m not too interested as a genre in the historical drama/action film, which is mostly the kind of Chinese production that gets distribution in America.