Lars von Trier fez uma adaptação da Medeia de Eurípedes. Sabia? Na Sede, 4ªf, 21h30.

Entrada livre.

Ciclo "Grécia e Roma não têm nada de antigo",
incluído no projeto Livros em Cadeia

Between Mannerism and Innovation

The Danish director, Lars von Trier, born in 1956, belongs to a generation which, having its role models, considers the history of film an immense catalogue from which it can ideas for directing films, for the images, subjects and characters most fitting to the stories it wishes to tell. A generation that utilizes memory for creating something different.

“…what these filmmakers know, at least when shooting these shots, is that cinema is 90 years old, that its classic era ended over twenty years ago and that its modern era was over in the late Seventies. All this weighs heavily on their desires and on the problems involved in inventing a contemporary film shot nowadays." Mannerists over all else, these directors are Leos Carax , Jim Jarmusch, John Woo and the older group consisting of Dario Argento and Brian De Palma .Lars von Trier was inspired by the aesthetics of Orson Welles in Touch of Evil [1958] and Mr. Arkadin [1955] and by Andrej Tarkovskji's Stalker, in his first film, The Element of crime [1984], for creating a film which decomposed the structure of his narration from within.
At the beginning of Medea, Lars von Trier succinctly declared: "This film is based on an original script by Carl Th. Dreyer and Preben Thomsen taken from Euripides' Medea. Carl Th. Dreyer was never able to shoot it. This film does not pretend to recreate a work by Dreyer but while respecting his text, is the reflection of a personal interpretation of his script and
therefore a tribute to the master."

Dreyer had written the script together with Preben Thomsen in the mid-Sixties. It seems that he had planned to shoot it in Greece and had gone to Paris to meet Maria Callas to offer her the leading role, the same one that the opera singer was to interpret in 1969 in the film of the same name by Pier Paolo Pasolini, a year alter the Danish master's death. According to Thomsen, Dreyer "wanted above all for Medea to represent something for the viewer. One day he pulled a newspaper clipping out of one of his large yellow envelopes to demonstrate that a situation like that of Medea could also happen in our times too. It was an article from a French paper describing the dramatic condition of a woman who had murdered her children out of jealousy. ... It was also the means Dreyer used to reveal his hope of conveying an ancient Greek mythological tragedy to a regular contemporary audience by using simple, essential cinematographic language and allowing it to feel the mythological drama as part of its own inner world."

Using this approach, Lars von Trier, who actually realized the images theorized by Carl Th. Dreyer in his original script, found himself on the borderline between Mannerist cinema and something else, not exactly a tribute. His point of departure was the text left by Dreyer, the lather of Danish film, for whom Lars von Trier had often professed his admiration, esteem and influence. He accepted the realization of Medea for the following reasons: "Brigitte Price had already staged Medea in the theatre, in Euripides' classical version with Kirsten Olesen in the leading role. She had wanted to adapt the play for television basing it on Dreyer’s script but she hesitated to do so and asked me if I would be interested; otherwise, she would have adapted it herself. I was against the idea of her tampering with Dreyer’s script!. At first, this method seemed much closer to the way Gus Van Sant had treated Allred Hitchcock's Psycho in 1999, when he focused on the English director's film as if it were a text by Shakespeare, making almost a color photocopy of the original, rather than the way von Trier had realized his previous works.

The Danish director wanted to be loyal to his famous fellow-countryman and also intended to refer to the master's entire opus. Instead, if we exclude Psycho, it is impossible to consider Gus Van Sant's work Mannerist. But, can we still speak of Mannerism with this sort of extreme attitude? Can we still speak about Mannerism with respect to Medea?

Lars von Trier was to respect the general outline of the script, pushing his loyalty well beyond his illustrious compatriot's actual script: we can recognize the clothes and the hair styles typical of the female characters in Dreyer's films and certain directorial choices such as the details, the close-ups of the hands, which all recall the originals.

Moreover, he called upon the same two actors who had worked with his Danish predecessor: Baard Owe in Gertrud and Preben Lerdoff Rye in Dies lrae and Ordet. Yet he did alter certain elements: first of all he eliminated the chorus typical of Greek tragedy, the vehicle used for making the audience participate in the performance and for turning the venture performed into a collective rather than an individual experience. Lars von Trier's Medea was above all, the adventure of a single person, of a wounded woman capable of exaggerated feelings and of overstepping every possible limit under certain conditions. He also changed the setting. Instead of Euripides' Greece preferred by Dreyer, he used many natural Jütland settings and many daytime shots. He said: "I find that these outdoor shots make us think of the atmosphere in Kurosawa's films at times." He also changed the scene of the childrens' murder. Dreyer had decided that Medea would use poison but pretend that it was medicine. Then she would accompany the children to their deaths while singing a lullaby. Instead, Lars von Trier has them die by hanging and the eldest of the two even assists his mother in the task: he brings his little brother to Medea, then hands her the noose, fully aware of the inevitability of his gesture. This character helping his executioner reminds us of another film by Dreyer, The Passion of Jeanne D’Arc, in which the heroine, about to be tied to the stake before the pyre is lit, slips to the ground, gathers up the rope and hands it to her executioner.

