marți, 3 februarie 2009

recuperari: The Horsemen (1971)

tagline: A Horse Worth Killing For. A Dream Worth Dying For.

Calaretii e unul din faimoasele filme ale lui John Frankenheimer de care am auzit de cind eram mic, pentru ca rulase la noi in cinema ! greu de gasit, pina la urma un divx care se vedea vedea bine, facut dupa DVDul iesit in SUA, si era in format (2.35.1). Filmat in super panavision chiar in Afganistan (cu sprijinul Afgahan Films) si Spania, prezinta jiocul traditional al calaretilor, buzkashi, pe care-l joaca si Stallone in Rambo III.
cu: Omar Sharif (care calareste in mare parte el), Leigh Taylor-Young (supersexy, pe vreme aceea nevasta lui Ryan O'Neil, apoi cea a lui Guy McFarlane), Jack Palance (intr-un rar rol pozitiv), David de Keyser, Peter Jeffrey, Vernon Dubtcheff
(pe care-l stiu din 1001 de filme, actor bilingv).

Povestea este de conflict de generatii, intre veteranul Tursen (Jack Palance, cu machiaj la greu) si fiul sau arogant si cirtitor Uraz (Omar Sharif), care traieste in umbra gloriei tatalui.

scenariul: Dalton Trumbo, dupa romanul lui Jospeh Kessel (Noaptea generalilor, Armata umbrelor), muzica Georges Delerue, imaginea Claude Renoir, operator Ernest Day ! DOP initial James Wong Howe si asistentul sau John A. Alonzo (catre mai tirziu va filma Black Sunday e in charge pina vine Claude Renoir . 2nd unit photography: André Domage, Wladimir Ivanov.

afisul original, artsy !!!

cronica lui Ebert din 1971 ii dadea 2 stele jumate din 4, si explica jocul;
John Frankenheimer's "The Horsemen" is about the most dangerous game in the world, which, in case you don't have your Guinness Book of World Records handy, is buzkashi. It is played in Afghanistan, and the object is to pick up a headless goat at full gallop (you are galloping, not the headless goat) and carry it all the way around an enormous field and back to the charmed circle.
While you are doing this, the other players are trying to snatch the headless goat away from you, and they are whipping you and your horse with short, mean whips. It takes a real man to play buzkashi, a point that (in case it doesn't occur to you) the dialog makes maybe a dozen times. (....)
All of this is Frankenheimer's preparation for a long and spectacularly photographed buzkashi, which is violent, bloody and desperate. There hasn't been a sustained action sequence on this scale since the chariot race in "Ben Hur," which you may be reminded of. But Frankenheimer's movie isn't really about the buzkashi itself, but about the character of the men who play it.(....) si iata ce ii reproseaza:
"The Horsemen," as you may be gathering, is a film out of its time. We live in an age of movie antiheroes, when the word "losers" in a title sells more tickets than the word "sex," and it is a little hard for us to sympathize with a man who would deliberately seek out the heat of a thousand suns, etc., when we pine for Lincoln Park whenever the temperature hits 85. The character is basically unlikely (even though buzkashi may indeed still be played by men like gods in Afghanistan), and neither John Frankenheimer's spare, heroic direction nor Claude Renoir's spectacular photography can quite bring this horseman to life.

poate ca la vremea lui asa era, out of its time, asa a si rams, obscur dar faimos, si vremea acelor antieroi de care povestea Ebert a trecut rapid, odata cu Jaws si generatia Star Wars ! Si ceea ce nu stia poate el si am aflat cu stupoare din Cinetudes, unde e un studiu fascinant si exhaustiv despre Frankenheimer in franceza (la care m-am informat si cind am scris de Trenul), este ca filmul a fost remontat si ca initial trebuia sa aibe 3 ore (se simte o taietura brusca inainte de cavalcada finala), dar Columbia a renunat la distributia de tip Roadshow si a preferat sa taie ceea ce i s-a parut inert si lipsit de actiune, adica exact partea cea mai buna a filmului, cu relatia paternal-filiala dintre Sharif si Palance si soarta pajului sau Mukhi si a recuperarii calului !

secventa buzkashi, 25 de zile de filmare si 11 minute de virtuozitate pe ecran !

Timpul a fost generos cu The Horsemen, si mai ales in lumina istoriei Agfanistanului din ultimii 30 de ani, buzkashi nu mai pare un sport atit de violent si mortal !
7 din 10, 3 1/2 din 5.

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