Spontaneousfilm's notebook


Silent Souls
November 14, 2010, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

BEST FILM, 2010

Aleksey Fedorchenko: Silent Souls, Russia, 2010 with Igor Sergeev, …
Viewed at Molodist IFF with English subtitles, October 25, 2010. Run time: 90+ MIN.

More coming…

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Bibliotheque Pascal
November 14, 2010, 12:26 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

WELCOME TO A DOLLHOUSE CALLED PASCAL

Szabolcs Hajdu: Bibliotheque Pascal, Hungary, 2010 with Orsolya Török-Illyés, …
Viewed at Molodist IFF with English subtitles, October 27, 2010. Run time: 105 MIN.

For a second there, I thought I was tripping on LSD and accidentally time traveled back to the 70’s after viewing Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void. Then I saw Bibliotheque Pascal and realized everything is just as it should be. Well, clearly not but in comparison those two share as many whacked-out-moments that it appears as normal.

Young and beautiful Mona, scraping a scant living for herself and her little daughter, is duped into accompanying her father as he travels from Transylvania to Germany for life-saving surgery. Leaving her daughter with a reluctant aunt, Mona sets off on a journey that will take her to the shadowy world of sexual slavery, to Bibliotheque Pascal – a debauched brothel where prostitutes are forced to act the parts of literary characters – characters who don’t always survive past the end of their dialogue – a world where fairy tales can come true if you can afford the price.

I’d like to say that “it’s funny because it’s true”, obviously it isn’t funny in the sense that human trafficking is disgusting. But it is funny in a way, sad in another. It is with the overall composition of the film as it is with the plot and even the events at Pascal – wild and crazy. Think The Cell. Impressive and versatile storytelling which will guarantee your head to spin. Surprisingly enough it works.



Who was not there
November 12, 2010, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

NON EXISTENT EXISTENTIALISME

Ramil Salakhutdinov: Who Wasn’t There, Russia, 2010 with Sergey Yushkevich, …
Viewed at Molodist IFF with English subtitles, October 25, 2010. Run time: 90 MIN.

A man has his death predicted early in life. After several years passed the time has come for the protagonist to start worry. Drastic thoughts leads to drastic decisions and a magnificent course of events conveys an intriguing plot.

Starts out on a good note however pic fail to fulfill the mysterious enigma surrounding protagonists predicted death sentence and the second half of the film fumbles downhill in a slow pace which seemingly could have been executed far better than was. Pic debates the eternal question of the importance of living in a decent manner but evidently the significance of this topic fades out to become as non existent as the life of the protagonist himself.



Reverse Motion
November 10, 2010, 1:21 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

SHOCK THERAPY IN RUSSIAN EXISTENTIALIST DRAMA

Andrey Stempkovski: Reverse Motion, Russia, 2010 with Vladislav Abashin, …
Viewed at Molodist IFF with English subtitles, October 24, 2010. Run time: 90+ MIN.

Exquisite direction by Stempkovski about a son who goes lost in battle and a mother in despair. Elements of crime combined with psychological aspects make up a brilliantly composed existentialist drama with a somewhat unfortunate yet satisfying ending.



The Other Bank
August 17, 2010, 2:24 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

GRIPPING AND VISUALLY IMPALING IN THE LAND OF THE LOST

George Ovashvili: The Other Bank, Georgia, 2009 with Tedo Bekhauri, Tamar Meskhi
Viewed in theatres with English subtitles, January, 2009. Running time: 90 MIN.

Stranded in a war-torn-worn-down Tsibili in the aftermath of the conflicts between Abkhazia and Georgia in the early 90’s, 12-year-old Tedo and a slightly reluctant mother find themselves living as refugees, trying to make ends meet. As Tedo’s glue sniffing friends are arrested for petty crimes and the mother favor scummy lovers over her son, the young boy embarks on a journey back to Abkhazia to find the father left behind.

The Other Bank much reminisces of Greek director Angelopoulos film Landscape in the Mist where the children also leaves what they call home on a quest to find a missing father. They both encounter various kinds of people who treat them in various ways, some times quite unexpected. What makes The Other Bank interesting in particular is that it is set in such a remote location, showcasing a reality characterized by poverty, uncertainty and everything else that war brings with. The boy moves through desolate landscapes and cross borders where passing may rob you of your life.

Politics strongly pervades pic, but philosophical aspects which goes hand in hand with a few visually impaling scenes and a grand acting by the [amateur] lead performer turns this into a certain winner.

Received standing ovations at the premiere at the Gothenburg International Film Festival in 2009.



I dolci inganni
January 13, 2010, 3:12 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , ,


ADOLESCENT AFFECTION IN VIVID 60’S ITALY

Alberto Lattuada: Sweet Deceptions, Italy, 1960 with Catherine Spaak, Jean Sorel
Viewed on Jan 11, 2009. Running time: 95 MIN.

Italian adolescent Francesca falls in love with a slightly older family benefiter but can’t yet decide on him. In a very laid back kind of way, director Lattauda takes us around a slow paced Italy with everyday scenes of past time. Quite modest and interesting at the same time.



The White Ribbon
December 30, 2009, 11:45 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

ILL DEEDS IN EARLY WORLD WAR DAYS

Michael Haneke: Das weisse Band, Austria, 2009 with Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi
Viewed on Dec 30, 2009. Running time: 144 MIN.

Haneke is one of my favorite directors, and once again he has left me speechless.