Thursday, February 09, 2006

Eye to eye.

I've been debating if I should purchase Eros, 2005's wildly uneven omnibus. Steven Soderbergh's segment is instantly forgettable, Michaelangelo Antonioni's is so screechingly bad it's depressing, but Wong Kar-wai's piece... It's such an elegant and precise piece of short-filmmaking that I considered buying the DVD just to have those twenty-some minutes. Then Dave Kehr dropped this morsel and now the purchase is a done deal:
Eros: This three-part film on sexual themes with segments by Wong Kar-wai, Steven Soderbergh and Michelangelo Antonioni received mixed reviews when it was released theatrically last April, but its DVD release is remarkable for the one great extra it contains: "Michelangelo Eye to Eye," a 19-minute short directed by Mr. Antonioni and included here out of the sheer goodness of Warner Home Video's heart.

Largely silent, with the exception of some choral music by Palestrina that rises slowly during the film's last five minutes, 'Eye to Eye' depicts the 93-year-old Italian filmmaker (effectively rendered mute by a stroke in 1985) as he pays a visit to a work by another Michelangelo: the sculptor's marble statue of Moses, created for the tomb of Pope Julius II. No words are pronounced, and none need to be as Mr. Antonioni's slowly moving camera caresses the curves and textures of the monumental artwork while it closes in on his own aging, almost translucent flesh. Crosscutting between his own clouded eyes and the frozen, eternal regard of the sculpture, the director establishes a dialogue across time. The artist ages; the art does not. This wise, reverberating piece contains unspoken volumes.

I'm putting my faith in Mr. Kehr on this matter; if Eye to Eye bares any resemblance to Antonioni's Cinemax Eros segment, I'm'a be pissed.


At 6:43 PM, Blogger girish said...

The Eros segment has got to be one of the all-time-great art-movie howlers.
But I've been assured by at least four different pals, all fellow moviegeeks who also hated the Eros skin-short, that Eye To Eye is amazing.
And Rosenbaum liked it too.


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