Adrian Martin and his writing partner, Cristina Alvarez Lopez, chime in on Brian De Palma’s Passion (2012), doing a much better job than I ever could at being eloquent on the subject of the film and De Palma’s cinema in general.
Some highlights include comments on the “visceral pleasures” of a De Palma film, or the well put “vigorous generic structures” of his films that “meld expressionistic and melodramatic aesthetic patterns with a cold, hard edge of social criticism.” Another way of reiterating that De Palma is not merely a trashy/camp filmmaker, but a very clever social commentator, craftsman, and storyteller.
Or the way he describes the story’s setting as “a fluid world of multinational capital, in which the office spaces are interchangeable, networked by digital connections and screens.“
I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I struggle everyday to write sentences that make sense. I often cringe when I re-read many of my film reviews. So hats off to Adrian and Cristina for being so clear and precise and smooth, specially about a director who is undoubtedly very invested in cinema as an ART. Yes, ART, that strange and appealing thing which teases us into embodying other selves, and discovering new worlds. (Cinema, to me, is all about being given the visions one has been denied so the balance of power in the world can be restored.)
On the structure of the film: “…in the connection between Isabelle and Christine that occurs in the interval between the dreaming and then waking of the former, the film already indicates, in a subterranean way, the specific structure and poetic system it is adopting: namely, a constant displacement between reality and dream that works not by opposition, but by confluence. ”
Also, something I’ve never heard anyone say before about dreams in films: it is not a sequence or a scene that is a dream, but it is the film itself that behaves, and performs, like a dream. This describes very well the second half of Passion, which is as surreal as the first time watching a David Lynch film.
To The Passion by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin
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