Archive for August, 2007

Chaotic Ana (2007)

“Caótica Ana” (2007)


Opening doors

This is really something. Any Medem film is a true event. Being able to watch such a master evolve, film by film is a privilege. Medem is on the top of cinematic innovation and exploration today, at this moment, and this film may be his highest achievement so far.

So this one is built with oppositions, scale oppositions, characters temperament oppositions, landscape oppositions. Ana is, herself, “chaotic”, she holds inside the quietness of anonymous lives, and the burden of women’s heritage. The first scene, with the birds, apparently so detached from the rest, Ana and the dirty senator, Ana and Linda, her friend.

(NARRATIVE CONSTRUCTION) Medem’s films have been always a reinvention of the love story, at once concerned about tenderness, human mind and visual cinematic storytelling innovation. The human soul is a huge iceberg from which we only see a short tip, and Medem’s cinema always cared about the vast mass we don’t see. This still matters here. But adding to that, there’s a whole new dimension. This is a mark in Medem’s career, and i would say in cinema, since he depicts new “scales” and new ambit to his cinema. He globalizes, and puts context into his once only dreamy, beautiful and tender world, that of “Lucia y el sexo” and “Los amantes…” One can’t stop thinking about what this one shares with Babel, this is Medem’s version of a contemporary global world.

And he is so deep here. He freely works with time and space, in several dimensions. Let’s check:

. He works global space in being able to bring coherence to multiple stories, excerpts of lives, that pass all through Ana’s mind (and Said, but Woman is the theme here). By global space i mean the world, let’s call it realities, different countries and cultures no matter when we place it;

. He works linear time, the one that carries Ana from the beginning to the end of her physical journey (also made by global spacial exploration). Here is Medem as we had seen him before in “Lucia…”, dream like editions, always putting the audience looking for what happened;

. The genius stroke: Medem adds historical time, working at once with various epochs, various “times”, various contexts. Medem’s own woman centered mythology finds in Ana the gate, or the passing point of every memory. This is the word, Medem brings memory to life.

(CINEMATIC CONCERNS) All this would be just intellectually ambitious, but it is all put together in such a cinematic way that i do believe this film will prevail as a mark to a new approach. This is fresh and unseen before:

. the cinematic devices: the edition, in the almost psychedelic moments in which all women from all times suffer at once, check the careful photography, always adequate to the situation but always coherent with the global work (duality once more).

. the presence of “cinema” as a “mood” that en-forms all actions in the character (and mostly in the Camera) of Linda: she always films, Ana always watch the films (as well as a crowd), and many times those films (as well as some scenes) come worked out as the installations/performances of the students from the art school. And there’s a particular moment in which this becomes clear as water and which is when we watch the heads of an audiences in a room wathching one of those films (this scene will only work in a theater, preferably with other people sitting in front of you). This will lead you to another dimension that may already not be cinema, but performative art, in which you are participating. Genius.

. the unexpected use of animation, which intelligently starts “flat” and than becomes “deep”, multidimensional, just like the whole construction as soon as Medem introduces his use of historical time.

(THEMES) Ultimately, this is about paying attention to fundamental (though many times forgotten) issues: we came from somewhere, and that en-forms who we are today, forgetting that is rejecting Culture, capital C. Medem cares.

“This column is doric, I am Greek”, says Ana after being hit by a corrupt politician with a small doric column

My evaluation: 5/5, this is a cinematic essay, on my list of most important.

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