Monday, May 20, 2024

Robber of the Soul

La Chimera (2023) - Rohrwacher Screen Shot 2024-05-20 at 8.42.41 AM Screen Shot 2024-05-20 at 8.49.23 AM Screen Shot 2024-05-20 at 8.49.55 AM Screen Shot 2024-05-20 at 8.50.23 AM Screen Shot 2024-05-20 at 9.34.39 AM Screen Shot 2024-05-20 at 9.35.19 AM Screen Shot 2024-05-20 at 9.57.01 AM Screen Shot 2024-05-20 at 10.00.00 AM Josh O'Connor plays Arthur who has talent for locating ancient graves to loot in rural Italy. This tall English man with unknown past has roots in this part of the world with connections with its common country peasants. He is also in greiving process of his love, Benjamina, who was one of the many daughters of an aging local matriach, Flora (Isabella Rossellini), who reside in a decrepit mansion with her singing pupil Italia (Carole Duarte).

Rohrwacher belongs to ta generation of new filmmakers who embraces the traditional film technology and even older storytelling techniques which is abundantly displayed in La Chimera - Soft edges, speeding up for comic effects, fable like script, etc. But what makes Rohrwacher films unique is her modern sensibility, thanks to her transnational background. It is in her casting of O'Connor, Rosellini and Brazilian actress Duarte for thr roles and music choices as well. She is much different filmmaker than, say, Pietro Marcello.

As usual, Alice Rohrwacher's fable like story is filled to the brim with the colorful rural characters as they scheme, sing and dance around. Arthur finds some sort of redemption after Italia's objection that what he is doing is robbing the souls of the dead people that he is digging the trinkets out of earth where they are not meant for the eyes of the living. La Chimera is a charming film full of hearts and human warmth.

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