Daily Archives: October 1, 2011

Montevideo – Taste of a Dream by Dragan Bjelogrlic

Serbian candidate for the Oscar.

An American style, big studio production. With all its up and downsides. Accompanied by Balkan traditional music.

It tells the story of the formation of the national football team in 1930 in Belgrade getting ready for the World Cup in Uruguay.

Painfully long – the way Gone with the Wind was.

Interesting again for those who are into costumes and period cinema. Certainly for football fans and those familiar with the complicated Balkan Gordian Knot aka the Balkan Powder Keg political situation in the 20th century.

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Savage by Martin Jern, Emil Larsson

Swedish tale with no hope for youngsters in the cursed community that only has one church, one night club, one bar and numerous young people with no future.

It’s a bitter story which is surprisingly universal and brings to mind the recent riots in London. Mainly because it is a portrait of young people who living in the consumerist society cannot find their place in the world. Partly because they refuse the uniform of a 9 to 5 job, partly because they have either no support from their parents or because their parents live in a parallel intelectual and existential vacuum.

Painful and not really shocking unfortunately. A very sad vision of contemporary world.

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The most important thing in life is not being dead by Olivier Pictet, Marc Recuenco, Pablo Martín Torrado

Three directors. Swiss-Spanish co-production. A vraie arthouse cinema. Brilliant. Surreal, poetic, magic.

This one depicts true talent and deep knowledge of the classical history of cinema (watch out for Orson Welles!). The hidden truth carried to the audience seems to be that every madness has a rational explanation.

Set in 1970’s Catalunya, a combination of black&white, colour and animation (in the following proportions: 85%/14%/1%). Essentially this is a story of an elderly gentleman whose life and job is tuning the pianos. Jacobo has trouble sleeping and his insomnia triggers a series of confessions allowing to follow his life from youth to current times.

Fantastically paced, shot and directed – a definite recommend!

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A Thousand Kisses Deep by Dana Lustig

This film is technically perfect which allows for total immersion into the story told. The script is a masterpiece, acting superb and the omnipresent music an additional almost flesh&blood protagonist.

The title is a direct quotation from Leonard Cohen’s famous song, obviously.

It is a powerful cinema which is deeply thought through and very carefully executed. A magic story of a life long infatuation and going back in memory of a young woman who has to cope with two deaths in her close proximity and bravely carry on with her life.

An absolute must see for those idealists who still believe in the beauty and power of story telling through cinematic techniques – like myself.

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The Casserolle Club by Steve Balderson

A very peculiar ballad set in the 1960’s in Californian suburbs. Careful set design, period costumes and make up. Unfortunate sound quality, disturbing cinematography and lighting.

Great music and colour palette.

The opening sequence brings to mind Mad Men which is an obvious comparison due to the time setting of both – the famous TV drama and the feature by Balderson. The plot is secondary to the general impression, which in my case was instead of a created coherent world, I get a fancy dress party with vintage interior decor. The actors form a very uneven ensemble and what is a great achievement on the costume and make-up side is unfortunately not supported by body language. Even though the actors are dressed and stylized for 1960’s, their manners, gesture and movement are very contemporary. If it’s intentional, I don’t understand why.

All in all – only for those who enjoy a good artsy piece, but not for the acting and not for the plot, which did not bring anything new into my life. Too much naked male buttocks to my taste and not too much depth.

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