Every frame is a painting in Albert Serra’s “Historia de la Meva Mort”, and the gorgeous and haunting landscapes are the canvas of this portrait of decay. Indeed, Serra’s interest in death and decadence is what keeps this comedic and somber drama moving forward. However, the film loses steam when Dracula comes in. Vincenç Altaió’s Casanova is brilliant and the movie falls apart when him ceases to be the focus.
De pronto la sinopsis parece más atractiva que la película. Serra se apropia de dos personajes míticos, uno real y otro ficticio, y se imagina esa transición de pensamientos que de pronto se asocian más al carácter sexual. Tanto Casanova como Drácula, símbolos del cortejo erótico y convocadores de la esclavitud sexual. Dividida en dos partes, la de Casanova pesa lo discursivo, en Drácula lo atmosférico. Interesante.
There is no need for us to dismiss the accounts of proud deviants who proclaim their bondage freedom, their pain pleasure. It is enough to know that freedom and pleasure are in every case fool’s gold, and that fool’s gold is the only gold we get. Still, we are allowed to laugh at it, to cry over it, to drink its blood, even to come all over its face. If that sounds like happiness to you, have at it, pomegranate.
Cinefila (sov)versione spagnola della Storia. Più che un lavoro originale, è un lavoro sull'originale, quindi Cinema nuovamente originale, doppiamente originante. Ecco che Serra trasmuta l'immaginifico in immagine - la potenzialità della merda che diventa l'effettività dell'oro - portando il Cinema ad una (nuova) dimensione immaginante, verso nuovi territori da esplorare.
This film seems imbued with chiaroscuro; fascinated by the space between the dark and the light. Casanova as an Epicurean and a rationalist relishes life and endlessly describes experience. Dracula (who incidentally resembles a weird hedgehog) is primal and atavisitic moving simply from whispers to guttural howls. Both tempt. On the cusp of the cycle of life into death and back again ...
The final forty minutes are quite arresting as is the quite wonderful opening sequence but what lies between is tedium. Much like the earlier 'Birdsong' Serra is a director interested in testing the limits of audience patience who has a certain visual flair that is marginalized by his lack of story/narrative. Kudos however to the digital camerawork of Jimmy Gimferrer.
Joke review: this movie should have been about Casanova smoking weed. For real review: subtle performances and a tenderness of spirit create a pleasant, smoldering working through of pre-Revolution progressivism. I watched this after Wertmüller so I may not have been in the right mood for this. I found the explicitly anti-religious/pagan moments to be most interesting. Good soundwork. This is a fine film.
People are quite unfair to slow cinema because it often doesn't meet the expectations they bring to it. Instead, each film should be taken on its own terms, because it then opens a world of possibilities beyond expectations, and this wholly unique film is example of that.