The great Italian director was invited to the Cannes Film Festival for a masterclass and the presentation of a very personal documentary, “Marx can wait”, about his twin brother who committed suicide at the age of 29. He will also receive an honorary Palme d’Or during the closing ceremony.
After Thierry Frémaux announced it as a ” cinema giant », Marco Bellocchio arrived with a half-smile on his face for his masterclass. As usual, he was flattered, embarrassed and kind at the same time. It’s not so much that this filmmaker, looking handsome at 81, disdains this kind of exercise. Rather, it is that he suggests that he may not be the best person to talk about his work. ” I can’t answer the question He has often said. The paradox is that he is quite talkative. To the first question asked by Jean-Christophe Ferrari, cinema editor-in-chief of Defector, on his activism at the beginning of May 68, we were very hot for the translator: the filmmaker’s response took six minutes, watch in hand.
How to sum up the career of this great Italian? Let’s say there are several periods. The first fits in a single film: Fists in my pockets (1965), disturbing and obsessive coup. Shot in his region of origin, in Plaisance, in Emilia-Romagna, this film tells the story of the progressive dislocation of a family, in a cold house, where a young man with epilepsy (Lou Castel, face of an adult baby) lives with his family. blind mother, sister and brothers. In the form of an expressionist camera haunted by incest and crime, this vitriolic family portrait has long been considered as a foreshadowing of the events of May 68. ” There is nothing political din »Insisted on correcting Marco Bellocchio. According to him, his political period began with China is near, satire in which he derides both the political class as a whole and Maoism: ” Irony is what the film won in 1967 at the Mostra de Venise, at the same time as The Chinese by Godard ”…
Salvation in psychoanalysis
In the 1970s, he produced “leftist fictions” (First page rape, with Gian Maria Volonte) and protest pamphlets, tinged with ” anarchizing surrealism “. On In the name of the Father, his target was “the philosophy of mediocrity At the base of denominational education. Active far left activist throughout this decade, he knows “ a deep crisis ” at the time of ” reflux », Period of decline of revolutionary forces. While others fall into terrorism or drugs, he finds salvation in psychoanalysis. He meets Massimo Fagioli, a fairly famous neuropsychiatrist in Italy, a follower of collective psychoanalysis. With him, he began a close collaboration, unprecedented in the context of cinema, from the Leap into the void (1980) until Butterfly dream (1994), through The Devil in the Body, fascinating film but too often reduced to its scandal.
Bellocchio is both an underground seismologist and a clinician. He studies, probes to see what is camouflaged, concealed, repressed. Better understand the unreason and the conflict which agitate the individual as the collective (the Church, the family, the mafia), such is its vocation. In his cinema of screams and crises, of cruel examinations of conscience, nothing is simple and yet everything tends towards a form of clarity, harmony, reparation. He himself got lost sometimes, took a long time to blossom. His erratic career includes ups and downs. More surprising: it is a rare case of a filmmaker who has really improved with age and who has reached a form of accomplishment around his sixties. From the 2000s, Marco Bellocchio made a group shot of exceptional films. Among them : My mother’s smile (pamphlet against the instrumentalisation of religion), Buongiorno, notte (the daily newspaper of the terrorists who kidnapped Aldo Moro), Vincere (dark and flamboyant melodrama, around Mussolini and his wife), Sleeping Beauty (choral film around euthanasia) and his most recent, The traitor, both a saga and an analysis of the mafia system, based on the testimonies of a repentant from Cosa Nostra.
Bellocchio came to Cannes while he was in the middle of filming a six-part series, for RAI and Arte: Esterno Notte, return on the resounding assassination of Aldo Moro by the Red Brigages, in 1978. In addition, before receiving his Palme d’Or of honor this Saturday evening, he presented a personal documentary, very intimate, Marx can wait. Between the investigation and the confession, the filmmaker returns with part of his family and some relatives to a tragic event: the suicide of Camillo, his twin brother, ragazzo blond, at the age of 29. A young man, half archangel, half vitelloni, who looked for himself a lot, without ever finding himself. Bellocchio collects the words of his sisters and brothers, and speaks himself, to his own children. Nourished by these testimonies, photos, excerpts from topical images, the film is simple, direct, produced without filter, with an assumed shamelessness. By re-reading his own filmography himself in the light of this missing brother, Bellocchio reveals his wrongs and his remorse. While showing once again the terrible repercussions of madness, its tyranny and its insidious contamination within the family unit.
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Marco Bellocchio, an honorary Palme d’Or for the great filmmaker of repression