IL CASTELLO (THE CASTLE)
MASSIMO D'ANOLFI, MARTINA PARENTI
Italy, 2011, 90’
What can and cannot fly through the skies: a young boy from Paraguay with 9 cocaine eggs in his stomach? Red bream that may contain arms? A woman who loses her ticket and is forced to live in the airport bathroom? All of these questions are raised in this castle that the pair of filmmakers from Milan, Massimo D´Anolfi and Martina Parenti, built when they locked themselves in their city’s airport, Malpensa, to capture everything that went on there during four seasons. It is a film devoted to uninterrupted flight, full of plots to celebrate the beginning of our cycle this year. The first step of any flight is the ground and this is what is seen throughout the film: pedestrians of the air who have been denied the right to fly for various reasons and spend their time in these buildings sealed by ever stricter borders, which are airports. Customs officers have now become the owners of the sky. No sooner are they shooting towards the sky to scare away birds that may damage the aircraft than we see them feeling packets of lobsters in search of false fillings or questioning immigrants by entering in their personal mobile phones.
MASSIMO D’ANOLFI, MARTINA PARENTO
The Italian filmmakers, Massimo D’Anolfi (Pescara, 1974) and Martina Parento (Milan, 1972) are the founders of Montmorency Film and together they have directed the documentary feature films: I promessi sposi (2007), Grandi speranze (2009) and Il castello (2011).
Armenia, 1982, 50’
“Our Century is a film about us, about me, about what I'm striving for, what we're all striving for every person, humanity. And this desire to ascend, to transcend, is literally embodied in the cosmonauts", says Pelechian of his longest and undoubtedly most vertical film, a geometric definition that he himself defends for all of his films. If the line were the trace in his film Konec/End and the circle is in Vychod/ Life, here we have an exaltation of both: a space rocket is none other than a line that heads towards a circle, the moon. And that is this film: the celebration of a century that is the century of defying gravity. The Armenian director’s distance montage fulfils an ecstasy in this festival of propellers and wings, where biplanes and zeppelins, parachutists and aviators, crowds and triumphant marches through showers of confetti are repeated with those that the film reveals in its space race. There is no lack of the B side of man’s ambition in the air: bombing from the air and an anthology of the aeroplane accident, a reliable summary of a century of dreams that were as big as the tragedies. It is all doubled up with a musical montage that marks the poetic clashes. It is Pelechian in a film climax, summed up in the blinking of a man hanging from the heavens. And Pelechian, with his habitual silence, where the only word is the countdown to the launch and where his masterly art of flight offers us the best film for the grand finale.
Armenian director of film essays, documentarian in the history of film and a film theorist, Artavazd Pelechian, one of the leading Soviet filmmakers, eliminated the limits between fiction and documentaries, by combining them both as a true poetic unit. He postulated "distance montage ", characterised for combining the perception of depth with what is close up. He is known for filming short works almost always in black and white, in which sound effects play nearly as important a role in his films as the visual images. He is the director of films such as TheBeginning (1967), We (1967), Inhabitant (1970), The Seasons of the Year (1975), The AutumnPastoral (1971), Life (1993) or The End (1994). He is also the author of a series of theoretical works, such as Moyo Kino.