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Alba Rohrwacher (#110 of 3)

Film Comment Selects 2016 Blood of My Blood

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Film Comment Selects 2016: Blood of My Blood

IBC Movie Rai Cinema

Film Comment Selects 2016: Blood of My Blood

Such good surface manners, such inner madness. After Dormant Beauty’s comparably staid network narrative, Blood of My Blood’s unclassifiable, almost reality-defying mix of religious drama, supernatural fantasy, and whimsical comedy comes as surprise from filmmaker Marco Bellocchio. But the film is hardly the kind of outlandish phantasmagoria Federico Fellini regularly indulged in from onward. Bellocchio’s brand of crazy, at least here, is a more subtle accumulation of askew details so confounding that one can’t help but be drawn in simply to see how it all adds up, if at all.

Tribeca Review: Virgin Mountain and Sworn Virgin

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Tribeca Review: <em>Virgin Mountain</em> and <em>Sworn Virgin</em>
Tribeca Review: <em>Virgin Mountain</em> and <em>Sworn Virgin</em>

The latest film from Icelandic director Dagur Kári concerns an obese, socially awkward man who’s still a virgin at age 43, and who finds himself falling for a woman he meets at a line-dancing class. Though Virgin Mountain is the English title, its Icelandic title, Fusí, seems more fitting. Instead of being a broad yuks-with-heart sex romp in the manner of Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Kári’s film is more a character study of Fusí (Gunnar Jónsson), a particular specimen of arrested development who still lives with his mother; obsesses, among other things, on a giant scale model of the World War II Battle of El Alamein; and works the same dead-end airport job, often enduring the humiliating taunts of his co-workers in the process.

Film Comment Selects 2013: Dormant Beauty

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Film Comment Selects 2013: <em>Dormant Beauty</em>
Film Comment Selects 2013: <em>Dormant Beauty</em>

Among the dense interplay of four narratives set against the final days of Eluana Englaro’s life in 2009, a consistent image comes up throughout Marco Bellocchio’s Dormant Beauty, that of someone awaiting a reply, even when all evidence suggests they will not be answered. As such, it’s a film about faith, but one that explores and puts greater emphasis on faith in connection, in humanity, than in the Almighty depicted in Catholicism, of which Bellocchio is an outspoken, defiantly angry critic. The fight over Eluana’s euthanasia, a decision made by her father not long after the 1992 accident that left her in a persistent vegetative state but not enacted for 17 years, is not, however, Bellocchio’s prime chance to throw darts at Catholicism. Instead, Bellocchio utilizes the urgent passions and protests that erupted when Eluana’s feeding tube was removed to investigate modern communication in his uniquely humanistic way.