better than nothing

Derrick 2022-04-23 07:02:28

After watching the famous Italian director Paolo Sorrenotti's "The Beautiful City" (2013), I remembered the phrase "talking is better than nothing".

It is said to be the director's tribute to Fellini, so it has the reputation of the 21st century version of "La Dolce Vita" (1959). Fellini's film was called "the great work of European decadence" by another Italian film director, Pasolini. And "City of Absolute Beauty" has obviously made a breakthrough in the decadent selling point, but the whole film can't be said to be innovative. Innovation requires strong core support, which is difficult. The breakthrough is just the use of shooting techniques and constant flashbacks. The smoothness of the picture is also quite new. Everyone was stunned to witness the scene of the streaking girl hitting the pier in a leisurely manner. This kind of heavy taste scene keeps appearing, which defines the film's dramatic neuron and reality, which frequently collide and intersect. Surprisingly, the American "Time" magazine selected the top ten movies of 2013, and the film was ranked second, which is a bit unexpected.

The film starts off with a quirky side to Rome. When the writer Jabil turned 65 years old, the scene for his birthday was full of luxurious style, wonderful singing and dancing, and with the help of montage images that continued to emerge, the strong colors of Roman Ukiyo-e were strongly reflected. At the end of the song, only the dwarf Datina, Jabil's female book editor, is in a panic to find people, showing the emptiness and illusion of the flashy world. After Jabil returned home and joked with the Asian female nanny, the feeling of loss standing alone on the balcony reminded him of the warm scenes in his childhood, reflecting the fact that reality is no longer warm. This is naturally reminiscent of Bergman's "Wild Strawberries". Just as there is no regret medicine, the good times cannot be reversed.

Afterwards, the protagonist's romantic moments, the constant reality and the turbulent trajectory of the past feelings, are just piled up and blocked without any sense of connection. Although the husband of the old lover Eliza came to inquire, it was just a dazzling display of the old story. Of course, he loved it too. But love is pure condiment for him. "For my age, beauty alone is not enough," he said. This is the point is the key. What he longed for was never there. In the face of a woman who is throwing his arms around, he will not put too much emotion into it, he will say "I don't want to waste time doing things I don't like".

In reality, there are very few women who can communicate with him at a deep level. Therefore, Jabil, who is more and more powerless, is always free from the pain of reality and imagination. Aging and frailty is a threshold that he cannot cross. As he said, "I want to be the king of a high-quality life, and I want to have the power to make them fail." But this is just his imagination. No one can conquer the world, even if he really is a king. Jabil's loneliness and unbearable, in fact, only he knows.

There are some funny lines in the film that set the tone of the film's cynicism. "Happy birthday! Happy Rome! Come on, Rome!" When an old friend asked Jabil what a woman's private parts were, he replied, "The smell of an old man's room." This activates the protagonist's romantic history and a certain world-weary taste. The appearance of the female dwarf Datina highlights the strength and stalwart of the protagonist. This form of streamer shadows also permeated Jabil's surroundings. The so-called outer strength and middle dryness also applies to individual brittleness.

Any party, always let the sharp Jabil immediately become the focus. When arguing with celebrity Stephanie, Jabil mercilessly put on her "Failed Woman" hat and said in a low voice, "You should come to see us with love, we are all on the verge of despair at our age. people". This made Stephanie extremely angry and speechless. At the same time, it also shows that there is a real and empty Jabil inner world behind the seemingly beautiful scenery.

And what he said, "early morning is an unknown existence to me", expresses his growing fear as the sun goes down. Just as there is no truly beautiful city in this world, there is no perfect human being. After all, everything is better than nothing for Jabil.

2013, 11, 7

From the film critic collection "Invisible Movies" published by Haitian Publishing House

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Extended Reading
  • Monte 2022-03-29 09:01:03

    Are you trying to satirize the hypocrisy of the middle class with these two-plus hours of ramblers that are delicate and tedious? I feel it.

  • Layla 2022-03-21 09:02:06

    The movie is beautiful! The mood is also beautiful!

The Great Beauty quotes

  • Dadina: How's the soup, Little Jep?

    Jep Gambardella: The soup's good. Why did you call me Little Jep? No one's called me that for centuries.

    Dadina: Because a friend, every now and again, needs to make their friend feel like they did as a child.

  • Santa: Why did you never write another book?

    Jep Gambardella: I was looking for the great beauty, but, I didn't find it.