Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Melancholic Fable

Bella e perduta/Lost and Beautiful (2015) - Marcello
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In Lost and Beautiful, Pietro Marcello concocts a heady and lyrical mixturer of fantasy and reality. There is Tommaso the sheep herder turned the keeper of an abandoned Bourbon palace who kept up the structure by his own means, against vandals and loiterers. There is Pulcinella, a masked actor from the 17 century who is ordered to take an orphan water buffalo calf named Sarchiapone (who narrates part of the film in voice over) from Tommaso. There is Gesuino, a larger than life hermit with a booming voice....

Shot on gloriously beautiful 16mm, the film is really something else. Marcello presents everything so gracefully, putting equal measure of importance on everything, whether it's the footage of ordinary people taking to the street against Mob violence or intensely blue-eyed Tommaso giving a silent tour inside the decrepit palace or a close up of an old farmer brushing her hair or picturesque pastoral countryside where Pulcinella and Sarchiapone take their long journey on foot.

Is human existence is all a dream of a buffalo calf? Lamenting the loss of the way of life, Lost and Beautiful is an immensely wise, melancholic look at what it means to be human. Beauty.

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