Ardiente Paciencia, Il postino, The Postman

Ardiente Paciencia, Il postino, Le Facteur

Antonio Skármeta wrote Ardiente Paciencia which inspired Michael Radford to realize Il postino (The postman). Book and film tell the story of the friendship between the young man who wants to become a poet to seduce women and his only everyday client, Pablo Neruda. (1). When Mario discovers the beautiful Beatriz, he will make the poet his accomplice at first involuntary then benevolent and effective in his poetic education and conquest …

 This story of love and poetry unfolds in parallel and in harmony with that of Salvador Allende in the conquest and exercise of power and his fall. During this period, Pablo Neruda, very involved in the political events of his country, resides in Black Island, located in Chile in the novel, in Italy in the film. Hence some adaptations at the scenario level.

While the book was written in Spanish and the film was shot in Italian, very often the same text is found in French in the book and in the film. Despite this fidelity to the text, the film and the book have their own identity.

Ardiente Paciencia, Il postino, Le Facteur

In the book, Antonio Skármeta alternates very long sentences with a flood of words, qualifiers that testify to the importance of the phenomenon or feeling described but often with an irony, self-deprecation of the author and a certain truculence. And quick dialogues, sometimes, a popular vocabulary and many traits of spirits that give the reader the smile at times, more or less dramatic for the protagonists.

This aspect is a little erased in the film which insists more on the beauty of the landscapes, the confrontation of the colors: darkness of the post office, pink house of peace and happiness where the postman carries, every day, the mail for Neruda and s opens to poetry and friendship, variations of blue and gray of the sea, calm or agitated, Black Island, volcanic, …

 Paradoxically, where the book gives to see and to hear by the words, the film suggests by the images and the play of the actors, the seductive looks of Maria Grazia Cucinotta (Beatriz), the hands and the very expressive face of Massimo Troisi ( Mario) which contrast with the more restrained game of PN (Philippe Noiret, Pablo Neruda).

 Poetry is often present, as learning, the revelation of metaphor, as a means of seduction for Mario who shamelessly uses the bard’s poems to dominate his shyness and seduce the seductive Beatriz who only asks for this and uses other means; poetry as a transfiguration of reality, sometimes unconscious, Rosa, Beatriz’s mother, reading or hearing the poem Mario gave to her daughter, concludes that he saw Beatriz, naked, because she is just like that (the poem was written for Matilde Neruda’s wife); Mario is seasick listening to a poem recited by Neruda …

 

Ardiente Paciencia, Il postino, Le Facteur
The adaptation of the plot to the Italian situation is at the origin of some welcome scenes: the young Mario is hired because he has a bicycle necessary to carry the mail to Pablo Neruda who lives away from the village and he does not separate from easily, he enters the post office and leaves the cinema with his bicycle (a nod to Vittorio de Sica’s bicycle thief); in Chile, Mario’s hierarchical superior is socialist; in Italy he is a communist; Mario must read one of his poems during a political concentration that ends dramatically, a scene that is perfectly integrated with current images; when Pablo Neruda returns to the village, years later, he enters the cafe, a photo of Beatriz and Mario’s wedding is on the wall, a baby-foot ball bounces on the ground, quickly followed by a boy, Pablito, the son of Mario and Beatriz, reminder of the initial scene of seduction and the first love meeting; last scene, Pablo Neruda on the beach, for the first time, seen from the sea, crushed by the black cliff …

Ardiente Paciencia, Il postino, Le Facteur

The poetic education of the postman by the Nobel laureate Bard is disrupted and eventually interrupted by events happening elsewhere that have serious repercussions on the life of the Black Island. A love story perfectly integrated in History.

 

Ardiente Paciencia, Il postino, Le Facteur

1 – Ardiente Paciencia, book published in Chile in 1985 by Antonio Skármeta, development of the film realized by the author in 1983. This book was translated in French by François Maspéro in 1987. Michael Radford adapted it to the cinema, under the title of Il postino, in 1994 with as main actors Massimo Troisi, Maria Grazia Cucinotta and Philippe Noiret.

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Publicités

Do you speak Macron?

Parlez-vous Macron ?

Macron parle riche en plusieurs langues.

During his electoral campaign, Emmanuel Macron goes to Berlin, the custom would like me to speak in French (1) he says: he chooses English to address the French people and Germans who understand, obviously, neither French neither German but, of course, all understand English. It’s normal, it’s modern, there is no French culture, it’s not very Gaullien: other people, other manners. But was he only addressing the French and the Germans? To what French, to what Germans?
Let’s be clear. During his trips to London in preparation for his campaign, he spoke mostly liberal, tinged with a request for financial support.
The place, the subjects, the interlocutors lent themselves well to the use of English.

In many official speeches or interviews, President Macron, whose classmates, among others, do not deny knowledge, wishes to show it. He uses Latin phrases or obsolete words. Listeners or readers consult the dictionary or their newspaper or simply ignore them. But these words join a certain presidential tradition where chien-lit, quarteron, machin or abracadabrantesque and even cabri preceded them. So many winks (2) They affirm the character.

Emmanuel Macron also speaks the language of the private company: already present in the public companies, it makes its entry in the government and in his political organization, stuffed with the Anglicisms of circumstance: benchmark, bottom up, bullish, disrupt, draft, processé ( !), staffer (!), political start-up, start-up nation, top down … Language but also thought and values. Politics is no longer democratic, even in its intentions, the people electing its representatives, but technocratic: the chief chooses experts (3) for his teams, the National Assembly or for his organization and even departmental referents.
Some speak of Jupiter’s presidency, others of president-CEO(,4).

Parlez-vous Macron ?

The language that does not lie, the language of the acts. The first measures make it possible to quickly understand who is the premier de cordée and the  le premier de corvée: adoption by ordinance of the labor laws, removal of the ISF, flat tax of 30% (PFU), removal of personalized assistance to housing (APL), decrease in subsidized jobs, immediate increase in CSG, later compensated.

Interested people fully understand this language.

Parlez-vous Macron ?

At the same time, Emmanuel Macron and his entourage do not hesitate to affirm that the president speaks true (cash in the technico-financial language), speaks people. But some words make cringe, including for the entourage that is then in the explanation of text or context … These words do not constitute gaps, slippages but are aimed at targeted populations: are not there many French people who think that? (5) It does not matter the form. But what he said was heard by the recipients. As in those trials in the United States where a lawyer makes an unacceptable statement, objection your honor, rejected by the judge but the jury members understood the innuendo well.

Parlez-vous Macron ?

So, he can talk cash to some people who, instead of fucking the brothel, would be better off going to look if they can not have jobs there, because there are some who have the qualifications to do it. and it’s not far from home; he claims that he does not want to give in to idlers, cynics and extremes (6), nor to pressure, whatever they may be, especially when they do not have the democratic legitimacy (7), the Medef? trade unions ?

Parlez-vous Macron ?

Emmanuel Macron does not fail to pay homage to the Premier de cordée, to the young, future first of cordée, who désire devenir milliardaire, because the economy of Net is an economy of superstars, (8), to the entrepreneur whose life is often harder than that of an employee. You must never forget it. He can lose everything, and he has fewer guarantees explained the Minister (9).

Now, the president is asking the Guyanese not to confuse him with Santa Claus, he’s already gone for some with the tax cuts! However, he clearly states: I do not like the cynicism, sometimes, of those who succeed, and who fall back into selfishness where the only purpose of life would be to accumulate money. They must also engage in society, creating employment, activity. But the tax cuts are not conditioned by any constraint, no obligation to invest in the real economy. And he does not like the jealousy of saying, those who succeed, we will tax them, massacre them, because we do not like them (10). Emmanuel Macron is generous and protective for minorities!

