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8 1/2 Unrounded Up

February 16th, 2013 § Leave a Comment

Before Daniel Day-Lewis danced and sang this film was and is and shall be. What a goddamn gorgeous cinematic miracle this is. The B + W counterbalances the white light of purity and the deep blacks of melancholy, while providing the perfect palette for the film’s numerous dreamlike sequences. Sure, we’re said to dream in B + W (I don’t), but the ethereal quality of the dream sequences segues to the film’s reality in a way I’ve seen mastered in few films. Not B + W to co-opt a time period or a bygone genre, but B + W in purest cinematic ecstasy and textural brilliance. And what better way to experience it that in 35mm at the GI, celebrating the art of cinema on the 50th anniversary of the quintessential arthouse film!

So handsome! Rocking the salt-n-pepper pre-Clooney!

So handsome! Rocking the salt-n-pepper pre-Clooney!

The camera is a free-flowing entity, unbeholden to cinematic necessity or the demands of tw0-thirds framing. An exquisite frame can be held before whirling round on subjects too close in the foreground or askew in the background. An exercise in freedom and a study of creative burnout and the expectations of a frantic public, this film never disappoints. Guido rides the line between sympathetic and disdainful, a rogue and a man-boy, like so many womanizing artists we could name. The archetype.

My only complaint about the film could play as inspired homage to Italian tradition: continuous overdubbed dialogue! Curse you unsynced audio!

What else have we got (besides VHSEX)? “Let Fury Have The Hour” is unique among counter-cultural documentaries: it doesn’t give up on the American Dream. It tells the story of an American Dream that includes community and society, before the radical individualism borne by mainstream Republican propaganda during the 80s. I can’t for one say whether one existed before the other, as I’m a product of the 80s myself (only in the literal sense), but this film paints a sympathetic picture if you keep with it: an easy task during its breezy 90 minutes. A collection of poets, rappers, punkers, comedians, and other fringe activists put a few things into perspective that made their movements obviously necessary. I have a greater appreciation for skateboarding now! Why had no one bothered to explain it to me that way before? (I guess if the question never occurs to you…)

That’s it, be good to each other.

—Fellini, pass the Bellini, dan

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