Le Quattro Volte will mess with your perceptions. No hallucinogenic drug or psychedelic trip, this movie creates a heightened sense of reality by slowing actions and narrative down, simplifying them into only their base elements. Events happen quietly in this film, if they happen at all. A man traverses his village’s land. A goat is born, lives and dies. A mound of wood is burned into charcoal. These small things are magnified and intensified until they become casually monumental, a brushed confrontation with the ineffable scale of life and nature. It’s easy to come out of the film’s womb-like enclosure with the sense that everything around you is happening a long way off, moving too quickly.
When fashion impresario Yves Saint Laurent was once asked to name his favorite poet, he paused for a moment, smiled and spoke Pierre Bergé’s name in a soft tone. This “poet” was the designer’s devoted companion for over fifty years. He was also the impresario that ran the logistics of the Yves St. Laurent Couture House from day one in 1961 until its final bow in 2002. But his was probably his knack for finding the right word at the right time that enabled both their business and romance to last.
Photographer Gregory Crewdson is largely known for his surreal suburban landscapes, posed and shot like something out of a postmodern Edward Hopper painting. But the artist also has a more sensitive side. In this series featured in the New York Times, Crewdson shoots a partly retired Italian movie set with a different kind of sensitivity.
Andy Warhol’s artwork tends to elicit strong reactions, whether it’s love in the form of poster-buying, hate in the form of getting angry at gallery installations or boredom, displayed by just not going to Warhol exhibitions at all. I happen to like Warhol’s art, although until recently, I had only ever seen his prints and paintings. A new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, called Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures shows a new side to an artist who often gets pigeonholed as a screenprinter of soup cans.
The films I have chosen are not only incredible films, but also they are films I have loved for a very long time or they are films that I have grown to love after multiple viewings. A couple of them are stylish and cool, while others are extremely slow, difficult, and even tedious at times. However, they are all films that make the viewer think, and they are either films that comment upon film as an art form or are at the very least are aware of themselves as films. Hopefully people find the same joy in my recommendations as I do.