With the landing on the Croisette of Top Gun: Maverickthe Cannes Film Festival has put in charge Tom Cruise, to whom he dedicated not only a special out-of-competition interpretation of the sequel to his famous 1986 hit but also, in less than 24 hours, a whole series of perhaps disproportionate tributes: an Honorary Palme d’Or , an audience talking in the huge Debussy room and even a kind of “Welcome” with a video of almost ten minutes in which he is celebrated from the first to the last film, with a wonderful final music of “Thus spoke Zarathoustra” by Richard Strauss. And as if all that wasn’t enough, as Cruise and the whole crew of the new best gun climbed the famous red carpet of the Palais des Festivals, in the sky eight planes of an air squadron of the French armed forces flew over the bay of Cannes pulling the tricolor flag in the air. There is no business like show business! Irving Berlin would have said.
It is true that Cruise had not been to Cannes for 30 years, when he was competing with a very distant horizon, with his girlfriend at the time, Nicole Kidman. And that today there is no star in all the devalued firmament of Hollywood with such power to attract a similar audience: each of his premieres becomes an event in itself. This is where we should look for the reasons for this Cannes love at first sight with Cruisebecause the festival vigorously promotes the return of cinema to theaters and the actor and producer does exactly the same, in a line no doubt very different, but with the same objective.
Corny, self-referential, full of winks and twists that reference the original movie from 36 years ago, Top Gun: Maverick it’s almost a journey through the time tunnel, with a deliberately “eighties” aesthetic, where more than one scene seems to have been designed by director Joseph Kosinski in the manner of a music video. Whether Maverick is fraternizing with the young pilots he must train for a suicide mission or winning back the heart of an old flame (Jennifer Connelly), there is always a Lady Gaga song that comes in handy to brighten the moment. . And the mission itself, against an unspecified but implied enemy power base that can hardly be other than Russia, is almost a throwback to the futuristic manifesto: a celebration of vertigo and speed for themselves, with the sharp chromes of the US Navy. fighter jets soaring phallic into the sky.
Meanwhile, without pomp or circumstance, a master of Italian cinema, Frame Bellocchio (82), presented out of competition, in the new Cannes Première section, a mini-series produced by Rai. But how? Now even Bellocchio, the director of classics like I fight in tasca Yes jump into the void– does the series? Is cinema finally dead? With sternum noteinspired by the kidnapping and murder of legendary Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro, Bellocchio shows that no, it is not essential to give in to the homogenization of platforms. He confirms that he continues to make films and that his, in any case, is a six-hour film, and that because of the complexity of its theme and the multiplicity of characters it needed this epic breath. Who arrives, it must be remembered, just after his moving intimate documentary Marx could aspettarepremiered here in Cannes during last year’s edition and became one of the highlights of the recent Bafici.
There is a tragic, almost lyrical dimension (as I had already experienced in I will win), that Bellocchio bestows on this key moment in Italian political history. On March 16, 1978, a group of the Red Brigades kidnapped Moro on his way to a session of the Italian Congress where a governability pact between Christian Democracy and the Italian Communist Party was to be voted on. A “compromesso storico” created by Moro, convinced that he was the one Italy needed to oxygenate its politics after 30 years of domination by the DC, and frowned upon not only by the top brass of his own party but also by his personal friend, Pope Paul VI, and of course by the United States Embassy in Rome, who viewed with great concern that a NATO member country was co-governed by a coalition including communists” vassals of Moscow,” as its members called them. critics.
With one foot firmly in long-documented historical events and the other in that poetic flight that Bellocchio always allows himself, sternum note It gives the floor to each of the protagonists to explain their reasons, where more than once the dreaded “reason of state” prevails over the requirements of democracy. With great freedom, in turn, the director of Buongiorno, note (2003), another landmark film in which he had already tackled the same theme in a tangential way, depicts the Italy of that time as a company in a state of dissolution, immersed in a daily madness, which affects both the members of the Red Brigades and a senseless government, completely overwhelmed by circumstances. Without forgetting the Pope (the great Toni Servillo), who, already dying during the splendor of Holy Week, raves and imagines his friend Moro carrying the cross through the streets of Rome for the sins of an entire country.