'Libert', by Albert Serra: libertines doing 'cruising' to denounce the dictatorship of the politically correct

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The Catalan director presents at the Festival of Seville 'Libert', a song librrimo, murky, procaz and even dazzling in its opacity to the arbitrariness of the desire that deserved to be awarded in Cannes

An image of 'Libert', by Albert Serra.

In the face of logic by rational force, millimeter and, given the circumstances, proactively stark of the elections, the obscene and necessarily fertile arbitrariness of desire. Pure irrationality. Basically, this is the great fight that, far from the spotlights and televised gatherings, will be lived this Sunday in the dark room of a cinema in Seville, at the European Festival that opens tomorrow itself. The person in charge of this unequal fight is Albert Serra, the Catalan director of birth, Spanish of destiny, French of adoption and universal because, as he says, culture has no more nationality than the world. If Salvador Dal deserves a reincarnation, it belongs to him. Libert, which is what people in and around Paris call for freedom, is the title of their excessive and proverbial last film. Next week (November 15) comes to theaters after being awarded in Cannes with the Special Jury Prize in A Certain Regard.

The film stems from a negative criticism about him and about the original play he presented at the Volksbhne in Berlin, he says by way of presentation. And it goes on: The chronicler is outraged that he left the actors two and a half hours on stage … And that made me think. Indeed, that is what it is about, forcing the viewer to live that same abandonment. Until arriving at the film, the original performance became before installation and as such it was exhibited in the Queen Sofa. In all three cases, with a slight modulation of the complicity experienced and suffered by the one who is watching (look, therefore), it is about attending a thorough and very lascivious treatise of desire. The story (more or less) stops in a dark place in a dark forest located on the dark road that leads from Berlin to Potsdam, all by 1774. A group of French libertines flees from the conservative acolytes of Louis XVI with the hope of exporting their uncontrollable love philosopher to Germany. Soon, that would be the scenario not so much for perversion, but also, as for the simple freedom experienced from the deepest and ungovernable part of the body. Anything goes. Everything is meat.

I am not in favor of interpreting anything, but somehow what is discussed and exhibited is the current difficulty of managing that harmony of the bodies that were lived in the past. I speak of the 18th century and the 60s. Now there is a friction that is very present and that prevents us from abandoning ourselves to joy, which avoids risk, which prevents us from managing the pulse more ntima. It has to do with the rules that flood everything and with the many expectations that can never be fulfilled, says of the run and on.

Albert Serra at the last Cannes Film Festival.

The film throws a group of swingers into the well of their cravings, their fluids and their skin. Half in darkness, the other half hidden. They are people carried by that desire that is nothing more than the essence of man. With Spinoza, if man is an existing being and is aware of his existence, it is as much as he wishes; desire moves us to remain and increase what we are. They talk about sex, they touch each other, they lick each other, they offer themselves naked in each of their pores and their chinks and then they even get hurt. For pure pleasure. And so, little by little, more and more unpleasant, obscene and cruel until dawn. And when the sun rises, we are in the present quiz.

The film is the result of 19 filming nights that threw a total of 300 hours of recording. Professional actors (among them Helmut Berger) are mixed with friends of the director, debuting technicians as performers and spontaneous signed on Facebook. He left them at his leisure until they lose consciousness of being in a movie. The cameras are kept away and without interfering, says the director. And indeed, what arises does not admit neither definition nor categories. Everything is rigorously new. First seen. Dazzling in his abjection every time, as the film progresses, more evident. The viewer emerges from the empty, exhausted and new projection. The logic of the night that leaves you zero, He says. It's like that.

But there is also political reading for all this. There is talk of lack of communication and just the opposite of politics. Culture is intimacy and that is where I am interested in being. Nothing to do with politics in its most vulgar sense. At cruising in which the characters unfold there is something political too. There is a leveling of everything where nothing matters, nor the size of the member. It is egalitarian. Everyone is devoted to the generosity of giving, not receiving … What is happening right now in Catalua has nothing to do. It is political, but in its worst sense. There is now a conflict between legality and legitimacy that does not seem to have a solution or remedy. As long as the extremes refuse to respect each other, we are doomed to conflict. The Catalan logic advocates the conflict between Israel and Palestine. And oh, so far from desire and so close to the abyss, he leaves it.

Libert will be seen in Seville in full elections. It is the irrationality of the body against the logic of the unarmed, he concludes.

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