Review of ‘The Zone of Interest’ by Jonathan Glazer

      In a disturbing passage from the novel The Zone of Interest, British author Martin Amis used the inner voice of a Nazi concentration camp commandant to synthesize the idea of ​​the insignificance of evil. “Because I’m a normal man with normal needs. AM perfectly normal, This sinister notion of normality, accompanied by a deeper process of alienation, of loss of perspective, is dissected by Jonathan Glazer, also British, in the masterful ‘The Zone of Interest’, his first film after ‘Under the Skin’ No less memorable than , In that science fiction film – where Scarlett Johansson played an alien who discovered the meaning of human consciousness – Glazer invented an audacious film device that forced him to oscillate between the unspeakable (Alien Odyssey) and the known (Human Ritual). allowed to study the conflict. In scenes charged with pique, filmed with eight tiny digital cameras hidden inside a van, ‘Under the Skin’ viewers could see Hollywood star Johansson interacting with Scottish passers-by who were unaware she was that they are participating in a film. Now, with ‘The Zone of Interest’, Glazer confirms himself as a prolific inventor of cinematographic forms. Faced with the challenge of representing the greatest barbarism of the 20th century, the director of ‘Sexy Beast’ embraces the aesthetics of reality television and with surgical spirit analyzes the daily lives of a family clan devoted to the most gruesome generalities . ,

      It is necessary to emphasize the brilliant work of the adaptation of Amis’s text in the Glazer stages. Taking the point of view of three concentration camp residents – the commander, a non-commissioned officer and a special command-, the Oxford author proposes a visceral and very sordid immersion in Nazi terror in his novel. For his part, Glazer focuses entirely on the portrait of the commander and his family (the non-commissioned officer, who seeks to win the commander’s wife in the novel, appears only in a very brief scene). and many more. Whereas, in the novel, the Commander, known as the Old Drinker, was presented as a drunken and irritable monster, Galzer transforms him into a calm and composed man. Actor Christian Friedel, with his high-pitched voice and slim body, gives the character an almost endearing, sensitive aura, in which he is seen caring for his young children.

      According to Glazer (and Hannah Arendt), outside the death camps, evil was swept under the rug. But how to pick them up? How to portray that pathetic mediocrity without falling into ludicrous, sensationalism, vulgarity? It seems to be an impossible mission, almost unique in the history of cinema, to portray the horrors of fascism as ludicrously ludicrous or create ludicrous allegories (the case of ‘Canino’ by Yorgos Lanthimos comes to mind). Is). Glazer, one of the most intelligent and clever filmmakers on the current scene, finds a solution to the challenge by combining two apparently opposing concepts: the off-screen and the hyper-realistic picture. Through an eerie sound production—influenced by Micah Levy’s haunting soundtrack—Glazer invokes the horror of Auschwitz, but his camera almost never breaks through the wall of the concentration camp (the only time it does is to show a close-up). happens for). Officer’s blueprint). and then in front of Close Unrelenting, Glazer confronts the audience with the soulless rituals of the Commander’s family: walks to the river, lazy afternoons, visits to a relative, the children’s games, the effort the mother makes (a restrained and hyper-precise Sandra Huller). In caring for your precious botanical garden…

      There is nothing unusual in Major’s family life, but the filming equipment constructed by Glazer reveals the turmoil behind the stillness. Using only wide shots, almost all fixed (the only camera movements are in a straight line), ‘the zone of interest’ is based on the idea of ​​surveillance. The family home is filmed as if it were a Big Brother set. Approaches are many; Shots don’t go on for too long as each movement of the characters invokes the arrival of an assembly cut and the appearance of a new perspective. The targets of Glazer’s camera can see everything, but they decide to show only “normality”, in all its clean and banal betrayal. Mother can only think of maintaining an orderly domestic reality that has turned into a gloomy petty-bourgeois paradise. There are some shots (the mother having breakfast or taking a bath, the commander turning off the lights in the house) that strongly refer to the famous ‘Jeanne Dielmann, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels’, in which Chantal Ackermann played every Rose dissects the emptiness of a housewife in mid-1970s Belgium. Glazer, in a proposition that is not without risk, presents the Nazi clan as an instrument of evil, empty of all psychology beyond conjugal drive (“I didn’t think about who was there. And who didn’t, I could only think of gassing them all … The ceilings were too high”, comments the commander to his wife in a telephone call from an officer’s station).

      ‘The Zone of Interest’ can be seen as Glazer’s masterful response to Steven Spielberg’s irrelevant propositions in ‘Shindler’s List’ and László Nemes’s unusual propositions in ‘Son of Saul’, films that challenged the audience to subjectivity. Plunged into the immoral well of the Holocaust through curiosities and curiosities. The British show with their insensitive cameras that there was no place for hope, compassion in the holocaust. The humanity that victims of barbarism deserve may not go through sentimentality, but through memory “work”, whether that of the women who keep the old concentration camps clean (which also appears in the film). are) or of a film producer. Not like an artist and a trader of emotions.

      For those who think cinema can be a temple of memory


      Best of: Its bold formal proposal.

      Worst: The creative tenacity in that movie scene is an exception.

      data sheet

      Address: Jonathan Glazer Distribution: Sandra Hüller, Christian Friedel, Ralf Herforth, Max Beck, Marie Rosa Tietjen Country: United Kingdom Year: 2023 Release Date: unknown gender: Drama script: Jonathan Glazer Duration: 105 minutes

      Summary: Adapting the novel by Martin Amis, it tells the story of a Nazi officer who falls in love with the wife of the commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp. Interestingly, the story is told through three characters, the major officer, the general and a Jew.

      Film critic by vocation, festival journalist for Fotogramas, professor at ESCAC, fan of Manny Farber (the boldest of critics), fan of Yasujiro Ozu and John Cassavetes, madly in love with Laura and Gala and Pau’s father.

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