Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Key Sounds of 21st Century Cinema #1

Excerpts from Carlo Crivelli's score for Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009)

Vincere is the story of a person who tries to grab hold of life by way of history, and in the end is left with her paltry existence. And even that gets snatched away from her. I never got to finishing a piece on the film, but I'd like to talk about it for a little bit here. The music is part of the key to the film: Vincere is a tragedy, but not a political one, and the massed voices of Crivelli's choir are not the voices of The People, but the voices of people like Ida Dalser, the heroine, people who find themselves pitted against history simply because of their lives, and lose. Mussollini challenges God, and by extension, history in the opening scene; Dalser merely challenges Mussollini, but ends up fighting history.

Mussollini, the man whose supporters capitalized pronouns that referred to him. Achille Starace, the war hero who was dismissed for incompetence and unpopularity from nearly every post possible in the Fascist government, when confronted with a firing squad and the corpse of Mussolini, the man who had rebuked him over and over, shouted: “He is a God!” What can “she” do against “He?” The person who struggles against the man who claims to have conquered (and thereby taken the place of) God is, in effect, struggling against God herself.

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