Vincent Gallo, Tetro
I saw two new films this week; Tetro, written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and Moon, written by Nathan Parker and directed by Duncan Jones.
Tetro is the name of the film’s main character, who has left his American home and complicated family for a modest life in Argentina. Several years have elapsed when his young brother Benny arrives unexpectedly; unraveling his current life and unhinging their shared troubled past.
In Moon, Sam Bell has worked solo on a lunar mining station with the assistance of a soft-spoken and slow moving robot named Gerty. His three-year contract is nearly complete; a good thing, because Sam is beginning to lose his mind.
It seems unfair to compare such wildly opposite films, whose stories are different in every way besides their genres. Except that in both films, the idea that memory can be both a blessing and a curse is so powerful. Sam longs to return to Earth and leave the bleak loneliness of the mining station, Benny reaches out to Tetro for the comfort of family, Tetro can hardly breathe when he recalls his former life. Each of these characters is deeply imprinted by his memories and possessed with the idea of ‘home’.
Both films are somber and provocative, and the cinematography in Tetro is a visual treat (Argentina and the Patagonia region are gorgeous!). You do have an alternative to the summer films that are heavy with car chases, romantic romps and Sensurround explosions.