So I had a pretty busy weekend and only by Sunday I’ve realized that the São Paulo International Film Festival had started out. Years before, there were times when I was so excited about the festival, taking days off to spend the whole day in theaters, running from one session to another, cracking up my head to work out a schedule where I could watch all the movies that interested me. Well, sure, as I no longer believe I will ever do movies in this lifetime of mine, that kind of crazyness about movies no longer inhabits me.
However, every year, at least one night, I go to this session that happens under MASP (São Paulo’s Art Museum) and it’s pretty cool. I don’t know, just the thought that you’ve taken a break in the middle of São Paulo’s chaos to allow yourself in the contemplation of some other life than your own, just a story, just an inspiring image, like this magical moment while everything around seems to be only busy, busy, buzz and squeezy.
This year, as I have suffered many times before from the winds of this open air-current space turned into a movie session, I was prepared to not be cold and well muffled. Had a sandwich before and green tea of muscat flavor (?) and enjoyed myself to L’atalante (1934) ***. The storyline is pretty simple, there is this girl who marries a mariner, decides to go out and see the city and they both miss each other. Ok, there is also this old tar, this simple, drunk old man who collects pretty items in his cabin and makes music, finds the girl back. But basically that’s it, and yet the movie still lives on and it’s regarded as one of the best in cinema history.
I was actually surprised to find out that besides some daring scenes that marks a new moment for French cinema, this was also the one and only single film by a young Jean Vigo, who would die at age 29. Some companies used cut versions of the movie for quite a while, but there is a certain intriguing aspect about how was the vision of this filmmaker – and wow, what was that man licking a rock of ice?
Among showing unemployed men on line, a bunch of cats and a funny character trying to sell scarfs, dancing with the lady and playing one-man-band, we can get a more “real” feeling of the simple life and yet have a sense of magic, like the story of diving the head into the water, and the mariner really diving deep to be able to see his love. And not even today they can make an erotic scene so pure (and with no nude, to note), with them two apart, but together onscreen, sharing the same feeling of desire and longing.
Wouldn’t it be grand if we could all become simple friends like Juliette and père Jules do, and if there was less pride and jealousy (it’s only human emotion, you all) so one can not be afflicted anymore, just rest in love?