I had seen Goretta's movie when it was released ;I tried to give it a second chance and I watched it last night:it did not make me change my mind.Sure it was a pleasure to see again the sadly missed Gian Maria Volonte and the really beautiful Mimsy Farmer,but the movie is a capitulation:it was released in 1982,just before the French left revealed themselves in true colors and became to the present the champagne socialists.
"La Dentellière" ,Goretta's only commercial success,already showed the impossible love between a bourgeois student and a girl from the humble people :in spite of Huppert's talent ,it did not take sides and concluded :"it's an unfair world ,it's really too bad for that poor girl,but let it be that way and life will go on safely"
"La Mort De Mario Ricci " is more of the same,in in its own way: a TV journalist and his assistant ,coming to interview a sociologist whose books deal with world hunger (and one may wonder what he is doing here in a rather cozy house whereas other people go out on the field,nursing ,helping ,teaching?).We are given a small lecture on that crucial problem but is there a sentence ,in the professor's generous speech,that the average viewer has not already heard? In parallel,we are told the tragic accident of an Italian laborer ,working on the Mont Blanc tunnel.A garage owner seems to be responsible for his death ,but in the hotel where the journalists are staying,another side of the story is slowly spreading: humble people are hypocrites ,liars,and their youth is racist .Fontana ,the hero ,hardly intervenes ,except maybe for the scene with the wasted Donnadieu (the future brilliant star of "spoorlos" ),and his assistant,Didier ,represents the happy-go-Lucky TV reporter ,who does not even realize that he is part of the privileged persons .
The movie,made by an intellectual for intellectuals,totally devoid of humor,represents political non-commitment ;and if someone shows some emotion ,it's politically committed (in real life) GM Volonte,who looks more and more disenchanted as the movie progresses;he certainly deserved the prize he won ;his character was once a courageous man (didn't he become disabled in the exercise of his duties?)
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