martedì 17 giugno 2014

The Crying Game

On Sunday night, while the rest of the nation where I live was looking at the first football match involving Les Bleus, I realized that Arté was showing Secret and Lies by Mike Leigh
I know this movie by heart: Leigh (my readers are well aware of this) is one of my favourite directors of all time and I consider Secrets and lies an absolute masterpiece.
I immediately wrote something on my Facebook page suggesting my French friends who were not interested in the World Cup to watch the movie, but I didn’t expect I would have watched it myself all over again for the 10th time. And I was even more surprised when, looking at my favourite scene, I started to cry… well, it would be more accurate to write I started sobbing.
Is this happening to you too? I mean: am I the only one who is capable of crying over and over again at a certain scene of a certain movie, no matter how many times I watched it?
Some movies touch a particular part of our soul, I guess, and there is nothing we could do about it. Usually people are ashamed to admit they cry in cinemas, but I am not. I proudly confess to weep very often watching a movie, and I decided to publicly confess Zazie's TOP 5 MOST EMOTIONAL MOVIES:

5 - My life without me by Isabel Coixet (2003)
I really love Isabel Coixet’s cinema and I think My life without me is an underestimated great movie of cinema history. Ann, a 23 years old wife and mother living in Vancouver, finds out to have an inoperable cancer. She decides not to tell her husband, her two young daughters and her mother, and she prefers to prepare them to the life “without her”. Of course, the subject would break anybody’s heart, but Coixet never takes advantage of its tearful potential. The film is simple, candid and full of life, and Sarah Polley is amazing in the role of Ann.
It it almost impossible, though, not to weep every now and then. 
I personally did it - non stop - for the last 45 minutes of the movie.

4 – Au revoir les Enfants by Louis Malle (1987)
Based on a real story that happened to Louis Malle when he was a young boy under the German occupation, this movie builds up, scene after scene, a degree of emotion difficult to handle. On the last scene, when the Gestapo embarks some students and the priest and you hear him saying: “Au revoir, les enfants!”, I defy any single human being not to burst into tears like a little baby. The most heart-breaking quote of cinema history.

3 - Secrets and Lies by Mike Leigh (1996)
I have cried at every Leigh’s film, but this wins hands down.
I guess I cry so much watching this movie partly because Leigh has a special way of showing people in their most fragile and human conditions, and partly because the actors play so amazingly well that I am shaken by their immense talent. In this scene, one of the most beautiful, compelling and moving of Leigh’s cinema (and of cinema tout court), Brenda Blethyn is able to pass from incredulity to bewilderment, from hilarity to desperation in a way that it’s simply impossible to forget. If you don’t cry watching her, your heart is made of stone, believe me:

2 - Breaking the Waves by Lars Von Trier (1996) 
This film is present in almost all my TOP 5 movies of no matter what category, and I guess you have to get used to it, because it was one of those films having an incredible impact on my life. As I already had the chance to write in this blog: the death of Bess McNeil is one of the saddest moments I have to endure at cinema. Until today, it is just impossible for me not to drop a tear if I hear the first notes of Life on Mars by David Bowie.

1 - Everyone’s Waiting - Final Episode of Six Feet Under by Alan Ball (2005)
I know, this is not a movie I saw in a cinema. This is not even a movie, but I can’t deny that my most epic desperate moment in front of a screen was the final scene of the final episode of Six Feet Under. Friends who watched it before me had warned me about it but nothing could have prepared me for this emotional turmoil. We are talking about a series of almost 10 years ago, so I don’t think it will be a spoiler for anybody if I write that Alan Ball showed us the death of every single character in the story. Not a real surprise, since the main theme of this series actually is death, but after 5 seasons I was so attached to the Fisher family, that I started to cry at the first death and I stopped many hours after the last one. I cried so much that next day, arriving at the office, all my colleagues asked what tragedy had occurred to me.
On the side cover of Six feet Under's box set (having the shape of a grave, ça va sans dire!) you can read these words: Everything. Everyone. Everywhere. Ends.
They were clearly underestimating my tears.

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