But whether you like it or not, the words of Emmanuel Macron and his friends ooze scorn.

Here, it is probably the unconscious that speaks: I do not want the least of the French to think that … The least of the French. No, I do not want one Frenchman to think that ... But no. The least of the French. There are French capitals, and lesser French, at the very end of the rope, as Daniel Schneidermann explains (11.

Same bad taste: A station is a place where we meet successful people and people who are nothing (12), not French people who have nothing, who do not have a luxury watch to 50 years old (13), the sans-dent as his predecessor would have said. They have nothing so they are nothing!
Christophe Castaner, spokesman for the government, does not say anything else: I believe that one can be cultivated and speak like the French (14) which they, of course, hav’nt not culture.

It is certain that Emmanuel Macron loves and esteem all of his fellow citizens. Not all the same way. Not some unemployed. We have to make sure that he is looking for, and that he is not a repeat offender. Multi-recidivist, term used, usually, for offenders. No to those who defraud the tax, place their money in tax havens … He must not like very much, these Ploucs bretons, a geo-cultural idea for Jean-Yves Le Drian, who even sees it as a compliment! Neither the one who with kwassa-kwassa, in Mayotte, fishes little but brings Comorian. Neither the employees of this slaughterhouse of Gad, which, clumsiness of a junior minister, he spoke: this slaughterhouse, there is a majority of women in this society. There are some who are, for many, illiterate (14)

The minister, the candidate, President Macron speaks different languages ​​that say the same thing but to different audiences. Some are on the safe side, there is little to tell them. The measures are sufficient. For the others. He has to convince them. Make them understand that he does not need their opinion. That the experts are at work. Modern. Effective. That they must not be in solidarity with the slackers of those who sow the brothel, of those who refuse reforms, a little music that could be called, Poujadism or populism of centrists.

 

Brexit and citizenship of the European Union

Brexit et citoyenneté de l'Union européenne


In the negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the status of Union citizens residing in the United Kingdom and that of the British in the 27 States of the Union is an important point, on which notable progress would have taken place.
Of which we do not know, as usual, the content.


On 30 March 2017, the United Kingdom activated Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, the negotiators have two years to complete the Brexit conditions and the future partnership. Elections for the European Parliament will take place in June 2019 and, in France, municipal elections in March 2020.
It is therefore urgent to know in which conditions British citizens may or may not participate


Since 1992, the Treaties (1) stipulate that is « a citizen of the Union any person having the nationality of a Member State … Citizens of the Union … have … the right to vote and eligibility for the elections to the European Parliament and the municipal elections in the Member State where they reside, under the same conditions as nationals of that State … ‘


Will British citizens living in European Union countries be able to vote in these elections as they did in previous European and municipal elections? And nationals of the 27 European Union countries residing in the United Kingdom?


For the European elections in the United Kingdom, things are simple. If it is noted that the United Kingdom does not belong to the Union, there will be no election of deputies for the European Parliament.
Citizens of the 27, residing in the United Kingdom will be able to vote only in their country of origin according to their legislation.
For the British living in a state of the European Union, things are a little different. States will no longer have the obligation to give them the right to vote and stand for election, but nothing prevents them from doing so.


In October 2003, following the dispute between Spain and the United Kingdom over the elections to the European Parliament in Gibraltar in which Commonwealth nationals who are not British nationals took part, the European Commission considered that the UK extended the right to vote to persons residing in Gibraltar within the scope of the discretion conferred on the Member States by Community law … No general principle of Community law provides that, for the elections to the European Parliament, the electorate must be limited to EU citizens (2, 3, 4). It is therefore up to each State to decide unless the new treaty stipulates otherwise. It would be paradoxical, however, for the EU to punish the most European citizens who demonstrate their willingness to integrate with the peoples of Europe.


In France, the Constitutional Council ruled that with regard to the right to vote and ineligibility, it was not necessary to amend the Constitution (5)

(5)

Brexit et citoyenneté de l'Union européenne

The question is more complex regarding municipal elections. The States of the Union are obliged to give the right to vote and to stand for municipal elections to citizens of the Union living in their territory.

 

Citizens of the 27 EU countries that did not have British nationality, residing in the United Kingdom, were able to vote and eventually to be candidates. Conversely, the British were able to vote and stand as candidates at the municipal elections in the 27 countries of the Union when they did not have the nationality. The citizens of the Union, living in France, participate in these elections since the municipal elections of 2001.

 

In 2014, 5954 foreign nationals were candidates in the municipal elections. Only two countries of the Union did not have any candidates during this election: Malta and Estonia … The most numerous candidates were the British, 1525 candidates, then the Belgians, 1186, and the Portuguese, 1045 (6 ). Remarkably, for the municipalities with more than 3,000 inhabitants, 80 non-French European citizens have been candidates on lists of the Rassemblement Bleu Marine, including Bulgarians and Romanians (7).

 

What will happen to the next municipal elections in Europe?

The situation is not the same in all the States of the Union (8).
In some, all foreign residents have the right to vote and stand for municipal elections regardless of their nationality.
The British will therefore retain these rights.

In others, some foreign residents have the right to vote following the signing of reciprocal agreements between the country of residence and the state of which they are nationals. These states may eventually sign agreements with the United Kingdom

 

In countries which, like France, recognize this right only to nationals, the British will be excluded from these elections.
Unless new legislation: reciprocity agreement that would not deprive the British of rights they have exercised in the past or, broader agreement between the United Kingdom and the Union, keeping their rights, for municipal elections, British in the Union and to Union citizens in the United Kingdom.

 

In France, the article of the French Constitution revised on the opportunity of the Maastricht Treaty says: subject to reciprocity and in the manner provided for by the Treaty of the European Union signed on 7 February 1992, the right to vote and to stand for election Municipal elections may be granted only to Union citizens residing in France…
Will the new treaty be considered a consolidation of earlier treaties? Or will it require a new amendment of the Constitution?

The withdrawal of the right to vote and to stand for the British living on the territory would be a decline of representative democracy. It could be interpreted as a gesture of reprisal penalizing British living on the territory as they showed their willingness to integrate into the social and political life of the country.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has just made a declaration of love to some 3 million European citizens living in the United Kingdom (9). It would be inappropriate for Theresa May to oppose the granting of a status which would allow nationals of either of the two parties residing in the territory of the other party to lose their electoral rights.

An European solution could go further.
Taking note that the right to vote of the British in all the States of the Union, and of all the foreigners in many of them, posed no problem and, rather, was a factor of integration, the European Union could take the opportunity to extend the right to vote and eligibility of all foreign residents in municipal elections.
First step towards a European citizenship of residence (10).

 

Brexit et citoyenneté de l'Union européenne

It is not sure that the Heads of State and Government are ready.
In France, in 20 polls, since 1994, La Lettre de la Citoyenneté (11) asked the same question. Since 2006, the respondents have responded favorably (10 surveys) to the extension of the voting rights for municipal and European elections to all residents regardless of their nationality: in the last survey by 56% against 39% (12).

 

Brexit et citoyenneté de l'Union européenne

1 –

1 – Twentieth Article of the consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2012 / C 326/01)

2 – Lettre de La citoyenneté n° 68, mars avril 2004


3 –
EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Communiqué of October 29, 2003.

