‘La chimera’ is a wonderful magic potion full of beauty and lightness

‘La chimera’ is a wonderful magic potion full of beauty and lightness
‘La chimera’ is a wonderful magic potion full of beauty and lightness
Scene from ‘La chimera’Image RV

After the beekeeping family of Le meraviglie and the tobacco pickers of Lazzaro felice we make up La chimera meets a cheerful gang of grave robbers. They consider themselves the pirates of the land and sing about their own legend in heroic drinking songs. But Rohrwacher exposes their nihilism. Her camera lets us experience the sacred value of age-old art treasures, but for this gang of thieves the past means little more than a nice source of income.

The disheveled British archaeologist Arthur (The Crown-actor Josh O’Connor urgently needs a bath) guides the robbers with his dowsing rod to the right places to put the spade in the ground. He seems to have a sixth sense for Etruscan tombs, and that could make him and his cronies millions. Yet his thoughts are elsewhere. With his idiotic twig in hand, Arthur is mainly looking for another ghost from a bygone era: it is the memory of his beloved Beniamina that drives him. But can you live with one foot in the past?

Unique filmmaker

Arthur wanders like a sleepwalker between reality and dream. And just like him, the film also seems to exist in a twilight zone: between grimy realism and sunny magic, between time document, crime thriller and poetic parable. Rohrwacher confirms her status as one of the most unique filmmakers in Italy and far beyond. La chimera is mysterious but not hermetic, strange but not affective, sparkling and melancholic.

A meandering film full of beauty and lightness, which mixes a few drops of Pasolini and a dash of Fellini in a wonderful magic potion. The vibrant, organic textures of director of photography Hélène Louvart make it so that you can almost touch the art treasures with your own fingers.

La chimera plays in cinemas from 3/04.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: chimera wonderful magic potion full beauty lightness


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