THE ART OF FILM AS A SPACE FOR REFLECTION ORIGINATING FROM COVID-19
We didn’t have time before. The lack of it overwhelmed our lives with stress and haste. Coronavirus sounded like some faraway thing, off in China, something foreign and alien that has become, unfortunately, part of our day-to-day lives. These lives offer almost nothing positive, but for giving us time, to reflect – those that aim to – and do and see everything that we had planned.
Therefore, seeking reflection within the situation, a very powerful weapon in this matter is the seventh art. Art that, due to the similarity with our physical world, brings us closer to our daily lives: the reality we live, bathed in ‘reality always exceeds fiction’. Here we recommend five real fictions within the world of film to see – and reflect on – in this lockdown.
The first is ‘Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom’, a film that shows the power of some people over others. A journey of what people do not want to experience but that combines with the most animalistic desires, a journey that makes the rules and then breaks them, breaks them because they taught you how to make them. A movie that will show you a different status quo.
The second is Athina Rachel Tsangari’s ‘Chevalier’. A ship with several men onboard, along with their egos, struggle to see who comes out top. Perhaps an allegory for Europe in showing how incidents are managed from the higher positions of the population. A masculinized Europe awash with money and in a war to see who does things better, giving us a necessary reflection both at the country level and the concept that they have sold us, and badly, of what ‘Europe’ is. A must-see movie.
The third is ‘Embrace of the Serpent’. Time is important, and what we spend it doing even more so. This shamanic journey teaches us that the present is important, precisely because it is flooded by the past and the future, a necessary confusion of times that must remain in the moment. This isolation is also a kind of shamanic journey that can transforms us and, most importantly, leave an everlasting change.
The fourth is ‘Grey Gardens’. Being at home is not at odds with being elegant. What’s more, being elegant is a must. Having class, for one thing, has become a duty to respect ourselves and also to see what part of social rules we have internalized. The outward appearance is part of our time, a time that escapes from our hands.
The fifth is ‘No Home Movie’. In this documentary Chantal Akermann reminds us of where we come from: the usual, the everyday, and that when we lack it, we stop being ourselves, in a certain way, we stop being what we need to be complete. Or perhaps not exactly this: not to be complete, but to get closer to the ideal of who we are, of how we have been created since birth. These ideas that need to be remembered because, being human in origin, they tend to be forgotten.
Social rules, political organization, time, our customs and our origins: the mixture of this makes our present. A present that with the Covid-19 is necessary to evaluate. Reflection, using cinema as a tool, is necessary.