June 5, 2012
It is no surprise I adore Bertolucci. He is a master of Italian Cinema. His collaboration with his longtime cameraman and color-obsessed colleague, Vitorrio Storraro, is the stuff of cinematic legend.
There are two things, therefore, which make Besieged a surprise. One is the music by Allesio Flad and the other is the camerawork by a cinematographer from Rome named Fabio Cianchetti.
Besieged is a film about an obsessed musician – a contemporary pianist living in Rome, who falls in love with a beautiful immigrant. The soundtrack, all by itself, is worthy of your attention. Allesio Flad is an Italian conductor who has also worked with Zefferelli. His collaboration here with Bertolucci brings to mind Fellini’s relationship with Nino Rota.
When you playback your memory of a Fellini film in your head, chances are you hear a whisp of Rota’s music alongside. The alchemy of the image/soundtrack combo is potent here, as well. When you think about this movie, in the future, you will undoubtedly hear snatches of Flad’s musical genius to compliment the mental pictures.
But, it is the camerawork and the visual language, which is the true essence of Besieged. The script could probably fit on ten pages! The story is totally motivated and told through the moving images.
Largely handheld, there is an energetic take-no-prisoners intimacy to this camerawork which grabs you by the eyes and won’t let go. Besieged is ravishing.
Say no more.