4 –COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES, Judgment of September 12, 2006, Case C145-04, Spain v. United Kingdom.

5 –CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL, Decision No. 92-308 of April  6,1992

.6 – Huffingtonpost.fr 05/10/2016

7 – LeFigaro.fr 19/03/14

8 – Thirteen countries do not give voting rights to foreigners: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania.
Twelve give the right to vote to all foreigners: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden.
Two conditions of reciprocity: Spain, Portugal.
The United Kingdom has given the right to vote and eligibility to all foreigners who are members of a Commonwealth country for all elections.

9 – Libération 20/10/17

10 – Résidents Étrangers, Citoyens ! Plaidoyer pour une citoyenneté européenne de résidence ! Presse pluriel, octobre 2003.

11 – La Lettre de la citoyenneté n°149 septembre-octobre 2017

12 – Survey conducted by telephone from September 7 to 9, 2017 by Harris Interactive’s political opinion department (Jean-Daniel Lévy and Gaspard Lancrey-Javal) for La Lettre de la citoyenneté. Sample of 1,005 people representative of French aged 18 and over. Quota method and adjustment applied to the following variables: sex, age, socio-professional category and region of the interviewee.

To find out more: Le droit de vote des étrangers, une histoire de 40 ans, Bernard Delemotte, La Licorne-L’Harmattan, April 2017

Catalonia, a problem for all

La Catalogne, un problème pour tous...

Catalan independentism is problematic for Catalans and other inhabitants of Catalonia, Spain, the other European states and finally the European Union (EU).

There is no doubt that Catalonia exists: it proves its history, its culture, the Catalans’ attachment to their language, the old demand for a more or less important autonomy within the Spanish State, and  today its independence.

An agreement was reached between Madrid and Barcelona in 2006, unfortunately canceled by the Constitutional Court of Madrid in 2010, on an appeal by the Partido Popular (PP).
In 2012, Catalonia proposed a new tax contract, refused by Mariano Rajoy.

In the elections of 2015, the separatist parties, Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (center-right) and Esquerra Republicana (left) united in the list Junts pel Sí obtain 62 seats out of 135. And arrive at the absolute majority in the Parliament of Catalonia with the contribution of the 10 elected members of the CUP (Candidature of Popular Unity, independantists of the radical left).

It remains that all the inhabitants of Catalonia are not Catalan and that all the Catalans are not independantists. But the ability of Mariano Rajoy, brutally preventing the holding of the referendum which would have allowed to know the importance of the independence claim in the population of Catalonia, risks to increase the capital of sympathy of the independantists.

Now, two nationalisms, two nationalists Mariano Rajoy and Carles Puigdemont are confronting each other, unable so far to make the concessions that could and could, perhaps, lead to a compromise.
For the moment the wisdom of the population of Barcelona, ​​independentist or not, was superior to that of the two leaders and avoided the worst. It does not say that it lasts forever if a solution is not quickly found. And the cleavages that have appeared or intensified in the population will not disappear as soon as a political solution is found. Whoever she is.

For Madrid, the issue is not only Catalonia and only political. The accepted independence of Catalonia could revive the independence claim of the Basque Country. A new step in the dismantling of Spain.
Without forgetting the financial consequences for Madrid which would lose the contribution of the richest region of Spain, at a time when its economic and financial health is not flourishing.

With independence, everything would not be settled for Catalonia. The negotiation of the Brexit clearly shows the difficulties that await the Spanish and Catalan negotiators.
Double difficulty: separation from Spain, accession to the European Union.

Catalan independence announces or recalls possible problems for other European countries: claim of Scotland in the United Kingdom, Flanders in Belgium, Padania in Italy. On 22 October, a consultative referendum for greater autonomy, provided for in the Constitution, is organized in two rich regions of northern Italy, Lombardy (25% of Italy’s GDP) and Veneto.

Of course, France is far from being sheltered because the Basque and Catalan countries extend to the south and north of the Pyrenees … Not to mention Corsica.

This recall of other regionalist demands does not mean that political situations are the same. The Catalan independence claim is essentially democratic, supported by the extreme left, the Scottish independentists are rather Labor, the Flemish independentists are right-wing and the partisans of Padania are more right-wing than independent.

 

La Catalogne, un problème pour tous...

 

On the other hand, the Spanish state, without being Franco, is nevertheless an avatar, a hard right that assumes its filiation and a certain authoritarianism very different from other states, notably the United Kingdom where a referendum on independence of Scotland has already taken place …

In the past, for European countries, demands for independence were made by non-European, less developed countries that were exploited and colonized by wealthier metropolises.
Then there was the break-up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia which gave rise to European states, sometimes in pain.
Today, in Europe, it is the wealthiest regions that wish to be separated, strong in their economic dynamism and who refuse to contribute to the financing of other regions of the State to which they belong.
According to Margaret Thatcher’s claim: I want my money back (1979).

This lack of solidarity, suffered by the colonized, willed by the independenceists, leads in both cases to a nationalism that makes us forget a class exploitation that exists in the states and the regions and will persist whatever solution is found.

 

La Catalogne, un problème pour tous...

Paradoxically, in Europe, these national or regional entities, whether state or state-controlled, are all pro-European, in the European Union or candidates for the EU. At a time when people’s attachment to the EU is weakening, accused of not being democratic and spearheading a globalization that stifles and identities and economies.

The anti-social policy of the EU is intended and organized by EU Heads of State and Government, subject to the financial globalization they promote. It does not give rise to a European social and political claim but to nationalist demands: the latest results of the legislative elections in Germany with the breakthrough of the AfD in Austria with the victory of the extreme right and the extreme right after the results of the FN in France, pending Italy (1) …

When a social revolt looms, it remains confined to the national framework. Syriza and Podemos did not give rise to the creation of European revolt movements, the movement of places remained limited and quickly exhausted.

 

La Catalogne, un problème pour tous...
La Catalogne, un problème pour tous...

Issues are increasingly over and above national boundaries: financial globalization and the weight of multinationals are increasingly imposing on states with the complicity of national governments that sign treaties (Ceta, Tafta), not compatible with other treaties, such as the Paris Treaty on Climate, signed earlier by virtually all the governments of the planet ..

Meanwhile, inequalities increase between states, within states and solidarity is scarce.

1 – Atlante Politico poll, Demos: the M5S is the first Italian party. The PD is 26% while Forza Italia, Ligue and Fratelli d’Italia reach 34%.
There is no Catalonia effect. Only 8%, on a national basis, invoke the independence of the regions. In the Veneto, however, it reaches 15%. The sympathy for the claims of Catalonia grows especially in the Veneto. La Repubblica, 16/10/17

La Catalogne, un problème pour tous...

Un long dimanche de fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement)

Un long dimanche de fiançailles

Un long dimanche de fiançailles (1)


Français

In the winter of 1917, five soldiers sentenced to death for self-harm were brought to the front to be punished. Mathilde, unconvinced, against all and all the evidences, refuses to admit the death of her fiance, one of the five condemned. She’s going to find out what really happened. At the price of a real police investigation.

