THE MORNING LIST
Today’s cinema releases probe the abysses of human nature or confront the unspeakable. In The Zone of Interest , Jonathan Glazer pinpoints the shadow of Auschwitz-Birkenau in the blind spot of the family life of its chief administrator, Rudolf Höss. Les Lueurs d’Aden follows in the footsteps of a couple whose wife seeks an abortion and who rushes headlong into a major taboo in Yemeni society. Finally, A Man , by Japanese director Kei Ishikawa, traces the life of an anonymous person who disappeared under a false identity, lying in civil status limbo.
“The Area of Interest”: the blind house
First, three minutes of black screen torn by the distorted notes of composer Mica Levi. From the opening, Jonathan Glazer’s formal bias is established to guide his fourth feature film. Chilling and masterful film which adds a masterpiece to the filmography, as rare as it is fascinating, of the British filmmaker. The ordinary that we are given to observe here is not that of just any family. Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel) is the historical commander of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and an outstanding engineer. At his side, his wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller) – designated “Queen of Auschwitz” by her husband – manages the house and its staff masterfully. A wall topped with barbed wire separates their clean home from the adjoining extermination camp.
For the Höss, organization and discipline, more than an art of living, establish a way of thinking which is echoed in the staging. Framing of maniacal rigor, geometric composition, fixity of plans, cutting with a scalpel. The system put in place by Glazer – ten fixed cameras posted in several locations – places each room in the house and what is happening there under control. V. Cau.
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“The Lights of Aden”: embryo of civil war
A film from Aden, Yemen’s old port on the southwest tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is in itself a miracle, in a country where most cinemas and theaters have been closed by Islamists as a result. of the reunification carried out in 1990.
For Yemeni and southern director Amr Gamal, just 40 years old, the camera fulfills an urgent need to document. His second feature film, selected for the Berlinale in 2023 (Panorama section), is a fascinating portrait of a city in a state of decay.
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