Physical activity: upper body

Goodbye afternoon football, outdoor cycling, jogging with friends. Even for the less athletic, it is better to avoid turning into chewing gum during confinement. So what physical activity should you do to stay in shape? “For someone used to playing sports, it takes thirty to forty-five minutes a day. For a more sedentary person, fifteen minutes is good, ” recommends Ivaïlo Ivanov, sports coach in Paris. Even without equipment, it is possible. Many fitness and muscle building exercises do not require it and are achievable, including in a 9 m². A Balmanese (Haute-Garonne) even managed to run the equivalent of a marathon on his 7-meter-long balcony. The round trips lasted nearly seven hours.

Use your interior or your children

First, take advantage of your partitions: make the chair against the wall, the feet the same width as the shoulders and the back straight. To complicate matters, you can put yourself on tiptoes or stick your feet together and do leg lifts. Then you can put your hands on the floor, feet on the wall go up and down along the wall. Why not complete with a little cladding: a front plank, look at the sky, decorated with leg lifts, or rib (on the side) by raising the arm from the sides to the ceiling. Just to make the arms work, there are the classic pumps, kneeling for beginners. To keep legs toned, do lunges, with knee raises or jumps to strengthen the cardio. To be adapted according to the tolerance of its neighbors. “The gestures are to be repeated five to ten times or two-minute goals to start. Then we increase the difficulty according to its level “, specifies Ivaïlo Ivanov. Even at home, stretching is essential at the end of the session to avoid aches.

At home, we can divert everyday objects: using two chairs or stools, make a series of dips (we lift ourselves, we bend our elbows, we raise our legs) to build up our upper body. Thanks to a pair of socks and a well-polished parquet, it is also possible to make gliding, parallel gliding movements. Bottles of water are used as dumbbells. A backpack full of books allows you to ballast for squats, lunges and more in-depth boards. Another way to make it harder is to have your child on your back (literally).

YouTube, apps, distance learning

For more motivation and better guidance, we can rely on applications: Fitness Challenge (for regularity), Fizzup (without equipment), Seven (seven-minute quick exercises), Sworkit (very complete), Insanity Workout (extreme fitness) or Fitbit (sports dashboard, diet, sleep).

The easy way out is to take a look at YouTube. Video lessons of yoga and qi gong are also abundant, from ten minutes to an hour, depending on needs (energizing, cardio, sleep, etc.): “It’s great for working on balance, flexibility and mobility”, confirms Ivaïlo Ivanov. Good also to calm down. It is still necessary to have a floor mat. If not, a thick towel can do the trick. Trying complex movements on an unstable bed is more risky. The coach recommends as a bonus ten minutes of meditation per day just to decompress more. There is no shortage of relaxing music playlists.

For better follow-up, some coaches and sports halls now offer distance courses via Skype. The Parisian room MUV has, for example, converted its entire offer into a “teleworkout”, distance sessions limited to ten people. The sports club La Montgolfière has chosen Instagram. In his “stories”, he refers to the account of his sports teachers, where full lessons are broadcast live at times announced in advance. It’s free and you don’t need any equipment except a mat. Ditto for the Factory, which posts a daily video of sequences, to be produced for example over 25 minutes.

To stay zen, the Tigre Yoga Club offers a meeting every day on Facebook, one for adults and another for children. Football clubs even offer to follow their training via Facebook Live, like AS Magny Friday late afternoon and its group muscle building class.

Bike addicts can acquire a home trainer, a kind of support to transform their bike into an exercise bike. The first prices are 50 euros and can go up to several hundred euros. At the same time, we avoid overeating. Despite the indoor effort, great athletes who are used to being big eaters are invited to reduce the caloric content of their meals.

Dance: the port of Instagram

Really, nobody wants to see mobilized hospital staff for a hamstring breakdown or trauma to the small toe scratched against the table leg, so do not get started or in the Fauve Hautot de Danse online courses with the Stars, nor in those of the dancers of the American Ballet of New York #thecindiesballetclass (all on Instagram) if you are flexible like Alain Juppé. But they will be perfect for more experienced dancers who will also be delighted by the Paris Opera star Eleonora Abbagnato’s online courses (1.4 million views for the last course). The others will be content to watch these videos while eating their Savannah all choco and will watch, still on Instagram, Christine and the Queens, who offers every day at 6 p.m. a more festive and less technical practice, like Tuesday, where she shared her lesson of dance. But the salvation, the real one, could come from this special Instagram account in quarantined bodies of which few Internet users have yet walked the page: on @nobodys_planet, Italian dancers perform daily at noon, and in turn, trainings of “Reggaeton on the Rite of Spring” or deliver their “repertoire of ass and ass movements”. If learning eight languages ​​before the end of confinement was not part of the plans, the choreographer Marcela Santander Corvalan will decline the initiative in French in the coming days.