First images: a high-angle shot to the battlefield and the trench reveals a piece of a still white statue of Christ, hung by an arm, to a tree before seeing the column, the first condemned and hearing his story. The second identical shot, this time, the body of a horse, black, the head stuck between two branches.
Suffering, destruction foretold of abandoned men and beasts …

The film faithfully respects the spirit of the book, despite significant changes in the scenario. A voice off takes up the text of the narrator, accompanied by images that reinforce the dramatic side of this war. Where color plays its role, predominantly gray for the war scenes and yellow for the scene of life away from the front.
For each condemned, the images go beyond simple illustrations of the text and give it flesh, complete it. They show their humanity, the circumstances that brought them there and their previous life, professional and love life, and for Bleuet, all his life. The whole interspersed with several « attention to the wire », telephone wire that crosses the trench at the height of man, only link with the world of the living, with the hope of a possible grace of President Poincaré.

The film begins like the first chapter of the book, the rain has replaced the snow … The five condemned, accompanied by other soldiers, are presented one after the other, by their number. The 2124, Bastoche, 4077, Six-Sous, 1818, Cet Homme, 7328, Ange or Droit commun and the last one, Bleuet, 9692. Bastoche, carpenter in the Bastille and his friend Veronique … Six-Sous, welder in Bagneux who knows, from a family tradition, that one day social justice … and who tries to convince his comrades … Ange, Droit commun of Belle de Mai, in Marseille, who was sentenced to five years in prison for a a question of honor … Cet Homme, a child of the Assistance publique, a peasant from the Dordogne, whom the gendarmes came to look for on the farm, triggering a sudden gust of wind that sets the wheats and steals the load of his cart. And Bleuet, Mathilde’s fiance.

Un long dimanche de fiançailles
Un long dimanche de fiançailles narrates the frightful conditions of daily life of the soldiers in the trenches, on the front which leads them to dehumanization, madness … self-mutilation which can only end in the Conseil de Guerre, enjoyed murder with the bayonet of a defenseless German, execution of a Frenchman by a bullet in the back because, white flag, he advances towards the German front, proclaiming that he was not French but Corsican … not to mention, to improve the statistics of the activity of the front, the order to send the condemned, between the lines, into the no mnan’s land. They will be counted as dead in battle … with the passive complicity of the entire hierarchy which simply executes the orders.

Un long dimanche de fiançailles focuses on Mathilde’s stubborn, stubborn, unbelievable quest to find the trace of Manex, Bleuet, disappeared. This research is told, through somewhat tedious epistolary exchanges in the novel, attenuated in the film. Notably by the images of the factor that brings the mail to Mathilde, treated Tati-like, arriving by bicycle on the gravel of the farm and even in the kitchen. This investigation and the life of Mathilde allow the reader to glimpse, little by little, by luminous images in the film, what was, what could have been the life of all these unfortunates.

 

Un long dimanche de fiançailles

 

Un long dimanche de fiançailles does not escape stereotypes. Apart from Manex-Manech, the central character who is Basque, the positive heroes are obviously from Paris, Bastoche, and the suburbs of Paris, the welder Six-Sous from Bagneux. The negative character is Corsican, evidently proxenet, Droit commun, and his beautiful protected woman, brown, dangerous lover and proud justicier. As for the detective Germain Pire, he is like all the southerners, with a strong sympathetic, compassionate accent, not hesitating, to find Tina, the lover of Droit commun, venturing into Corsica, picturesque and dangerous, where reigns the omerta and to continue it to her workplace where he is shown undergoing a professional toilet and a parade. But helpful and finally relatively efficient.

 

The essential point is the love story, since childhood, of Mathilde and Manex – MMM, Mathilde aime Manex, Manex aime Mathilde – in a beautiful landscape around a symbolic lighthouse. But the loves of the other characters are treated with the same finesse, increasing the contrast between the hardness of what these men live in war and the sensitivity of the love scenes: preliminal tongue games of Véronique and Bastoche that are found but impossible between Manex and Mathile, impossible at their very young age and the window interposed; in the light of matches, apparel offered from Mathilde to Manex, from Elodie to Bastoche, uncertain, lost between accepted obligations and desires avoided, opening an ephemeral link to the unexpected, sterile and devastating results. She will not have the sixth child who would allow the return of her husband and will cause a friendly breakup and a break in love. Fantasy disturbances of the faithful Mathilde.

Finally, Un long dimanche de fiançailles, a film about the woes of war, a police film, a romance movie, with however a net of hope.

 

Un long dimanche de fiançailles
Noise rushes that one can be happy

1 – Un long dimanche de fiançailles, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film, 2004, 134 mn, from Sebastien Japrisot’s novel, Denoël, 1991, 367 p.

2 – In Un long dimanche de fiançailles, many things happen who were already in the film All Quiet on the Western Front, sometimes with a different spirit: the soldiers who come up to the front and who see coffins or men who dig graves-we anticipate, « attention to the wire », with hope of grace, the importance of the boots that change owner – to survive – the rats that are hunted – here unfortunately, the character indispensable to find food – Kat and Poux – the sergeant intraitable but not sadiqueici ..

Venice Film Festival 2017 : Brief notes on some films

Festival de Venise 2017 Brèves notes sur quelques films

More than 150 films were presented at the 74th Mostra in a dozen selections (1).
The problems of young people, their loves, their difficulties, their revolts are often approached by the cinema. This year, several films spoke of young people but none constituted the highlight of Venice 2017.

Highly anticipated, the new film by Abdellatif Kechiche, MEKTOUB, MY LOVE: CANTO UNO (180mn, Venezia 74), praised by the critics of Le Monde and Liberation, is far from La vie d’Adèle and does not deserve the three hours of projection of which a good part to contemplate young girls of Sète jiggling. Its interest is to show a mixed youth, without problem, besides the young Samir, on vacation, who has difficulties to conquer an old childhood ‘s friend, Charlotte, who is waiting for that.

LEAN ON PETE (Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Hope Actor Charlie Plummer) by Andrew Haigh (121mn, Venezia 74) Kind of pedestrian road movie. The young Charley, 15, lives alone with his father, more concerned about his conquests than about his son. Charley finds work at a dubious owner of racehorses, makes friends with one of the animals and runs away with to save it from the slaughterhouse and join, after many adventures, an aunt. Who will be his surrogate mother.
Even in the United States, young people, however courageous they may be, are not just symptoms of a bright future but are also children

MARVIN (2) by Anne Fontaine (115mn, Orizzonti). Doubly interesting.
Through the story, that of a young from the popular milieu, in a recomposed and agitated family, persecuted for his homosexual tendencies by his peers. He succeeds, thanks to the school, his talents as an actor, his artistic encounters, the protection of a rich homosexual who recommends him to Isabelle Huppert.
Also, at the cinematographic point of view: the film presents his family life realistically then in a monologue of his own in front of Isabelle Huppert and finally in a play played with Isabelle Huppert. Who plays the role of Isabelle Huppert.

Festival de Venise 2017 Brèves notes sur quelques films

NICO 1988 (Orizzonti Prize) by Suzanna Nicchiarelli (93mn).
First image, a child looks at the nocturnal blush on the horizon and his mother tells her, it is Berlin that burns. Nico will be marked for life by this noise of defeat, planes, explosions. Trying to find him everywhere.
The film takes over the last two years of her life, 1986 to 1988, as a creator and interpreter of her own songs, during a tour in the Eastern countries, punctuated by the background of the explosions and her own songs. The life, agitated of the singer is only evoked: death of the father during the war, privations, model and then singer of Velvet Underground, single mother …
The Danish actress and singer, Trine Dyrholm, plays the role of and sings Nico.

