martedì 22 febbraio 2011

127 Hours

I already wrote in this blog about the nice side effects of my real job (that has nothing to do with cinema, to tell you the truth). My favorite one, by far, is that I regularly receive the invitations to all the avant-premières held by Pathé in Paris. When they sent me (thanks, Véronique!) the one for Danny Boyle’s last movie, 127 Hours, I was particularly happy thinking about the main actor, Hollywood new rebel James Franco (and I hope none of you dear readers forgot about my amazing LA picture with him just few months ago). 
Usually, the actors and the director are attending the events to briefly introduce their movie. In this case, unfortunately, Franco didn’t show up, but Danny Boyle and one of the actresses, the Frenchy Clémence Poésy, where there, as you could see in the following picture (by courtesy of paparazzo Alexandre Pachiaudi, the friend who came with me to the theatre).
The rumours around 127 Hours have been going on for a while, in the cinema press. Not only because the movie has received 6 Oscar nominations (and among them Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor) but also because it is based upon an incredible real story and a story that, at first sight, could be considered impossible to be transposed on screen. 
In April 2003, Aron Ralston, a young mountain climber, decides to spend a week-end in a remote and solitary canyons area in Utah. He doesn’t prevent anybody (nor his family neither his colleagues at work) about where he is heading to. This is why, when he found himself trapped at the bottom of a crevice with his right arm crashed by a boulder, he realizes to have few, if not none, chances to save himself. And yet, against all odds (no food, almost no water, no possibility of being heard and rescued by other trekkers), Aron will manage to survive.

Introducing the picture, Danny Boyle said something very interesting: he said that the real challenge, for him, was to make an action movie about a man who can’t actually move.
He was right. I mean, I’m sure every single person in the audience was thinking about the same thing: how can we stay here seated for 1 hour and 30 minutes watching a guy with his harm under a stone and not be bored to death? As far as I’m concerned, Boyle regally won his battle against boredom: this movie grabbed my total attention from beginning to end without a single moment of weariness. Why? Because the film maker had a lot of great ideas to get (himself and Aron) out of troubles. First idea: until the guy actually found himself at the bottom of the crevice, the rhythm of the movie is breathless. From the camera to the human beings movements, everything seems to go at a higher speed. No time to think, no time to seat comfortably in our seats. This guy is moving fast, going fast, talking fast, and nothing will stop him (well, except a stone). The first part of the movie is also the only part where the character interacts with other people, in particular with two girls who are a bit lost in the canyons and are helped by Aron. But in a way, the movie only really starts when he falls down and realizes to be stuck there (and it is not by chance that the title of the movie appears just at this very moment: 127 hours, the time we are about to spend in the company of Aron). That’s the tough part, for everybody: the character (and the actor), the director and the audience. Boyle brilliantly plays his cards. Firs of all, he puts us in the canyon with Aron. We are stuck there with him, and the only moments the camera leaves that black hole and shows us the magnificent nature all around, it is just to stress the extreme solitude, the hopelessness of the situation and the indifference of that same nature (and the world in general) towards this human life. The other trick is that Aron, in order not to give up and get mental, constantly thinks about his life, his past, his family. We are then able to know him better and to see what he imagines, always as we were him (the scenes are filmed in subjective camera). Another important element is that the guy, among the few things he can count on in that awful place, has a camera and this creates a bizarre effect of movie within a movie. Aron lives his different moods in front of it, bravely showing the emotional and physical rollercoaster he is going through. Almost cheerful at the beginning (he even reproduces a TV shows where he is the guest of honour, clapping included) and then desperate towards the end, when he thinks he will die and he decides to leave a farewell message to his family.
Boyle intelligently concentrates his attention on two material aspects of the movie, absolutely essential: the light (he has used two different cinematographers to create a more profound dichotomy between the canyon scenes and all the external ones), but especially the sound. Please pay attention at the way the film maker has used it. It is really amazing, reaching its climax in the most difficult scene (don’t worry, you’ll understand which scene I’m talking about if you see the picture). Incredibly enough, this is not an anguishing movie, but quite the opposite: it leaves you full of energy and almost euphoric, thinking about the hidden and prodigious resources a human being can have.
Of course, James Franco’s performance is outstanding and his nomination to the Oscar a must. But let me be honest: only 127 hours? With James, even a lifetime won’t be enough…

2 commenti:

  1. Zazie. Stupendo, ma che ansiaaa. Stefania ha passato la seconda metà del film sdraiata sotto le poltrone del cinema.
    Sapendo la storia ogni secondo eri pronto al peggio. Patos alle stelle e voglia di piantare un urlo liberatorio durante i titoli di coda.
    Complimenti a tutta la banda!


  2. Sono contenta che ti sia piaciuto, Le Catré!
    Io, non so come, sono riuscita a guardare tutto, ma al cinema c'era anche gente che usciva...


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