The main character in
, lives obsessed with
After all, as the philosopher Foucault intuited after him, he knows that Don Quixote is not so much lean meat on long bone, as a sign.
"His whole being is nothing but language, text, printed sheets, history already transcribed.
It is made of interwoven words; it belongs to the wandering writing throughout the world"
, it reads in 'The words and the things', by the French thinker.
Indeed, La Mancha through which the gentleman gallops badly has long since abandoned "the ancient games of similarities."
Reality lives infected with fiction that gives it shelter, wings and finally meaning.
And it is precisely in that definitive infection where fable and reality are confused until they become indistinguishable where the excessive, dazzling, consciously pompous and hypnotic effort of the director who now composes
his best work since at least
The Social Network
lives for ten years.
is in order: a) the abbreviation of
Mankiewicz, Hermann J.,
the one who was a dipsomaniac screenwriter of the golden age of Hollywood, author of some of the librettos of the Marx brothers and brother of Joseph L., the person in charge of
Eva al naked
b) the punctilious description of one of the most deliciously absurd and hypnotic polemics in movie history: who really wrote
and how big is and was Orson Welles ?;
c) a rereading of the mechanism of power in
the post-truth post-democracy
d) a dazzling, fun and patterned description of the agony of cinema itself as we have known it until this agonizing moment that does not stop, and, to curl the quixotic and 'Foucauldian' curl, e) a sunset of the
of representation in a time when reality and fiction, truth and lies, are deconstructed in a network.
The film is based on an old script written by the director's father,
, before he died in 2003. David Fincher actually, and as if it were a mirror image of the relationship that Welles himself had with Mankiewicz , takes the libretto as a starting point and from there builds an entire universe at the right time of dawn at the cinema, which was also at dusk.
It is told how the child prodigy Welles undertook the greatest feat that the history of cinema has ever seen when he was barely 25 years old.
But the story runs from the point of view of the scriptwriter.
And from there, from the tormented existence of a harassed man who never finished being recognized, he erects a monument that, in its own way, reproduces not only the spiral structure but the very soul of the film
It is about the representation of a representation (film about a film) which in turn was intended to be a refutation of the very concept of representation (that is what
Citizen Kane did
with the history of cinema until his days. If Welles's film made cinema Entering adulthood with the calculated annihilation of classical language,
dares to raise a question in front of the viewer that seems more like a cry of, it has already been said, agony.
What if we were at the end of it all?
In its own way, and to situate us, the film once again puts on the screen the old disagreement over the authorship of the script that critic
brought to a paroxysm in her 70s essay
Very briefly, it is about finding out to whom the story of the industries and adventures of the devastated tycoon owes more despite the glory and anger at the indelible memory of his childhood.
Kael devoted all his effort to highlighting the work of a Mankiewicz who, not in vain, was the one who personally knew
William Randolph Hearst
and his young lady, the obvious inspirers of all this.
And one step further, he went so far as to accuse Welles of conspiracy and even blackmail to silence him.
In spite of everything, today there is a consensus that the authorship was joint and that is how it was clear in the five drafts that from February (when it was still called
) to June 1940 were written before filming began.
entered the debate and noted each of the coincidences between the biography of Welles and his hero Kane: the two were orphaned of mothers at the same age and many of the characters in the film (Berstein, whitewashed by Everett Sloane at the head)
are doubles drawn from the director's own inner circle of friends.
Gary Oldman is Mank and he is, as always in the British actor, with all the consequences: excessive, hyperbolic, violent and sarcastic to the point of illness
But beyond the controversy and the noise, what counts is not so much giving a class on film history but, and without the slightest modesty, making history.
And to this Fincher applies himself with a self-confidence and skill only at the height of his lack of modesty.
The director places its protagonist in the desert of Victorville miles from the temptations of Los Angeles, assisted by his secretary Rita Alexander and by Welles' assistant John Houseman.
The point is that, away from everything and especially alcohol, our hero writes what he wants to be from the first second the definitive script capable of refounding an art and a universe if necessary.
Gary Oldman is Mank and he is, as always in the British actor, with all the consequences: excessive, hyperbolic, violent and sarcastic to the point of illness.
From here, in a studied
black and white close to reverie or nightmare
(dawn or dying), Fincher reformulates
from the opposite side of the mirror.
In a prodigious loop, the viewer is invited not so much to enter the '
of the film that blew up the narrative codes of classic cinema, as to unweave and reweave the same story from the point of view opposite.
If Kane's was the story of the most powerful and arrogant of men confronted with the power machinery created by himself, Mank's is the story of the smallest of beings who contemplate from his insignificance the ravages of an essentially unjust time and condemned to disappear.
The film navigates between the past and its present with a prodigious clarity and elegance without attending to any logic other than that imposed by the curiosity, or simple desire, of the spectator.
It is not exactly an investigation like that of Thompson in
that through the different testimonies seeks to find the ultimate meaning of the slippery
Now, it is the protagonist himself who stands in enigma, in sign, in Quixote
And from his ridiculous idealistic man, by force adrift and much of the time drunk, he tries to find a key that, in reality, is nothing short of nothing.
The Castilian gentleman crashes over and over again with the giants product of his imagination that time, power and money have turned into reality.
And it is there, in the capacity of the fable to become tangible and hard where the destiny of cinema itself is played.
Fincher does not deprive himself of anything.
And in his labyrinth of specular references, the same cruel criticism that Welles directed in 1941 to the mass media in particular and to capitalism in general, he
directs what is happening right now in real time.
The fight between the progressive
(writer rather than politician) and the conservative
, supported by the Hollywood establishment in a more than tortuous way, serves as a backdrop to describe one more defeat to add to all those accumulated by Mank .
And there, in the specific description of the power of cinema to modify reality itself (and even the vote), Fincher hits something more than simply providing a social comment.
It is the very idea of representation that is questioned.
We are, once again, on the terrain defined by Cervantes.
The result is a film that itself behaves like a puzzle, a prodigious puzzle, that reconstructs the broken pieces of that strange mirror that continues to be cinema itself.
"The book is less his existence than his duty. (Don Quixote)
has to consult it incessantly in order to know what to do and what to say and what signs to give to himself and to others to show that it has the same nature as the text of the book. that has arisen ",
writes Foucault of Don Quixote.
And what is valid for literature is exactly the same for cinema.
We have arrived.
+ Cinema that devours cinema is exactly what Netflix is looking for to repeat the success of 'Roma'- Pomposity and mannerism do not always play in favor of such a pompous and mannered proposal.
But he is forgiven
According to the criteria of
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