 SENZA DATA, SENZA FIRMA by Vahid Jallivand (104mn, Orizzonti). A doctor, by car, knocks a scooter with a couple and his child. He compensates the father with money and advises him to bring the child to the nearby hospital. He sees the scooter leaving that does not go to the hospital. He later learns that the child is dead. Botulism according to the autopsy done by his wife, herself doctor …
But the doctor still feels guilty …

In UNA FAMIGLIA by Sebastiano Riso (105mn, Venezia 74), a Franco-Italian couple seems to live the perfect love. But the man leads the couple in a good deal: sell to a homosexual couple the child they are going to do. The woman who has accepted, out of love, only continues under pressure, and can not go to the end especially when the homosexual couple refuses the child who has a malformation …
An sordid aspect of the GPA.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (Martin McDonagh Screenplay Award) by Martin McDonagh, (110mn, Venezia 74). Nine months after her daughter was raped and murdered, without the guilty being found, an energetic mother praises the three large billboards at the entrance of the city to post the question: What does the police do? This does not go unnoticed and highlights tensions and, in particular, the violence of some racist police … But the mother resists … The billboards are set on fire … She sets fire to the sheriff’s office … A young man boasts of having killed and raped a girl. Thanks to DNA, he is innocent …
With a repentant policeman, she decides to pursue him to shoot him down … On the way, they both wonder if they still want to …

ANGELS WEAR WHITE (JIA NIAN HUA) of Vivian Qu (107mn, Venezia 74) hapens in a Chinese hotel. The receptionist is replaced by a friend, a service woman, who sees, in the night, on the screen of video surveillance, the director enter the room of two girls who push him back … A lawyer makes an investigation parallel to that of the police, more or less to the orders. But official expertise establishes that the young girls were not raped. This satisfies a family that does not want history. The father of the second girl protested in vain.
More than a film about young people, it is a glimpse of Chinese society: young woman without paper, pressure towards prostitution, corruption, untouchable leadership …

THE THIRD MURDER by Kote-ada Hirokazu (124mn, Venezia 74). A Japanese industrialist is assassinated on the banks of the river. An accused employee recognizes the crime and then retracts.
Who killed ? For whom? The employee for his own account? On behalf of the industrial woman who wants to get insurance? For the daughter who was raped?
It does not matter to the employee to be sentenced to death, he only wants to be recognized innocent by his lawyer.

FOXTROT by Samuel Maos (113 mn, Venezia 74) recounts the tragedy of an Israeli family informed, by mistake, of the death of the son in the army in an operation, codenamed , Foxtrot. When the error is acknowledged, the father makes a crisis and gets his son released from military obligations … He will not see him again.

 THE INSULT (Kamel El Basha, awards) by Ziad Doueiri (115mn, Venezia 74) takes place in Lebanon. What should remain a mundane neighborhood incident degenerates into a community clash between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian worker, without paperwork, a site manager.
We finally learn in court that they have a close history. Both had to flee the destruction of their village under different circumstances.
The conclusion of a lawyer, we must learn to live together.

Festival de Venise 2017 Brèves notes sur quelques films

ESPÈCES MENACÉES by Gilles Bourdos, (105mn, Orizzonti) is built around 3 stories that eventually meet. The wedding night of a couple starts badly: the bridegroom makes a scene of jealousy about the past of his young wife. This will not stop there … In the adjoining apartment, separating from his wife, the neighbor enjoys, despite himself, muscle clashes. While his 18-year-old daughter tells him she is pregnant and is marrying a 63-year-old faculty teacher …

In PIN CUSHION by Deborah Haywood (85mn, Settimana della Critica), a mother and her daughter, both marginal, try to integrate themselves into the community but are repelled, mocked, the mother for her eccentricities despite her kindness, the girl because of its naivete. The characters are too caricatural, both too benighted and seemingly too benighted.
The two actresses do however a remarkable work.

 It is also a question of integration illustrated by SUBURBICON by George Clooney (104mn, Venezia 74) but much more classic. To escape the city’s troubles, to isolate oneself, many Americans have bought their dream home in a condominium where everything is for the best in the best of all worlds. But a black family settles in and protests, petitions begin …

It is still integration that Abel Ferrara speaks in PIAZZA VITTORIO (82mn, Fuori concorso). He interrogates old and new inhabitants, very diverse, of the place Vittorio Emanuele in Rome. Of course the opinions are contradictory and highlight negative and positive experiences of integration in Italy.

Not in order to safeguard their microcosm but to save life on a planet that runs into asphyxiation, Norwegian scientists, in DOWNSIZING by Alexander Pagne (135 mn, Venezia 74), propose to apply their discovery to all planet: miniaturize humans to reduce their ecological footprint. In the miniaturized society are the same social problems …
Since the majority of the population did not choose miniaturization, the world is at its loss, the most convinced miniaturized ones decide to lock themselves in a subterranean prepared to survive. The hero whose wife has retreated, at the last moment, during the miniaturization decided in common, does not participate in this new adventure …

The same ecological concern is found in FIRST REFORMED by Paul Schrader (108mn, Venezia 74). In the first Reformed church of the State, the priest confesses a young woman who asks him to meet her husband, activist, disturbed by the future of the planet. The interview will not lead to the desired solution.

 In the VILLA by Robert Guediguian (107mn, Venezia 74), there is no question of the survival of the planet but, more modestly, that of a small world of solidarity, fraternity living in a creek near Marseille. Around the restaurant run by one of them who took the succession of his very ill father. There are also his retired brother with his too young fiancee who is going to leave him, his sister, an actress, who came from Paris, a young fisher, a lover of poetry and theater because he heard, long ago, the neighboring actress , a couple of old retirees whom their son comes to see and who do not want his financial support.
All this little world lives in nostalgia. Except the young bride and the son of neighbors who are, elsewhere, modern, computer, motorcycle, comfortable in business.
An endangered world outside the young fisherman and perhaps young people who have arrived by sea

Festival de Venise 2017 Brèves notes sur quelques films

The fourth age can also have its modernity. In the LEISURE SEEKER (Ella & John) by Paolo Virzi (112mn, Venezia 74), at the initiative of the woman, a couple of nonagenarians takes the old caravan, without warning their children, for a (last) great trip: comedy with a leading woman and a husband, specialist of Hemingway, to memory to eclipses ..

OUR SOULS AT NIGHT (Golden Lion for their career, Jane Fonda, Robert Redfort) of Ritesh Bacra (103mn, Fuori concorsi). Addie and Louis, eighteen-year-old widowers, are neighbors but hardly know each other. One day, Addie decides to cross the street and go to propose to Louis to come to sleep at her place, not for sex but to fight the solitude of their nights. Finally, Louis agreed. Of course, things will not stay there … Their common nights becoming more frequent, more visible, make the friends chat… The couple finally show up, arm-in-arm downtown … But the son of Addie does not agree, he raises his son alone … Finally Addie will go to live to take care of his little son.
Lovers will only have to resume their nocturnal conversations over the phone.

The Italian cinema presented 2 films BRUTTI E CATTIVI by Cosimo Gomez (86mn, Orizzonti) and AMMORE E MALAVITA by Manetti Bros (133mn, Venezia 74). Announcement of a new Italian genre? Brutti e cattivi, whose title recalls the Brutti, sporchi e cattivi by Ettore Scola, diverts the film of thugs who break their lives into a bloody and grotesque comedy. In the band of thugs who launches the hold up of teir lives, hope of financial security for a long time, the head of the bnd, amputtated of both legs will lose an arm, his beautiful wife has no arms, she will be amputated with a leg, their team is made up of a dwarf …
Although a Chinese mafia puts itself across the road, the hero will recover all the money and will be made magnificent prostheses.

