Friday, July 17, 2015

Il Cinema Ritrovato 2015: Model Shop, Jacques Demy, 1969

It took me two days after revisiting Jacques Demy's Model Shop to realize, that the hotel I stayed in bears a striking resemblance to the eponymous etablissment in the center of this masterful LA-neo-noir: Like the front office and the studio room in the film, the lobby and the rooms of the hotel are linked by a contorted, rather narrow corridor, made up of several right angles. In Demy's film, this passageway is linked with both the mechanics and metaphysics of photography and with erotic intitiation (maybe with the sexual act itself) and it stands in marked contrast with the flat outline of Los Angeles architecture. The inside of the "Model Shop" just doesn't match its outside - this disparity might just be the most important driving force in the film. Of course, the protagonist quickly finds out that the disparity doesn't relate to any dark, exotic mystery. Model Shop is one of the greatest films about fetishism for that very reason: Its central fixation can't be reduced to any fixed object, not even a missing one.

Of course, Model Shop would never work in a city like Bologna, where architectural splendour is always a given.

(Rereading my first blog post - in german - on Model Shop: Oh my, I really do have changed in the last few years. Where the hell went my fucking political consciousness?)

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