Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bahrani vs Dardennes

My second contribution to Filmwell is now up. Notes on the Dardenne retrospective at Lincoln Centre, NYC, with lots of links to things Dardennian. Best part is an interview excerpt from Cineaste magazine, where Ramin Bahrani (MAN PUSH CART, CHOP SHOP, GOODBYE SOLO) takes issue with L'ENFANT - the bum! - and we consider the fine line between moral and moralistic.

While you're over there, you might also want to check out a nice essay by fellow Filmweller Alissa Wilkson - "Goodbye Solo, This American Life, and Ramin Bahrani" - which niftily connects my favourite radio show ("This American Life") with Bahrani's small-scale cinematic realism. And she points to an exceptionally fine A.O Scott piece on Neo-Neo Realism that references everybody from Bahrani and the Dardennes to Roberto Rossellini, Satyajit Ray and WENDY & LUCY.
"What if, at least some of the time, we feel an urge to escape from escapism? For most of the past decade, magical thinking has been elevated from a diversion to an ideological principle. The benign faith that dreams will come true can be hard to distinguish from the more sinister seduction of believing in lies. To counter the tyranny of fantasy entrenched on Wall Street and in Washington as well as in Hollywood, it seems possible that engagement with the world as it is might reassert itself as an aesthetic strategy. Perhaps it would be worth considering that what we need from movies, in the face of a dismaying and confusing real world, is realism."

A.O. Scott, Neo-Neo Realism, New York Times, March 17 2009

Most Dardenne and Bahrani films cited here are available at Videomatica

1 comment:

Peter T Chattaway said...

So long as we don't confuse realISM with realITY, sure.