Paradoxically, by replacing Dreyer’s narrative solution with another he considered more appropriate, Lars von Trier recovered the universe of his predecessor. Fidelity, at times, makes use of unusual and torturous routes. But Lars von Trier's Medea was not limited to playing a referential game with Dreyer's script and his films; instead it was, as it always is for he Danish director, a laboratory for aesthetic experimentation. The film respects the classical structure of the tragedy but von Trier's desire for modernity drove him to overstep the pre-established rules of traditional and television narration. He shot Medea in video and then again on film directly off the monitor, after which he retransfered the film images to video. His approach to the direction was based on long and total shots obtained with a wide-angle lens, techniques unusual for the small screen on which close-u¬ps normally reign. Those images at times seem almost bleached of their colour and tend towards monochrome: "We faded the range of colours in the colour evaluating and highlighting stages and then used a paint-box for the final video version. The colours always came out paler."

Lars von Trier went on to use back-projections which we see later in Europa, especially in the scene where Medea talks about her life while in the background we see the faces of her sons enlarged in a zoom.

All said and done, Medea is above all a Lars von Trier film, not representing a rift or an Isolated episode in his career as a director but clear-cut stage of the evolution of his work.

It is the stage in which his shots are still studied and structured on various planes and in which he takes a formalist stand. We can still see the water, even if not always turbid, and the gloominess of The Element of Crime and of Epidemic. There is also a horse which, pricked by the poisoned crown, goes off to die on a seashore; this scene is reminiscent of the agonizing or dead horses in von Trier's first short film.

Even if Medea, a character from Greek theatre, announces the future melodrama and final sacrifice of Bess IEmily Watson], the heroine of Breaking of Waves, she also recalls the lead (played by a fine Nicole Kidman] in one of his most recent films, Dogville [2003], in which alter having submitted to all possible and imaginable humiliations in a village where she fled and sought refuge, Medea decides to take revenge with an extreme gesture and punishes all those who made her suffer by having them killed.

Therefore, these have nothing of the powerless characters in the world of his films prior to "Dogma 95." Medea refuses to accept the role of victim nor does she allow others to make decisions for her. She kills to save her power over the world and to save her own identity. She is a classic character in all respects who evolves and follows a psychological path which comes to a peak at the end of the film. Humiliated, she comes around and seeks a vendetta before leaving. Medea announces the direction which Lars von Trier's films are to take following Europa. The subject of the Trilogy of Europe is directing, and it is also the establishment of a stand opposed to that which von Trier is will take with his "Dogma 95." Strangely enough, in the film after Medea, the third of the Trilogy, von Trier is still a formalist while Medea represents a middle course between his actual aesthetic and that which is to start with Breaking the Waves. As we have seen, form is still important in his films, but its importance is the same as its content. It does not disappear behind him, he does not let it disappear. Lars von Trier managed to distance himself from a pure tribute to the father of Danish cinema by using the vehicle of an ancient story in order to go onwards in his pursuit of a new way to somehow renew film aesthetics. His Mannerism always opens a door towards a film aesthetic of the future.

Gabrielle Lucantonio

Dreyer and I
by Lars von Trier
I also admire him because he always went against the current, never lowered himself to compromise in following trends. I feel great respect for rebels and he, undoubtedly, was one. Or if you prefer, a martyr, because he was persecuted by incomprehension and bad luck.

I felt strangely close to him and to his vision of Medea. So I departed from his script and his dialogue, but transported the subject into a Nordic landscape. I may be wrong, but I believe that Dreyer intended to shoot the first part of the film in Greece. There's a note at the beginning of the script indicating that the film should begin in an amphitheater. Unfortunately, he never had the possibility of realizing it. As happened to a large part of his projects. Actually, I chose to interpret the script as a timeless tragedy because no one can really say what the drive to a psychological interpretation is. Dreyer's films cannot be
treated as "psychological dramas;" they are not on that plane. His way of simplifying and compressing dialogue creates interpretative problems because people normally don't express themselves that way. It is more a matter of fragments of implications placed a bit here, a bit there. Dreyer tends towards sublime and distressing sublimation. The point is never realism or psychologism, if that is a word; his characters are almost icons. Dreyer's art is closer to painting than to film. I wanted the film to clearly recall Dreyer to mind. His aesthetic was essential for me. Unfortunately, Medea has too much of a papier-maché feeling. And there was that model of a Viking castle where we pretended that Medea lived. I can't stand that sort of artifice. It's horrible. But the budget prohibited us from shooting it anywhere else.

So we had to invent some little "Fellini-like" solutions. Jason and Glauce spend their wedding night in a tent on top of a little dune. Later, that tent was installed in a studio. When I was in control of the location, everything went well.

Take the scene where Medea kills her sons: Dreyer wanted to poison them. Stabbing them, as Euripides wrote, seemed too brutal to him. Too bloody. He preferred them to simply go to sleep. I chose to make that more dramatic, I think that my version is, as a whole, more incisive. Murdering the children by hanging them seemed more effective and coherent to me. Either you kill them or you don't. You need to show the action for what it really is. There's no reason to make things seem more innocent than they really are.

I only eliminated the chorus because Dreyer conceived his film along the lines of traditional Greek tragedies which started on a stage and took place in a mythical space. This set design was suppressed and I replaced it with a location situated in western Denmark.

(imagens do filme)

Realização: Lars Von Trier
Argumento: Lars Von Trier, do original de Carl Th. Dreyer e Preben Thomsen
Fotografia: Angel Luis Fernández
Montagem: Finnur Sveinsson
Música: Joachim Holbeck
Interpretação: Kirsten Olesen, Udo Kier, Ludmilla Glinska, Henning Jesen, Baard Owe
Origem: Dinamarca
Ano: 1988
Duração: 75’

projeto financiado por

Sem comentários: