News from the Locarno Festival

L’Accademia delle Muse – The Lesson of the Muses

L'Accademia delle Muse – José Luis Guerin



A teacher talks of muses, those figures able to inspire poets to create something that did not exist before. This scene, with a documentary style and duration, is relativized by a conversation, filmed through the glass of a house, between the teacher and his wife, who challenges him with cutting irony.

In the ritual nature of an academic lesson José Luis Guerin has found the perfect mirror for his discourse on cinema as an art of seduction and the filmed story as a base for spreading contagion. The teacher’s students are not actually harmless muses but daughters of the 21st century; they don’t hesitate to seize the initiative and raise the stakes. What could have been a documentary proves to be the way into a story whose initially comedic tones end up veering towards those of melodrama.

The poetesses contaminated by the teacher’s words end up resembling the poet according to Pessoa, who is such a good faker that he fakes the pain of pain he actually feels. Like a vaudeville, Guerin’s latest film ends up a fascinating journey into the world of someone who believes in words and their power to change people, but then realizes that these changes have consequences in real life. 

Carlo Chatrian

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