2 ago. 2011

Rabia,

a film by Sebastián Cordero (2009) features a violent South American immigrant in Spain, José María, who falls in love with a young woman named Rosa. After killing a guy on a construction site, he hides in attic of the the suburban mansion of the family for which Rosa works as a maid living there unbeknownst to anyone while watching Rosa's pregnancy develop. Although he is extremely violent, Rosa calls him "María," feminizing him in a way. (While José María is a common name for a man in the Spanish-speaking world, the usual nickname would not be "María.") She sees only the good in him, despite his homicidal ways, and despite the fact they hardly seem to know each other. All his acts of violence, by the way, are due to his "protection" of Rosa. He kills (or beats) people who insult or attack her.

This is a film that tries a little to hard for its effects and overplays its central conceit: the old stranger living in the house bit. Acting is superb by all, but the plot wears a little thin.

15 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

How would you compare your movie reviewing to your book reviewing? (I remember asking this of Ron Silliman once.)

Captcha: nastru, probably not the Romanian for "film".

Jonathan dijo...

I don't know yet. This is the first one I've done and film is not really my métier. I get impatient with it.

Vance Maverick dijo...

I would be fascinated to read a critic who could write as lucidly about passages of film as critics (since say Eliot or Empson) have written about poetry. Or, indeed, to write, myself, as lucidly about the one as the other.

Jonathan dijo...

I think I could write very well about it, but I don't have the patience somehow, either with the medium itself or with the details I would have to enumerate. The poem just sits in front of you and you can see the whole thing at once. One thing is I'm starting to hate "intellectual" films.

Vance Maverick dijo...

Yeah, they mostly skimp on the things that make films watchable. Everyone's got their exceptions, though -- for me, Godard is the easy one, then Antonioni whose pictures were often watchable despite being laughably hollow. But I'd rather see Dirty Harry than any Bergman.

Thomas dijo...

Scott Eric Kaufman's is one of the most lucid writer's on film I know of.

Here's a post about Mad Men.

And here's one about Antonioni.

He certainly has the necessary patience.

Jonathan dijo...

I agree about Scott. He is vey good.

Spanish prof dijo...

"I would be fascinated to read a critic who could write as lucidly about passages of film as critics (since say Eliot or Empson) have written about poetry"

Try Serge Daney.

Vance Maverick dijo...

Thanks for the reference to Daney. (I do read SEK.)

Clarissa dijo...

I also get impatient with film. Which I never do with very long novels by Galdos or Balzac. :-)

Jonathan dijo...

Angel Guerra was hard to get through, and La familia de León Roch. Other that those, I never get impatient with Galdós.

Spanish prof dijo...

@Vance: By the way, I took the term "critic" very broadly. Serge Daney was not an academic.

Spanish prof dijo...

Here is a link to one of Daney's most famous texts. Let me know what you think:

http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2004/feature-articles/kapo_daney/

Vance Maverick dijo...

That's a good piece. It's not precisely what I was looking for, but it does make me want to read more of Daney. That he wasn't an academic is no bar; and there's a volume at the public library, so I'm on my way.

I guess I'm looking for a criticism that engages with all levels of the art at once, from the elements up. Daney here is not much interested in the low levels -- part of the point of his citation of the tracking shot of the title is that he hasn't actually seen it. He's also after other game, personal history and the history of taste.

Spanish prof dijo...

Stanley Cavell on film maybe?