Monthly Archives: October 2013

Paat (2013) by Amir Todeh Roosta #WFF2013

Contemporary Iran viewed through the eyes of a stray German Shepherd. It turns out the main protagonists of everyday life are women who in reaction to men’s doings need to face their lives and tweak their existence to make ends meet.
The whole film consists of several episodes only connected by the dog witnessing the daily struggles of women.
Writer-director used the dog as an excuse to show various situations which otherwise would be difficult to connect.
The film offers an insight into what usually could be told in several shorts only here it is presented as one unique plot.

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Mistaken for Strangers (2013) by Tom Berninger #WFF2013

The author and main protagonist of the film is Tom Berninger, who happens to be the brother of lead vocal in The National – an American indie rock band.
What sets off as an ordinary documentary, where a camera follows a band on a tour, soon it becomes more and more obvious that nothing is ordinary, or regular, or normal in this particular case.
The film could be perceived as a mockery, as a grotesque approach and recipe how a documentary should not be made.
The relationship between two brothers is presented as pretty stressful and glitter free.
Perhaps this was intended, but it didn’t seem to be. The whole plot looks like a series of unfortunate disasters. All in all, the film brings loud laughters to the audience – hard to say if it’s caused by the comic intent or the comic outcome, but it is great fun to watch.

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Rona&Nele by Silvia Chiogna (2013) #WFF2013

Nele is an architecture student without belief in own success. Rona is an unemployed graphic designer. Their paths cross on one morning in a supermarket. This is Berlin in the 1990’s. Just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the society is at mild chaos mixing with liberty and freedom to do what one wants. 20-somethings party, study and pick on lifestyle.
The two girls become friends and mvoe in together into a squatted flat which soon gains more artsy neighbours.
It is a picture of what once was – when abandoned blocks of flats could be used and lived in, when romanticism of alternative living was beginning to get trendy.
Yet another warm film allowing for looking at certain aspects of life from a distance and a slightly different angle.
The finishing lines credits are accompanied by a German version of the Russian song “Black Eyes” (Очи чёрные).

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Love Hunter (2013) by Branislav ‘Brane’ Bala, Nemanja Bala #WFF2013

Milan (as himself) is a Serbian rock star over 40, who drives a yellow cab in NYC and in the meantime works on material for his next album – to be recorded in Manhattan.
Although seemingly shallow, this film is nothing like that. The universal truths about life are expressed from various angles giving the audience the chance to pick a side. Is it a regular job in a suit that is most important in life or is it following your dreams working somewhere below your potential, which however allows you for fulfilling your dreams of music making/ or anything else one might pick…
A very warm and hopeful story of how lives can take us where we want, but sometimes the circumstances will surprise us. Amazing film.

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La tendresse (2013) by Marion Hänsel #WFF2013

Belgian road movie – focusing on the lives of one family. The parents have been divorced for several years but they both travel to bring their son back from Alps after a skiing accident disabling him from driving back home. They need to go together as one of them will need to drive back the minivan from Alps.
What has rarely been presented in European cinema – the relationship between former couple is warm, friendly and quite comfortable. The dialogues focus on little things they reminisce upon, on old stories they both can relate to and the obvious affection they both share towards their only son.
A lovely depiction of tenderness.

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La jaula de oro (2013) by Diego Quemada-Díez #WFF2013

The title could be translated as The Golden Cage. The film tells a story of 4 South Americans – teenagers without future in native Guatemala, who pursue on a quest to reach California.
One of them is a girl, who decides to pretend she’s a boy, another is a native Indian who speaks no Spanish (and obviously none of them speak any English).
One of the strongest works presented at this year’s Warsaw Film Festival.
The United States of America is a country built on immigration – and yet, nowadays, it is one of the most guarded countries to get into. It is a promised land for many, but the outcome of the story told here is that obviously – our dreams are rarely realistic and that reaching the dreamland is actually not a goal, but a step in the journey that is life.
It is not an optimistic message, it is a great road movie made with the characteristic Mexican realism (it is a Mexican-Spanish co-production).
An important, universal message to all those unaware of immigrant struggles all over the world, who decide to leave their homeland in search for a better life, which unfortunately rarely does turn out to be a massive improvement.
What is indicative and strengthens the message – is the final credits theme severly based on traditional funeral march.

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Stockholm by Borja Soler, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Eduardo Villanueva (2013) #WFF2013

Visually stunning, a hypnotising tale of a one night stand.
As usual – there is a party, there is a girl and there’s this one lad. What goes on for the first part of the film breaks into a predictable ending of the first half of the film. What goes on the next morning is a different story. The dangerous game between the couple of 30-somethings undertakes most unexpected turns.
Without revealing much of the plot – the film is beautifully shot, and the ethereal looks of the redheaded heroine matches amazingly Madrid’s red roof tiles.
In a way this may be interpreted as a portrayal of contemporary youths, who lost in reality, desperately seek a few hours of normality. Together with the girl, the audience gives in to the charming advances of a good looking guy and most probably as well as the girl, few suspect the change that is about to happen in the morning.
Smart, with a lot of dialogue, games, role plays and a melancholic message wrapped in a lovely white paper with the red tiles in the background.
A beautiful drama.

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