“I know you mask!” … when Covid enters the movie. It was just a matter of time, it had to happen sooner or later.
The first films arrive in which Covid is co-star, forcing, allowing, as needed, its protagonists to live a different life from the one known up to now. The cinema of masks, which seems almost a learned consideration from Commedia dell’Arte, but there is no mention of Pulcinella and Pantalone, but of FFP2, which of course everyone on the set must wear during filming, and in some cases even the stars in front of them to the camera.
How does it happen to Anne Hathaway And John David Washington in Locked Down, and the title is already a whole program. Set in London, tells the story of a couple who see their life deteriorate further during the lockdown because Paxton loses his job as a delivery truck driver due to pandemic cuts. He and his wife Linda then decide to make the most of the situation. Taking advantage of the lockout, rob a jewelry store. Directed by Doug Liman, the creator of the Jason Bourne film saga, Locked Down was conceived, written, shot and finalized after the pandemic began.
It was released on the American platform HBO Max and will arrive in Italy as soon as possible. What is already available on Netflix is Malcolm & Marie, the story of a couple in decay forced to go through the lockdown in the same house. A seclusion that makes thoughts, words, gestures and emotions flow. The protagonists in this case are Zendaya and, look a bit, John David Washington, the champion of cinema in the era of Covid, since he is also the protagonist of Tenet, the film that was supposed to save cinema from the pandemic, and in which the son of the great Denzel (no, it’s not a simple homonymy) also wears a respirator. Of the series, prevention is better than cure.
Actually, the first Covid movie was announced a few months ago. It’s produced by Michael Bay, it’s called Songbird, and shows the world in 2024, with Covid continuing to mutate and claim more and more victims. The infected are isolated in containment areas and the general situation is not exactly the best. In this idyllic landscape, we follow the wild ride of Nico who wants to reach his beloved Sara on the other side of Los Angeles, crossing the devastated metropolis by darting by bicycle. The trailer has been online for some time, and has sparked heated controversy. The world record on five meters, or the maximum distance that can be traveled from sofa to refrigerator, is held by Enrico Vanzina, who with his Italian Lockdown preceded everyone already in October, shooting the film, during the Roman summer that seemed to have eradicated the virus. And net of the criticisms, in some cases even not very urban, the brother of the late Carlo has come up with a pochade on the Coronavirus.
Others will arrive of films that will tell this reality that we are all living, even if to tell the truth the greatest impact that the pandemic will have on cinema is the only apparently less evident one. Less hugs, kisses, scenes of passion, physical contacts in general reduced to the bone and characters on stage always spaced as far as possible. Needs that affect the cinematographic language, the choices of the objectives, the composition of the image and therefore the construction of the set and the consequent lighting. Cinema is an art that represents reality, and it will have to adapt accordingly. And ultimately, there is another consideration to be made. But will people really have all this desire to relive at the cinema what they have already suffered for a year and a half at least, perhaps more, on their skin?
The impression is that Covid cinema will be a short season. And that we can’t wait to see huge cloned dinosaurs on the big screen, or whoever for them. Fantasy is much better than reality, an indisputable record from now on.
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