 In Ammore e Malavita, Don Vincenzo, king of the fish and member of the Neapolitan camora, feeling in danger, decides to die in order to enjoy life calmly. But a nurse, having seen what she could not see, must disappear. Ciro, in charge of the case, discovers that Fatima is his first and great love. To protect her, he will have to face all his old team in the service of Don Vincenzo.
On this scenario, a bloody and musical Neapolitan comedy that does not take itself seriously.

Conversely, GATTA GENERENTOLA by Alessandro Rak, Ivan Cappiello (86mn, Orizzonti) takes Cinderella in cartoon form as a thriller.

The Australian film, SWEET COUNTRY (Special Jury Prize) by Warwick Thornton (112mn, Venezia 74) takes over the western tradition, but here Indians are aboriginal victims of racism, including from a policeman against whom the local judge can enforce the law. Sam, the aborigine is acquitted but he has to leave town, escorted by the sheriff.
He is shot down at the gates of the city.

MOTHER by Darren Aronofsky (120mn, Venezia 74). A great poet, in difficulty of creation, lives in a beautiful house secluded under the protection of his wife. One evening a doctor knocked at the door. The poet offers hospitality despite the reluctance of his wife. Then comes the family. These hosts turn out to be more and more invasive but great admirers of the poet who can not refuse them … The doctor is sick, he must be evacuated to the hospital, the children come .. All the neighborhood knows that the great poet is there, who can not refuse anything … The house is plundered but his vanity is satisfied. The house burns. The woman dies but the poet extracts from his heart, the love, the diamond that will help him in his work of creation …

To do this long documentary, at the height of dramatic situations, HUMAN FLOW (140mn, Venezia 74), Ai Weiwei traveled around the world of migrant camps scattered all over the world, from Asia to America, from Africa to Africa, Europe, passing through Gaza or Paris and Calais … obviously not with the beautiful role.
Images that one dare not describe as beautiful, especially the views of airplanes, show the extent of the problem, of the cities of camps, in different countries. On the scale of statistics that are sometimes abstract.

LES BIENHEUREUX (Lyna Khoudri female performance award) by Sofia Djama (102mn, Orizzonti), the only African film of the Mostra. A fiction film that gives a realistic and rather pessimistic picture of the Algerian situation.
In Algiers, a few years after the civil war, a couple decides to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary at the restaurant. This gives the opportunity to see some constraints and difficulties of the daily life of a bourgeois couple for whom Algeria is not the one they hoped for.
The Blessed are to be taken in the second degree. If the husband says, we were happy, the woman adds to the price of how many renouncements. In parallel, the lives of their children, who have not known the black decade and who are trying to adapt to the situation ..

THE SHAPE OF THE WATER (Golden Lion) by Guillermo del Toro (119mn, Venezia 74). In the atmosphere of the 1960s, the US services captured a Soviet coveted aquatic monster on which they experimented.
The monster is chained but is not mean. A servant woman, mute as it(he) is, takes him in affection. Small gifts, the language of signs allow a love story, between these two excluded. With the complicity of a black colleague, a painter friend and a scientist of Russian origin, after much difficulty, they release the freedom to the monster who takes the girlfriend to the bottom of the oceans …
The beautiful, handicapped, and the beast can communicate, share feelings: universal message of love and freedom.

Festival de Venise 2017 Brèves notes sur quelques films

Other films viewed 

LOS VERSOS DE OLVIDO by Alireza Khatami (92mn, Orizzonti), NAUSICAA-L’ALTRA ODISSEA by Giuseppe Vigna (20mn, Settimana Della Critica), DUE by Riccardo Giacconi (17mn, Settimana Della critica), DRIFT by Helena Wittmann,(97mn, Settimana Della Critia), THIS IS CONGO by Daniel Mac Cabe (91mn, Fuori concorsi), IL SIGNOR ROTPETER by Antonietta DeLio (37mmn, Fuori concorso), MAI MEE SAMUI SAMRAB TER (SAMI SONG) by Peb-ek Ratanaruang, (108mn, Giornate degli autori), EX LIBRIS – THE NEW-YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY by Frederick Wiseman (197mn, Venezia 74), LA NUIT OÙ J’AI NAGÉ by Damien Manivel et Igarashi Kohei (79mn, Orizzonti) and two sessions of short films in Virtual Reality.

1 – The films can be presented in different selections: Venezia 74, the most prestigious, official competition for the Golden Lion, Orizzonti (Horizons), Fuori Concorso (Out of Competition), Giornate degli autori, Settimane (Critical Week), Proiezioni speciali (Special projections), Venice Classici-Restauri or Documentari (Venice Classics-restored or documentary), Orizzonti – Concorso Corti (Horizons Short film, Cinema nel Giardino (Cinema in the Garden).
Tickets were sold to access these projections: this year, the Tessera Promozionale, offered to under 26 years of age or over 60, allowed access to more than 150 films, within the lilitsof the avalaible seats, in sessions open to accrediti. The Tessera cost 80 €, the card for the students 40 €.

2 – Inspired by the book En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule by Édouard Louis, 2014

After the legislative elections in Germany

Après les législatives en Allemagne

Français

The results of the German parliamentary elections (in the Bundestag, the Federal Diet) are very worrying. Yet it was not totally unexpected because these elections come after many others just as disturbing but quickly forgotten by the liberal, Europeanist, political and media optimism. They become excited a moment for results considered as catastrophic and forget them the next day having found the miracle cure: close their eyes and continue or accentuate the policy sanctioned by the voters.

The nomenclature of the European Union (EU) has already been disappointed on several occasions.

In France, in 2002, the Front National (FN) participated in the second round of a presidential election to which Jean-Marie Le Pen obtained 17.8% of the votes. In 2017, Marine Le Pen did much better: 33.9%!
But the voting method helps, Emmanuel Macron is elected by a very large majority, as any candidate would have been facing Marine Le Pen. The newly elected, strong of these results and of an exorbitant constitutional power, can engage resolutely in a policy approved by a quarter of the electors.
The FN is virtually excluded from the National Assembly and all oppositions are very limited.

 

Between these two presidential elections, the no won in the referendum of 2005 on the proposal of European Constitution. But the politicians, right and left confused, despised the result. The parliament adopted the text, little modified, refused by the French people.
Everything is for the best in the best of democratic worlds …

At the European level, whenever a people has said no to a question asked about the EU, politicians have erased this result, sometimes by a new vote of the people.

In Hungary, Viktor Orbán, leader of the Fidesz (1), supporter of the national revolution and a very conservative policy has been in power since 2010. On bases close to those of the AfD today.

In October 2015, the Poles gave an absolute majority to Democratic Right and Justice (PiS), a conservative and Eurosceptic party.

In December 2016, in Austria, in the first round of the presidential election, the candidates of the two parties of government, Social Democratic and Conservative, are eliminated. In the second round, great satisfaction: the green candidate is elected President of the Republic, the far right candidate gets only 48.3% of the vote.
There are more demanding satisfactions.

In the Netherlands, in March 2017, the Prime Minister’s Popular Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) led the legislative elections by losing 8 seats compared to the previous election in 2012 and its Social Democratic partner, the Labor Party (PvdA) receives only 5.7% of the votes and gets only 9 elected (29 seats lost).
This defeat of the ruling parties is hailed as a victory because Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) did worse than it could have hoped for and only got 13.1% of the vote and 20 deputies (5 seats won).
Since then, the Netherlands is looking for a government …

In January 2015, Greek citizens brought Syriza and Alexis Tsipras to power, challenging the Greek government’s austerity policy and its European tutelage. Notably Angela Merkel.
Greece has not finished paying for this crime and has been on the brink of expulsion from the EU.

