With her customarily bewitching mixture of earthiness and magical realism, Alice Rohrwacher (Happy as Lazzaro, NYFF56) conjures a marvelous entertainment set in a rural Italy eternally caught between the ancient and the modern. Josh O’Connor (The Crown) stars as Arthur, a ne’er-do well Englishman, handsomely rumpled and recently out of prison, who returns to a rural town in central Italy where he hesitantly reconnects with a ragtag group of tombaroli (tomb raiders), for whom he uses his uncanny powers of divination to locate graves that date back to the Etruscan period and teem with antiquities of immense value to collectors and museums. Yet the melancholy Arthur has other ghosts on his mind, including his long-lost love Beniamina, who haunts his memory like her own ghostly civilization. Featuring gorgeous rough-hewn textures from the great cinematographer Hélène Louvart and outstanding supporting work from Isabella Rossellini, Carol Duarte, and Alba Rohrwacher, La Chimera is a dreamlike descent into a majestically tattered world right beneath our own. A NEON release.
Pier Paolo Pasolini – Agnès Varda – New York – 1967
Agnès Varda, 2022, France, 4m
French with English subtitles
North American Premiere
In 1966, two legendary filmmakers, in town for the 4th New York Film Festival, took a walk through Times Square. Armed with 16mm color film, Agnès Varda captured Pier Paolo Pasolini. A year later, she edited the footage and recorded his brief commentary track, discussing the uses of documentary filmmaking, Christianity, and the nature of reality. The elements were only discovered in 2021 and restored by Cine-Tamaris, in collaboration with L’Immagine Ritrovata, to their lustrous expressivity.
Recommended Film Comment reading:
- The Film Comment Podcast: La Chimera (Cannes 2023)
- Cannes 2023 Dispatch: La Chimera
- Interview: Alice Rohrwacher on The Wonders (2014)
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