Patricio Guzman: The Power of Memory
Skrevet den 22-07-2012 23:19:32 af Tue Steen Müller
The BFI (British Film Institute) has been running a retrospective (ends July 26) with films by Patricio Guzman, having ”Nostalgia for the Light” as the recent highlight of the Chilean master director. In an article to be read on the website of the BFI, critic Geoff Andrew writes:
A couple of years ago, at the Cannes Film Festival, I fell in love. The object of my affections was a film – Nostalgia for the Light (Nostalgia de la luz), by Patricio Guzmán, the exiled Chilean documentarist famous for the three-part 1970s epic The Battle of Chile (La batalla de Chile) – and my desire was to programme it in an extended run at BFI Southbank. It took a while, but my dream came true, thanks to the UK distributor New Wave Films; not only that, but we’re accompanying the run with a retrospective of Guzmán’s earlier work and welcoming the director on-stage for an interview with the season’s curator, Michael Chanan. What, you may ask, were the characteristics that gave rise to this love at first sight? My first response, admittedly somewhat predictably, would be ‘beauty’; visually, Nostalgia for the Light is quite wonderful to behold. But rest assured that its beauty is more than skin-deep; it is notable for its quiet, deeply compassionate humanity. Still, many films are beautiful, and I don’t fall in love with each and every one of them. The real reason for my ardour, I suspect, was the fact that the film stood out from the crowd, from its mysterious opening scene to its profoundly moving ending; in short, it immediately struck me as unique. That’s extremely rare in an artform as genre-oriented as the cinema. And what more could one possibly ask of a love-object?...
Guzman is often considered as a political filmmaker but in connection with the release of ”Nostalgia for the Light”, he writes: "I'm not a sociologist. Neither am I a politician. I make films that are metaphorical and poetic; I interpret reality through my own personal way of looking."
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