Eve Beauvallet

Massage: Rocco and a ball

Living in self-sufficiency begins by knowing how to manage on your own with your own body, abandoning the fantasy that a physiotherapist enters your 20 m² to massage yourself and understand that “I” is also this “other” who is full of inventiveness. In this regard, the Chinese dragon has once again a head start with its respiratory science of “qi gong” – which shows you the ways to “smooth your body” and automate your “celestial column” ( you will not giggle after twenty days of confinement) – but also with its “do in”, based on the stimulation of the “tsubos” (acupuncture points that need to be pressed) without nevertheless expecting effects as spectacular as urinating on the living room carpet by pulling too hard on the lobe of his ear. Less exotic, facial gymnastics by Catherine Pez: see the version of the much-made up Greer Childers. The American offers an express lip relaxation course whose side effect seems to be the growth of an extravagant blonde mane. Less psychedelic, there remains the good old shot of the tennis ball to wedge, elongated, between the shoulder blades. And of course onanism, whose therapeutic virtues we still underestimate, both in terms of muscle and the secretion of endorphins. If necessary, Rocco Siffredi competes with Chinese know-how with its special masturbation tutorial, specially posted on its social networks during this quarantine. A humanist.

Eve Beauvallet

Meditate: spirit, are you there?

Stop fussing, anticipating, brooding, blowing on “the clouds of thought”, as the pros say. Let go of the ideas. To be entirely in the present moment. No, it is not a question of slouching in a soft nap, but of taking a break, observing with your eyes closed what is happening in you (breathing, beating of your heart …), in short, to meditate in full consciousness. Objective: take care of his spirit that the Covid-19 also mistreats. Yes but how ? No need for incense, god or master. Since France (around 2010) began to taste the kif of meditation, the apps intended to drive the hubbub from the brain have been zen ball. In the lot, the French “Petit BamBou” launched in 2015, with its image of old bonze with a teasing smile, remains a pillar. No theory, but a large catalog of sessions (ten to twenty minutes). To savor, the 8 free sessions of the discovery program (afterwards, we go to 6.99 euros per month). Also to be tested, the Zenfie app, which makes its catalog available free of charge (code “freezenfie”) during confinement. The Mind app, in a cool design, offers, in addition, a daily live session (free initiation then 39 euros for six months). Finally, Headspace, the pioneer, born in Los Angeles, whose people and Silicon Valley love, is now available in French. Not given (first week free, then 12.99 euros per month), but chic.

Catherine Mallaval

Margaux Lacroux


At the Berlinale, pearls of plenty

Now that the prize list has fallen, the time has come for a final review of this successful 70e Berlinale, to evoke a few films that have been able to float in the memory of the festival critic exhausted by an overflow of images, German coffee and stuffy pretzels.

Mental space

Siberia by Abel Ferrara

ITA, DEU, MEX 2020, Competition
2020 Vivo film. Maze pictures. Piano

Siberia of Abel Ferrara. Vivo film. Maze pictures. Piano

Let’s start with an aberration, which we cannot say whether we like it or not, one of the most awaited films of the competition which created an almost general perplexity: Siberia by Abel Ferrara. It is a series of enigmatic visions and encounters experienced by an American, Clint (Willem Dafoe), running a bar in the middle of Siberia. Memories, dreams, nightmarish or mystical apparitions are linked together in this trip where we guess the clear influence of Andrei Tarkovski. Many critics found the film grotesque, and most of the spectators in the very large room of the Friedrichstadt-Palast, where we saw it, had apparently chosen to consider that they were facing a comedy. We do not hide the fact that certain situations or ideas made us smile and that it is quite difficult to genuinely adhere to this mystical-psychoanalytic peregrination in which Ferrara immerses us in the obscure depths of his imagination. But, in addition to the fact that the film arouses in us the sympathy of unclassifiable and netless objects, it is undeniable that the one who produced it is a real filmmaker, who knows how to create singular images, invent a complex mental space or seize us by a simple connection between two planes. And in a festival where there are so many films in one day, sometimes of great platitude or shapeless blistering, this Siberia so mocked at least had the audacity to explore in its own way nothing less than the twists and turns of cinematic time and space, through those of dream and memory.

Malmkrog by Cristi Puiu

ROU, SRB, CHE, SWE, BIH, MKD 2020, Encounters

Malmkrog by Cristi Puiu. Mandragora

It is in a completely different way that we recognize a strong sense of duration and framework in the long, complex and sometimes sumptuous shots that constitute Malmkrog (presented in the Encounters section), the new film by Romanian filmmaker Cristi Puiu (discovered in 2005 with the extraordinary the Death of Dante Lazarescu). Shots that are not just the result of a skill in framing and photographing, but that are constantly tended by life and the words that unfold therein. Adapting texts from the Russian philosopher and poet Vladimir Soloviev, this 3:20 am film takes place in a unique place: a mansion in Transylvania where Nikolai, a large landowner, welcomes Christmas friends of aristocrat friends, of different nationalities. Between meals and board games, their main activity consists in sharing their visions of the world, essentially in French, around subjects as big as death, progress, religion, morals. We think of Manoel de Oliveira, with less humor although the film is not devoid of fantasy and strangeness. You can get lost in conversations but it is the very word that matters, the need to keep talking, to think out loud even if it turns out to be increasingly complex and perilous.

