Based on his poem of the same name, the film Intervali Chiraroscui by Anthony Cristiano left me mostly unsure of how it left me (make sense?).

The poem is beautiful, centred around the image of light and dark playing together. Sustained throughout, this format is pleasing to the tongue and eye. The music the poem is set to is relaxing, but has a certain edge to it that demands the listener’s attention and participation. It insists on being recognized by the listener’s gentle rocking, or a prolonged sigh. In contrast, the film is quite lovely as well. Again, the playing with light and shadow is intensely beautiful and appropriate to the title and the images of the poem.

However, while these aspects are quite attractive by themselves, putting them all together ruins everything. Poetic imagery is completely upstaged by the actual images. Where the poem only hinted at certain aspects, the film makes them tangible, destroying any creative mental images the audience may have. Similarly, the film’s music distracts those who wants to hear the words, overpowering the meaning of the poem and assigning a meaning more suited to the tone of the music.

A creation focusing on clocks, the film version of Intervali Chiraroscui is somewhat altered. It comes off as an attempt to be dark, obscure and depressing. I was reminded of Salvador Dali’s remark that he attempted to paint from the subconscious, which in itself is contradictory. Basically, the film is too put on, as though Cristiano desperately wanted to be profound and heartwrenching at the same time.

But it was not terrible. As mentioned, the three artistic components involved (film, music and poetry) are all pleasing, so artistic content is not the problem. It’s the attempt to be artistic that is so unappealing. Art requires a certain amount of spontaneity that cannot be faked, and does not require such great depths as some, like Mr. Cristiano, may believe. That understanding is missing here.

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