 

 

Après les législatives en Allemagne

 

Everywhere, the parties of government, whether in power or in alternation with the government and the opposition, lose ground here on the right, there on the left, or on both.

Germany was exceptional for its apparent stability until the last parliamentary elections (2). However, the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) progressed to the various elections.

The AfD was created in 2013 by economics professors on an anti-euro, liberal, Russian-speaking program. It has evolved into anti-immigration and anti-islam party.

A few months after its foundation, it shortly missed its entry in the Bundestag with more than 2 million votes, or 4.7%. She would have had to collect 5%!

In the European elections in 2014, it obtained 7% of the votes and 7 out of 96 deputies. Since 2014, in every regional election, the AFD obtains elected representatives: in all, it currently has elected people in 13 regions out of 16 (3 regions in 2014 , 2 in 2015, 5 in 2016, 3 in 2017), reaching up to 20.8% in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and 24.3% in Saxony-Anhalt. In the 2017 legislative elections, with nearly 6 million votes (12.6%), it became the third party in Germany and elected 94 deputies (out of 709).

Angela Merkel, designated 10 times (2006-2009 and 2011-2016) as the most powerful woman in the world, became Mutti, the mother of the nation and, recently, by journalists like Jakob Augstein, « the mother of the monster « .

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of powerful Germany for 12 years, can not be held to be irresponsible of the disaffection for the EU, in all even the most Europhile countries, and the rise of the extreme right across the EU. Angela Merkel and her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, have imposed their austerity policies on all EU countries, with the more or less forced, more or less enthusiastic agreement of national governments.

In France, the economic and social policy of the German government is presented as the model, often with some oversights: development of renewable energies, stoppage of nuclear energy, immigration …

Until the last few weeks, politicians and the media have been praised for its excellent results: thanks to the reforms of Gerhard Schröder, Social Democratic Chancellor 1998 -2005, and to the policy followed by Angela Merkel and her coalition governments with the SPD (2005), the FDP (2009) and again the SPD (2013): growth rate at the highest, partly boosted by the arrival of immigrants (3), unemployment divided by three in twelve years, falling government debt, positive balance of public finances, strong trade balance, particularly with other EU states

More recently, data have been published that are known but discreetly ignored because they are less flattering and less appealing: doubling the percentage of the poor population since 2015 and the number of working poor, with full employment obtained with mini-jobs. In addition to the 2.5 million official unemployed, 1 million people are underemployed and many of them are working poor who are not counted as unemployed. Increase of 30% of poor pensioners … cities in budget crisis, poor state of infrastructure due to lack of investment

Finally, the policy of rigor has exacerbated the cleavage between countries of northern and southern Europe. But even in so-called prosperous countries such as the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Austria and now Germany … the development of inequalities, an increase in the number of very rich and poor, leads to the emergence of contestation. The CDU / CSU of Angela Merkel and Worfgang Schäuble has clearly won the legislative elections but with the lowest rate since 1949. And since 1933, for the SPD, its ally to the government in the last legislature !!!
This is the sanction of the policy followed since Gerhard Schröder by the two governing parties, CDU / CSU and SPD.

 

 

Après les législatives en Allemagne

 

Faced with the success of the AfD, only the Liberal Party (FDP) has improved its position. Belonging to the government, it did not reach the 5% in 2012 and was no longer present in the Bundestag. He returned to it because of his evolution towards European skepticism.

The entry into the Bundestag, for the first time since the end of World War II, of a far-right party created a shock. Demonstrations took place on Sunday 24 September in the evening in several German cities in Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin. Here the cries of « all Berlin hates the Nazis« , « Nazis out » or « racism is not an alternative« , « we are united, you are shit« , « crush nationalism » …
It is not clear that this is the right way to stop the AfD’s progress. The French experience has shown the limits of this type of manifestation.

The SPD decided not to participate in the next coalition government, not because its policy was bad for the population, for Germany or for the EU, it was the party who was behind with Gerhard Schröder, which supported it during two of the three mandates of Angela Merkel: 8 out of 16 ministers in the Merkel I cabinet, including those of Labor and Social Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Finance; 6 out of 16 in the Merkel III cabinet, including those from the Economy and Energy (4), Foreign Affairs, Labor and Social Affairs … But because of the bad results in the elections.
There is no doubt that it will profit from its passage in the opposition to give color to its future program … to win votes … But what degree of confidence will the German voters be able to grant it?

 

The Merkel IV government announced could regroup the CDU / CSU, the FDP and the Grünen (the Greens). Difficulty due to divergent positions of the FDP and the Grünen on the EU. That is to say that only Die Linke who defends an anti-liberal line and democratic socialism could embody a left-wing opposition, which has not been the case so far while the SPD was in government. This is likely to be even more difficult with an SPD officially in opposition

 

Après les législatives en Allemagne

 

1 – The Fidesz for Fiatal Demokraták Szövetsége (Alliance of Young Democrats) is the most common name of the party chaired by Viktor Orbán. From 1995, its official name was Fidesz – Magyar Polgári Párt (Hungarian Civic Party), and from 2003 Fidesz – Magyar Polgári Szövetség (Hungarian Civic Alliance).

2-Results: CDU / CSU: 32.93% (-8.6), SPD: 20.51 (-5.2), AfD: 12.64 (+7.9), FDP: 6), Die Linke: 9.24 (+0.7), Die Grünen 8.94 (+0.5).

3 – Growth in the German economy, which stands at 1.9% in 2016, is half a percentage point higher than the average of the previous ten years (1.4%). The increase in government spending and the overall increase in consumption due to the arrival of refugees have had a strong spillover effect on the economy. Le Monde Économie, 13/01/17.

4 – Shortly after his retirement from politics, Gerhard Schröder was appointed head of the consortium for the construction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, the first partner of which is the Russian company Gazprom (Wikipedia).

A reopening of social struggles

Français

The Cgt, Solidaires, Unef … called for a strike and protest on September 12 and 21 against the Labor Act (La loi travail), the ordinances and more generally against the social policy of President Macron and his government.

At the demonstration on the 12, the police counted 223,000 people nationwide, and Libération notes that this participation can be considered a success if compared with the first demonstration against the law El Khomri, March 9, 2016 , which had gathered, according to the police always, 224 000 people especially if one takes into account that this time, FO did not call for the demonstration at national level. And even more so if one thinks of the important defeat of the left during the presidential and legislative elections which do not allow to hope for a political outlet to this revolt against the government in place.

 Concerning September 21, police and unions recorded figures lower than those of the 12, in Paris 16,000 against 24,000 according to the police, and for the whole country 132,000 instead of 223,000. Whatever the scale , we are far from a 50% drop, calculated by Libération and even Mediapart. At the Parisian level, the drop on the basis of police data is 33% and at the national level 41%.
It is therefore a notable drop that Libération translates into a shortness of breath and the Observateur by a drop in form. What is more cautious about the future, especially if we take into consideration the emergence of new movements of disputes such as the snail operations and blockades of motorways launched on this occasion, the absence of national dailies in the kiosks or the strike surprise, masked under the stops-disease, of several hundred CRS.

