". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Trip to Italy (2014)

By everything I know about myself I should loathe this film.  However, I am charmed.

Two Brit actors of middling fame, comedians also, it seems, impersonating movie and television figures, riffing off of famous movies, all down the Italian coast, while staying in fabulous places I could never afford to stay in, and eating in restaurants I could never afford to eat in. I should be offended!  My class consciousness outraged.

Instead, I'm amused and entertained, as these two, Steve Coogan and Bob Brydon (never heard of either one of them until seeing this film, but I'm not British), quip, very slightly, on occasion, bicker, their way down the coast of Italy.

It helps that the scenery in which they are hanging out is spectacular, and so is the photography.  It also helps that there is actual feeling within both of them, not only for Shelley and Bryon in Italy, and their poetry, but for Shakespeare.  It is moving, in fact, and pulls the whole roll of filmic sequences together, their bits with Yorick,

Hamlet and Shakespeare within one of the crypt cave ossuaries of Naples. In other words, like Shakespeare's fools and clowns, these two, who have made careers of playing clowns and fools, are neither clowns nor fools.

It's a sort of art house production, I guess.  Its an IFC, and played here at the Film Forum.  It's currently streaming at Netflix, and if you like quirky things, that are good natured, not deep, have lovely locations, which play a lot with the history of movies and iconic actors, this is a lovely way to pass an hour plus.

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