||Anna (1975 – Albert Grifi & Massimo Sarchielli)
A film in four parts
Anna – under-age, pregnant, just escaped from the last of a series of reform schools, often flung into a detention room, rescued by Massimo Sarchielli at Piazza Navona, scolded because she has dirtied herself on the pavement where she had been sleeping, washed, dried and her fleas gotten rid of to make her presentable for the theatre, obliged to act out her tragedy for the benefit of the public, becomes the guinea pig for a film director’s experiment which, behind the attempt to put onto the stage a stupid, sanctimonious tale, uncovers a badly hidden sadism, voyeurism and narrow-minded condescension.
But Anna was not going to play the game. Anna was looking for love and not pity. Once the movie camera was thrown away and replaced by the video tape and the script thrown into the rubbish bin, the cast and the operators started to goad and gradually became openly opposed to the film directors’ authority. One day, Vincenzo, the film electrician participated in the discussion and while shooting, declared his love to Anna in the middle of a story about class struggles. An operator who was supposed to stay out of the scenes, not concerned with its meaning, turned the tables against the false roles that the film directors had established, against sanctimonious moralism. Vincenzo brought a breath of his real life problems, he brought LOVE. When you record live via video tape you are able to cut or change scenes to make them more convincing (mistaking assembly and censure): it does not reproduce your miserable, real, daily trivialities. In this way, Vincenzo whose eyes have already been opened to class struggle and the habit of rejection, realised that the film directors’ behaviour was modelled on pretence, inherited from the cinema. Since he disobeyed, he recovered his real self as a human being, against the logic stopped him from being a man as it cut him down to his role as an electrician. He turned against the film itself, extending this refusal to the rest of the cast. Vincenzo’s microscopic but meaningful gesture opens a path in a revolutionary direction: it creates the basis so that reality itself becomes the place where creation lies and not the film which, at the best of times, monopolises its poetry and separates it from real life.
The reason why this film is so exceptional, why it is so basically different from any standard for film-making (including the ‘cinéma direct’ ones) is first and foremost that the video tape has been used as a motion picture camera. The low budget video costs revealed what traditional picture making intentionally glazed over: while filming time is being calculated, the film directors also calculate, money-wise, how the relationships between the members of the cast are progressing. Burdened by the limits of the budget, film directors, while attempting to impose their authority on the cast, mingle their relationships, one with the other, their personal lives, on the cinema planet, restricted by the means and costs they have budgeted. The script, the basis on which the ways and means are anticipated not as they actually happen but are rather only represented, therefore reproduces the ideology of lucre. The less you live, the more are you suppressed? As much as your desire to live is revolutionary, because it bears the seeds of creation and rejection just like being resigned because of a life of submission almost unlived, it guides the masses towards masochism and enslavement
Click on the Films link above