 In any case, it is hardly possible to predict what will happen now.
Initially, the Macron projects deeply divided the unions and F.O. refused to demonstrate but, at the same time, the division touches F.O. Part of F.O. joined the protesters and also some CFDTs and even CFTC. On the other hand, the Reformist unions say they are disappointed and some deceived by the government.

New trade union demonstrations have already been announced. Will the reformist unions come to join them? Will the demonstration called by La France insoumise be a success, will it appear complementary or competing with those of the trade unions? Will it succeed in mobilizing more broadly, on a Saturday, beyond the workers of trade unionists?

Some pictures of the September 12 demonstration

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Some pictures of the sptember 21 demonstation.

 

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Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales
Une rentrée de luttes sociales

Absent to the demonstration called by La France insoumise, I will not post a photo on the blog.

The demonstration launched by La France Insoumise grouped, according to the police, 30,000 people. Beyond verbal (« déferlement », flood) and digital inflation (150,000 according to the organizers), this participation is a popular success.
And a political success with the announced participation of Benoît Hamon, and that of Pierre Laurent who, once again, played the « j’y vas ti, j’y vas ti pas «  (hesitation)

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All Quiet on the Western Front

A l’Ouest, rien de nouveau

 

The novel,  All Quiet on the Western Front (Original : Im Westen nichts Neues) von Erich Maria Remarque (1) was released in 1929, followed shortly afterwards by the film which it inspired (All Quiet on the Western Front) by Lewis Milestone (2). Both, pacifists, the war of 14-18 seen by a young German volunteer soldier were a great success.

In Germany, the book was sold at 800,000 copies between 1930 and 1935, the date of the exile of Remarque (published in France in 1930, 600,000 copies), it is one of the best prints of the 20th century, at least, 30 million in the world. The film won two Oscars, best film, best director, in 1930.
The Nazis burned the book at the 1933 autos and censored the film.

The film is not the illustration, image by word, of the book. Situations, dialogues of the book are found there but some scenes have disappeared, others have been added. These modifications, without betraying the pacifist spirit of the novel, bring a slightly different point of view.

It is enough to realize to compare first pages and first images.

 The first lines of the book are devoted to an eventful distribution of the meal. The food, a concrete question, comes back several times throughout the novel: the soldiers are ill and irregularly fed. So far we were mixing food with sawdust, now we have only sawdust said one of them.

But that day, things are very different. The food of the second company arrived, for 150 soldiers. The cook only wants to make the distribution when everyone is there. The second company, gone in first line at 150, returned half decimated: they are only 80!
There are 150 rations and 80 soldiers. The food is for the second company. Each soldier now wants two rations. Including tobacco. The cook does not want to hear anything. This conflict, which threatens to go wrong, is resolved by an officer who decides in favor of the soldiers.

The tone is given. The novel will focus on the concrete situations, on the daily live of the soldiers, especially the narrator’s classmates. And their consequences: hunger of course, death, wounds, fear, promiscuity, morale, attacks and counter attacks …. And reflections on the war, on their concrete situation, on the crises of despair and nostalgia …

It is the warrior engagement that opens the film. Professor’s enthusiasm. He announces to the service woman, both cleaning school, the success of the day: 30 French prisoners, Russians, much more than that!
He opens the door of the school widely on the street, the troops parade in popular enthusiasm. The postman proudly announces his departure the next day as a reserve sergeant. The florist is robbed of its merchandise by the women who throw flowers to the military parading …
While following the parade, the camera enters, with a backward movement, into the classroom, fixes, in a slight dive, on the teacher and the blackboard with writings in Latin and Greek. It then widens to the two windows which frame it in which the parade continues, the military music covering his words.

The image then focuses on the professor, on his discourse, the military music becoming inaudible. He addresses all the pupils and exhorts them to join the army: one student sees himself arriving at home in uniform, to the great terror of his mother and to the proud joy of his father; another imagines himself at the wheel of a military vehicle surrounded by two admiring young women.

Then the professor, in close-up, speaks to some, with a threatening eye, provoking them personally, to the point of triggering the voluntary work of the whole class. Cries, songs, a pupil erases on the blackboard Latin and Greek and inscribed Nach Paris, (To Paris), the others throw away the notebooks, the school is finished as for holidays, they form a monôme and leave the classroom . They pass noisily in front of the windows.

The class is empty. Scattered notebooks. All is said. The culture, Latin and Greek confused, yields to the bellicose ardor. War has already devastated everything. The pupils, duped by their teacher, leave careless. They will not come back or break. Physically. Psychically. Morally.

 

In the last pages of the book and images of the film, Paul, the narrator, dies. In the book, a simple note: He fell, in april 1918… He had fallen, head forward In the film, Paul pays with his life an imprudence while trying to catch a butterfly. Too beautiful image of death …
But while in the previous pages Paul confides and his despair, and the life force that is in him, the last image of the film is a superposition of the second company that rises to the front, already seen image, and a cemetery military with innumerable white crosses

A l’Ouest, rien de nouveau

Of course, book and film show, both, misery, suffering, the presence of death, fear, adaptation necessary for survival at the cost of a realism that might pass for cynicism – the passage of boots become useless from one amputated soldier to another who covets them and then to another after his death … Discussions on the why of the war, about the perpetrators of this slaughter. Of the uselessness of what was learned yesterday at school, to make war, and what is learned today, to survive tomorrow, peace returned. From the impossible rehabilitation of young people to civil society, peace …

Scenes are common to the book and film, as dramatic when Paul stabs a Frenchman who dies slowly before his eyes, as poignant when he goes to see his family, especially his gravely ill mother. Or ridiculous when the strategists of bistro tell Paul that it is necessary to break the enemy front and to run on Paris.

The book deals with more intimate subjects, personal reflections of the author on the poor moments of happiness, the addiction to the suffering, the death of others, a comfortable unbearable promiscuity in civil life: mobile latrines that allow playing cards, a love scene in the hospital, under the protection of his comrades, a wounded man whom his wife came to see …

The added scenes show the grip of every moment of the machine on men, exercises, including bullying, hundreds of young recruits in a barracks court, agitation of the troops, infantry and artillery near the front, attacks counter attacks, bombardments, life in the trench, which involve the spectator in the war.

In the book more than in the film, no hatred against the adversary, the enemy, the brother that must be killed to survive. Who is perhaps better off, French or English, corned beef, white bread, cognac … Who is even more destitute, more unhappy, Russian prisoner … dying, really, of hunger …

The war, seen from both ends.
The brute force of the machine that wounds or kills at random, which enslaves, to which the soldier obeys, because he must obey, because he has become an automaton.
The horror at the level of the ground, felt daily, physical and moral suffering, manages to find food, combines, for a place in the kitchen, some cigarettes against morphine for the suffering comrade …

When we leave, we are only vulgar soldiers, sullen or in a good mood, and when we reach the area where the front begins we have become beastmen.

.

A l’Ouest, rien de nouveau

1 – Erich Maria Remarque, born in 1898, of his real name Erich Paul Remark, did not commit himself: he was mobilized in 1916, sent to the front in 17 and wounded in July. His mother, Maria, named like the mother of the hero of the novel, Paul Bäumer, died of cancer in September 17.

2 – Lewis Milestone (1895-1980) obtained in 1930, the Oscar of the Best director for All Quiet on the Western Front that had also the Oscar of the Best film. Nominated also for the best scenario and the best photography.
Lewis Milestone won already in 1929 the Oscar of the Best Comedy Director for Two Arabian Knights