Rizi | Days by Tsai Ming-Liang

TWN 2019, Competition
Homegreen Films

Days from Tsai Ming-liang. Homegreen Films

Days by Tsai Ming-liang (in competition) marks the return to fiction after seven years of absence (since stray dogs, in 2013) from another great filmmaker of the plan, of their slow deployment over time. He is equal to himself in his new film where, far from Puiu’s talks, almost no words are spoken. Again, he becomes attached to solitudes that will eventually intersect. In the countryside, a man (Lee Kang-sheng, the filmmaker’s favorite actor since his first film) with tired and slow gestures, seems to be bored and suffering physically, requiring baths, massages and acupuncture sessions; in the city, a younger man, on the contrary, is distinguished by the dexterity of his gestures, especially when he is washing food and cooking it. In the montage that shows them evolving in parallel, elements visible in almost every plane already unite them: water, fire, plants, present in many forms. The film is tied to the meeting of the two men where, for the time of a sensual and then sexual massage, the skillful hands of the first relieve the tired body of the second, until enjoyment. It is very clear and very beautiful, no offense to the impatient.


Domangchin yeoja | The Woman Who Ran | Die Frau, die rannte by Hong Sangsoo

The Woman Who Ran from Hong Sang-soo. Jeonwonsa Film Co. Production

In Hong Sang-soo, the precision and rigor of the plans is not as obvious as in Puiu or Tsai. The Korean filmmaker, who claims Rohmer’s influence, again appears in The Woman Who Ran (presented in competition) a lightness and a simplicity that the frames, panoramas or zooms scrutinize with acuity but without will to artificially embellish their obviousness. A young woman (the magnificent filmmaker’s muse Kim Minhee) takes advantage of her husband’s business trip to visit three former friends. Through their conversations mixing very concrete and material subjects – the price of things, neighborhood problems, food, vegetarianism -, Hong deals in his own way with very contemporary questions, with a humor that gradually turns to melancholy . Ultimately, this film in which the few men who appear are troublesome and essentially filmed from behind, evokes a certain female solitude, chosen or suffered. To cold surveillance camera shots, Hong sets his gaze on the lookout, available to prodigious chances, such as this camera movement which reveals a perfectly placed and attentive cat at the end of a long shot where the stake of the conversation was precisely the presence of cats in the vicinity. A plan so miraculous that it sparked applause in an entire room of criticism in Berlin.

In the recesses of the parallel selections, a few films with modest means made, like Hong Sang-soo, of their economic poverty an engine of freshness and vitality. In Boarding (Panorama section), the new film by Guillaume Brac, declared admirer of the Korean filmmaker, we follow the summer getaway of two friends going to find in the Drôme the conquest of an evening of one of them. As in July tales (2018), Brac turns again with young actors from the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art, rediscovering something of the adventurous spirit of Jacques Rozier’s films but by matching it to the languages, cultures and customs of a very contemporary youth . As always with Brac, under his apparent humility the film is precise and dense, in addition to being funny and extremely endearing.

Magnifying glass

In Isabella (presented to Encounters), the Argentinian Matías Piñeiro films another friendly adventure, but coupled with an ambiguous rivalry. Two young theater actresses apply for the same role, that of Isabella in Measure for measure of William Shakespeare, while the brother of one is the lover of the other. It is a film about envy, in the double sense of the word – desire and jealousy – where the Rivetian play with the theater is made more complex (something new in Piñeiro) by a play with chronology and a formalism which sometimes leads to on an abstraction of colors and shapes. A captivating and confusing film that will perhaps be enjoyed above all by those who already know Piñeiro’s cinema, all the elements of which (theater, friendship, acting, speech) are here reorganized in a more free and mysterious way.

Finally, one of the great discoveries of the festival was A metamorfose dos pássaros, the first feature by Portuguese catarina Vasconcelos (presented at Encounters), shot for less than 100,000 euros. It is a biography of the filmmaker’s own family, of his grandparents and parents, reconstituted in beautiful fine-line shots essentially framing gestures, objects, photographs, and playing on materials, colors, simple visual effects (the recurrent use of a magnifying glass, for example) while voiceovers follow one another to evoke moments in the life of each. Imagine a Cavalier film filmed by Manoel de Oliveira (still him) to get an idea of ​​the beauty and originality of this minimalist and poetic family novel. The kind of unexpected little pearls that we always hope to find in this clutter of films that is a film festival as bloated as the Berlinale.

Marcos Uzal