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“Ceros y unas”, by Abel Ferrara: a world in decomposition | With Ethan Hawke, on Flow’s streaming service

Zeros and about 7 points

Zeros and Ones; USA / Germany / UK / Italy, 2021

Direction and script: Abel Ferrara.

Duration: 85 minutes.

Interpreters: Ethan Hawke, Valerio Mastandrea, Cristina Chiriac, Babak Karimi, Salvatore Ruocco.

Premiere in Flow.

If there is a director in the contemporary American film industry to whom the catchphrase of “sniper” can be applied, that is, without a doubt, Abel ferrara. But if the director of A fucking cop, The addiction and Angel of revenge He was never oblivious to low budgets and the freedoms that they can give away, perhaps there is no film more lo-fi, more anarchic and punk in his recent filmography than Zeros and ones, which had its passage through the official competition of the Locarno Festival and now arrives, almost without prior notice, on local streaming. The experience can be quite frustrating for the casual viewer, particularly if the option is chosen thanks to the poster – with an Ethan Hawke with a serious and penetrating gaze – or the official synopsis: “an American soldier in Rome witnesses the outbreak of the Vatican, embarking on a heroic journey with the intention of discovering the unknown enemy that threatens the entire world ”.

The soldier, named JJ, exists (also his twin brother, a revolutionary played by… Hawke, in a typical dual role case), the Vatican does explode (with low definition overprint effects) and the hidden enemy seems to have designs malefic. But Zeros and ones It is nothing like a classic international intrigue thriller. Or yes, but disarmed to extinction, exploited from within, destroyed to such an extent that there is no possibility of making the lover of genre cinema fall in love. Before the sequence of titles, Hawke speaks to the camera and anticipates that his desire to work under Ferrara’s orders is about to be fulfilled, briefly describing the “script” (the actor himself, laughing, puts it in quotation marks) of what that is about to be seen. The cut to a train arriving at a station presents the soldier in question: Hawke with a chinstrap and a bottle of gel alcohol always at hand.

Shot in times of pandemic, the film constantly plays with irony, and when the protagonist enters a dive to buy drugs, the tickets are sprinkled with 70% alcohol to reduce the possibility of contagion. Before, a kiss is preceded by the correct use of both masks. The truth is that, for much of the short footage, the “story” is never understood, although its structure of descent into hell brings it closer to some classics of the not to go. JJ meets the partner of his prisoner brother, makes contact with a homeless As a spy, he communicates with a mysterious man via videoconference and is kidnapped by two Russian women to have sex, among other eccentric and extreme sequences. What is JJ doing in that Rome that seems completely uninhabited, courtesy of the royal quarantines that the country suffered? Who are you accountable to? What’s your objective? None of the questions will have an answer, a complete example of anti-narrative provocation.

Sean Price Williams’ essentially nocturnal photography, (hyper) populated with digital grain, visual aberrations and pixelation, only enhances the intention of describing a world in decay. A universe of betrayals, beings that live in the shadows and powers that try to control the world at will without their presence being noticed. “The world can be seen like this and, at the same time, as a place where goodness continues to prevail”, Hawke, the actor, will affirm at the end, closing the film with another reflection outside fiction, not entirely sure that the film you liked it, but happy to have participated in the project. It is logical: more than a film, Zeros and ones It is a dark hallucination, a difficult nightmare to digest. Surely that was Ferrara’s intention.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH-df6wK9s

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HELEN HERNANDEZ

Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Helen@oicanadian.com Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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