Most European American filmmaker, Woody Allen, returns to theaters this Wednesday, July 13 with “Rifkin’s festival”. He expressed there again, and in the original way, his love of cinema on the European continent.
With nothing left to lose, and most of all nothing left to prove, Woody Allen is drumming up a critique of film festivals-and in a today’s cinema. “Rifkin’s festival”, his last film in theaters this Wednesday, July 13, will last an hour and thirty-two minutes film, the filmmaker remains faithful to excellence. Even if it loses a bit of the quality of humor… We have less of a laugh than in his previous film (A rainy day in New York), and many others before him. But her unique, romantic and daring look always hits the mark. He was just there to draw the net of well-intentioned cinema of screenwriters who wanted to save the world, who wanted to celebrate the Cannes festival, for example. He was the only one to dare to proclaim the beauty of a European cinema, whose main concern was artistic and non-political. For him, in the end, to question the betrayal of love, to prefer his opponent.
At 86, nostalgic and dreamy, Woody Allen seems to be breathing his fantasies into an ideal life for the last time. He walks around, in the form of the excellent comedian Wallace Shawn (Bride to the Princess), at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Mort Rifkin, a film professor and aspiring novelist with wild needs, is accompanied by his wife Sue (Gina Gershon), who has come to take care of Philippe (Louis Garrel), the director where he is the press officer and whom he admired.
Destination is the San Sebastian festival, where cream cinema meets and where nothing seems to talk about cinema, nor the performance of cinema and art. The filmmaker hardly caricatures excessive questions from journalists to actors. And Louis Garrel to embody himself in all that cinema consists of parasites. But without the awakening of psychoanalysis, Woody Allen betrayed the integrity of his last film. Mort Rifkin came out of the cabinet before flying to Spain. The entire film will be sprinkled with his voice-over reflections.
Love, scam and analysis
Everything goes there, or almost: questions of the meaning of life, of death, reflection on poor choices of love and loyalty, of illusions that one must have the impression that one will succeed in life. Each theme is accompanied by insertions of scenes from the filmmaker’s favorite films, revisited with the actors in his film. We can see there for example Jules and Jim by Francois Truffaut The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman or even Volover by Pedro Almodóvar. But also the mentions of Bunuel and Fellini. Woody, through Mort Rifkin, travels to the films he honors. And revived the cinema he believed in.
If the idea is laudable, it can also soften the flow of the film, which has already added to the familiar characteristics and values of the filmmaker. Meanwhile, his wife spends most of her time with Philippe, between dinners and press conferences, barely hiding their complicity from her husband. Mort, on the other hand, is content with smelly, sometimes very ridiculous responses, while Louis Garrel plays the perfect man, the talented filmmaker, who doesn’t hesitate to reveal that his next film could be , seriously, to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict. -Palestinian. (Woody Allen probably didn’t care that throughout his career he had no desire to watch the war, and yet received 70 awards.) Mort Rifkin sought to escape this dream through an eager office visit. to an attractive female doctor, married to a madman. and fickle painter, whom he tried to seduce, but was always faithful to his wife. And to evoke her questions about love choices. His novel didn’t progress much and his life seemed to be behind him. The only question he found the answers to without a doubt was how to succeed in his life.
Was this testament film the end point of his career? Does Woody Allen regret that he is not in the film industry? Or that there is a chaotic sentimental life, one he seems to reject here? However, Mort Rifkin’s reflections, the universal themes of famous cinema, even if they are grasped, allow the viewer to make them his own. Make sure the frustration doesn’t end.
Rifkin’s festivalby Woody Allen, with Wallace Shawn, Louis Garrel, Gina Gershon, Elena Anaya, 1h32, in theaters July 13