A masterpiece that can be seen, reviewed and re-read

ART – Monday, July 4 at 8:50 PM – Movie

see again The Jardin des Finzi-Contini (1970) is an immersion in an endless reflection on the frontiers of a cinematic adaptation of a masterpiece of world literature. Either two indisputable geniuses: Giorgio Bassani (1916-2000), the equivalent of Proust across the Alps; And Vittorio De Sica (1901-1974) won the Berlin Golden Bear and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1971 with this film.

What connection could there be between the quivering and misty universe of Bassani, centered entirely on the small Jewish community of Ferrara, in northern Italy, and that, in the south, of a director who made himself the identity of the Neapolitan cantor?

The writer felt betrayed, although he himself asked the director and co-wrote the script. This tells the story of the ruthless confinement of a Jewish family which, as racial laws were passed in 1938 by Benito Mussolini, almost voluntarily enclosed itself in its large estate, reinvented the ghetto, and accepted the tragedy that awaited it.

few shades

Characters have been standardized around certain character traits, presumably to improve narrative efficiency. Mikol (Dominic Sanda) seems to give up love because of stubbornness, when the realization of his future destiny is the cause; Pale and feverish, Alberto (Helmut Berger), his brother, appears to be rehearsing for futuristic scenes from Ludwig (1973), by Luchino Visconti. Malnat (Fabio Testi) Isn’t he a little manly, even if he embodies a proud communist fighter? Finally, Giorgio (Lino Capolicchio), on the contrary, is a little boring.

Tennis matches, which bring together youths from the Jewish community excluded from their club, as well as their friends, were filmed on the Finzi-Contini property, according to a critic Mond December 1971, “With the flattening of a mathematical report”. Suppose none of the actors knew how to hold a racket, while Bassani was a skilled player…

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Ferrara, the walled city, is not so visible, while it is the essential element of Bassani’s work (which he would call part of his own). roman ferrara). “Garden Betrayed”The writer, in a scathing essay, provoked outrage at what he saw as betrayals.

Half a century later, the film has not lost any of its flaws. Perhaps he lacks length and apathy. An hour and a half is not enough to express the nuances, to create a place and characters that exist until they disappear. But these shortcomings have a tremendous advantage in encouraging (re)reading a secret, powerful, trembling and transparent work of fiction, in which the memory of reality is valued more than reality itself.

Le Jardin des Finzi-Contini, De Vittorio De Sica (Everything, 1970, 90 min). Afek Dominic Sanda, Helmut Berger, Lino Capolicchio. On Arte.tv until August 2. Documentary follow-up In search of the Finzi-Contini parkIt’s 10:25 pm


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