La Terra trema Reviews
The film has us experiencing long drawn out shots, moments of quiet, which typically I enjoy in a film with better cinematography. As many great tracking and dolly shots as there are, the film has trouble with exposure, often right on the edge of complete underexposure.
My favorite irony, however. In that, while it's intended to be a Marxist clarion call for the working class against the oppressive bourgeoisie, it's actually the biggest ad for free markets I've ever seen. LOL. Capitalism, at its finest. If one can get a higher rate selling dish themselves than to a wholesaler, one becomes a business entrepreneur & increases capital. Nothing Marxist, except the constant whining.
While I agree with their mission, I despise the whiny, victimhood tone of everything.
Not gonna lie...I delighted to see the loud & righteous revolutionary being brought down, jobless, & needing to be hired by the people he revolted against. I may suggest this was not the intent of the filmmaker, but it was as powerful as any intention. Great schadenfreude.
However, he exhibits the typical Marxist hypocrisy. Talks about hating greed of those who are making more money than him... wants to make more money for himself.
The one saving grace of this film was how, whether intentionally or not, it proved the older generation right, & the know it all younger generation, wrong. That was the most appealing part of this movie, to me. But the amazing thing was that, even after all this, he still hasn't learned his lesson. He still thinks he was right, and continues on with a martyr complex, about how what he did was for everyone, as though he was doing anyone any favours. It's really a bunch of self-righteous ridiculousness. He starts preaching to a kid about the tired old tropes of advancing only through a common good. In one sense, that's right, in terms of a voluntary community & allowing for the success of others. But what is meant by that here, of course, is a forced common good by self-righteous do-gooders, who when they try to inflict their good on society, end up ravaging it, as we saw here. In that sense, it's one of the more absurd movies I've ever seen. It undercuts the ONE thing that makes it tolerable.
It's supposed to be communistic, but I must say, I agreed with most of the character's disputes. It's hardly Marxist to not want to get screwed over by your buyers & to want to make more money with the fish you catch, with a raise or venturing on your own. That's pure capitalism.
I just really hate young people who see themselves as revolutionary figures & think that anything they've come up with is new, & therefore anything old is useless (such as arithmetic). This self-congratulatory, & phony mind-frame both bores & annoys me. The people who opposed the protagonist were portrayed as incredibly one-dimensional. And I generally despise people who have a total lack of humility about themselves.
Again, It was most interesting to see the fiery young character, at some point, become like the wise old men whom he refused to listen to.
The blatant emotional appeals when the bankers came to foreclose the home of the children playing on the floor were overdone. When you borrow lots of money from someone, try not to expect it for free, or without payback. The family falls apart... all on account of the effects of his do-good leftism.
Unfortunately the film isn't overly strong on the technical side. The film suffers from the classic pitfall of "show, don't tell", because most of the important scenes are narrated over and explained way too much in detail. In addition, the film just drags. I get that some film are supposed to be kind of slow, and in this case it would even be justified as the film tries to portray a fairly long stretch of time, but it doesn't remove the fact that some scenes just seem to go on forever. At some points I was even left pondering whether the film had just frozen altogether. Plus the sound design is terrible. Most of the background noise was either cacophonic, overly loud, unintelligible or all three at the same time.
Still, it's not a bad film. You can see that the director had great passion for his subject and, as I said, the actors are surprisingly talented, which manages to save the movie from being unwatchable. So, in the end, it's average.
In terms or story telling and human drama, sometimes the emphasis seemed to be in the wrong place; and perhaps there were a few too many extended sweeping tracking shots along the coast and lengthy pauses too. Or maybe Visconti was just trying to toughen us up for Death in Venice.