The Fabelmans | Cinema em Cena –

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Screenplay by Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner. Starring: Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Mateo Zoryan, Keeley Karsten, Julia Butters, Alina Brace, Birdie Borria, Jeannie Berlin, Robin Bartlett, Sam Rechner, Oakes Fegley, Chloe East, Isabelle Kusman, James Urbaniak, Greg Grunberg, Judd Hirsch and David Lynch.

One of the reasons I always insist that a critic should never tell the reader to stop seeing a film is the fact that one cannot predict, even in mediocre works, what might touch a person – and the greatest proof of this can be seen in the opening scene of The Fabelmansautobiographical feature film directed by Steven Spielberg, which reveals how it was the first production to awaken his imagination and interest in cinema The greatest show on earth, one of the worst winners in Oscar history. It is an evocative, almost magical passage which also serves to introduce the contrast between the father and mother of the young protagonist: while Burt Fabelman (Dano) tries to explain to his son how the cinematographic experience works from a technological/physiological point of view, wife Mitzi (Williams) focuses on discussing the sensations that this can wake up.

Written by Spielberg alongside Tony Kushner (with whom he had already collaborated on The exceptional Monkin the beautiful remake of Love sublime love and not disappointing lincoln), The Fabelmans traces about 15 years of the director’s life, starting from 1952 (with a visit to the cinema to see the work of Cecil B. DeMille) and ending in the second half of the 60s, when he began to take his first professional steps in Hollywood . As a child, little Sam Fabelman (Zoryan) tries to recreate the train wreck seen on the big screen using a toy locomotive and his father’s Super 8 camera, showing an innate talent for framing, shifting the lens and cutting to right moment – and a few years later, as a teenager (and now played by the great LaBelle), he already directs family records (such as the arrival in a new house) and also short films made with friends, in passages that refer, here and there, to the moments that will appear in your future projects.

Echoing in various moments the sensation of discovering the possibilities of Cinema illustrated in beauty Jacquot of Nantesin which Agnès Varda told the story of her husband Jacques Demy, The Fabelmans may have a more traditional narrative than that of that 1991 film, but no less nostalgic, detailing how young Sam learns to assemble his works on his little moviola, to solve technical problems (such as simulating explosions and gunfire), to include musical themes in his screenings and even the direction of actors – and not surprisingly these early career are accompanied by a soundtrack (composed again by maestro John Williams) reminiscent of those that accompanied the productions of the silent cinema.

However, more than a reminder of its director’s first creative steps, the film represents a dive into the family crises that shaped his temperament, especially his parents’ relationship. Experienced by Michelle Williams with a physical characterization faithful to her inspiration (Leah Adler, Spielberg’s mother), Mitzi is a woman with a restless, artistic spirit who is unable to adapt, even after so many years, to the monotony of a “housewife”. . house” in the 1960s (and it’s fun to note how all meals are made with disposable lei cutlery and plates so she doesn’t spend a minute washing them up). Feeling guilty about the frustration she feels, Mitzi impulsively tries to fill her daily life, whether it’s buying a pet monkey or putting the kids in the car to chase a tornado. So, after recognizing a similar concern in Sam, she begins to encourage him to follow his creative aspirations and notices how cinematographer Janusz Kaminski sheds light on the character as he hands the Super 8 camera to his son for the first time. turn. time, suggesting his role in the trajectory of the boy.

Equally efficient as Burt Fabelman, Paul Dano invests in a composition that contrasts the sitter’s physically rigid posture with his gentle, passionate expression. Patient, tender and devoted to his family, Burt is obviously fascinated by Mitzi’s nature, encouraging her to express herself without realizing that, as much as he loves her, her lack of spontaneity is something that, added to the intimidation provoked by her intellect, paralyzes and inhibits his wife, who is much more comfortable with Bennie, a friend so close to the couple that he is seen as an uncle by the children. Full of human warmth (something Burt fails to project despite his warm nature), Bennie is portrayed with immense charisma by Seth Rogen, skilled at preventing the character’s feelings from causing the viewer to judge him negatively, which would be an injustice, as his loyalty to the Fabelman family is genuine. Incidentally, the dynamic of the trio is so complex that Mitzi enjoys seeing Burt’s genius unfolded by Bennie, getting carried away by his energy and her intelligence.

In this sense, the dramatic center of The Fabelmans it is at the meeting of its two themes: Sam’s discovery of cinema and his parents’ relationship. It is as if Sam/Spielberg sees art as a necessary intermediary for understanding reality, since it is through art that he finally realizes what should have been obvious a long time ago (and the sequence where Sam puts together a home movie and realizes everything makes a brilliant narrative choice using the music played by Mitzi as an accompaniment, as if she were creating the soundtrack of her own personal drama). It is worth noting, among other things, that Spielberg demonstrates immense consistency in his approach, since, in one way or another, he has always dealt with the emotional outcomes of this situation through his films, which often present the figure of the absent father (Close Encounters, ET, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and, in a sense, Catch me if you can) as he blamed Burt/Arnold for his pain for years, only coming to fully understand the situation decades later. Equally significant is his obsession with stories set during World War II (1941, Empire of the Sun, Schindler’s List, Save Private Ryan), in which the father fought.

Less effective, on the other hand, is the attempt to create a dilemma that would force Sam to make a choice between his family and his art, as this gets nowhere despite allowing for the inclusion of a nice scene with the veteran Judd Hirsch. . Also problematic is the introduction of anti-Semitism into the last hour of the screening – not because it is not a serious problem, but because, precisely because it is, it should be addressed as something more serious than a mere obstacle in social and school life of the protagonist, as she is not acknowledged/discussed/addressed by any adult despite all evidence that a hate crime has occurred. Finally, try as the young actor who plays Logan (Rechner) tries, it doesn’t seem plausible that such an immature and aggressive boy would acquire such a deep self-awareness about his emotional outburst after only watching a few minutes of the film.

Enriched by good humor and a lightness that prevents the narrative from becoming too gloomy or melancholy (which at the same time weakens the feature film here and there – a recurring problem in the director’s filmography), The Fabelmans graces Sam and Monica’s (East) clash of religions and even a subtle metalinguistic joke involving a promise of secrecy, culminating in David Lynch’s inspired participation as the iconic John Ford (and culminating in a ‘final shot which is, already one of the best of Spielberg’s career).

Ultimately, by demonstrating how Sam/Steven comes to a mature understanding of his parents, recognizing their humanity, frailties and virtues, the film works as a compelling explanation of what made Steven Spielberg one of the most important directors in the history of cinema. : the marriage between the technical virtuosity of the father and the instinctive emotion of the mother.

January 12, 2023

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