I love a good documentary, I love travelling and I love German cinema. I used to Couchsurf and I had an opportunity of watching this film with a visiting Couchsurfer sitting next to me. Perfect conditions for a documentary about the phenomenon of Couchsurfing one would say.
Unfortunately for the film makers of Global Home, both myself and my friend have a sense for film. I write and critique, my friend composes music and soundtrack.
Usually the above paragraph would never have made it to the review. But this seems necessary this time given we did not manage to watch this film. My friend fell asleep 15 minutes into it, whereas I gave it a full 40 minutes and gave up.
I always give a film 20 minutes and then decide if I will watch it in full or leave the cinema/switch it off. I was full of hopes for this one and gave it 40 minutes. As an exception. Because of the topic, because I love documentaries, because I love German cinema.
The good sides of this film are: topic (it’s about Couchsurfing!), cinematography (nice colouring, lighting).
The rest is hard to describe.
The unbearable voiceover motioned in the style of a 3-year old recounting a holiday to their 90-year old grandma. Surely this is not a film intended for Couchsurfers. Although the idea sounds entertaining at first, although the characters selected for interviews are great personalities – this film is unwatchable and insanely boring. It is long paced, has no atmosphere I expected it to have and although it is against my general rule to overly criticise a piece of work such as this, which required effort, funding and certainly a lot of planning, I cannot begin to describe how much this one is a failure on all fronts. Stay away! Save your time, respect yourselves.
Winner of the UK Feature section at Raindance 2012.
This is yet another ballet themed film at Raindance. Two dancers meet at the tube escalators and what seems to be a reactivation of a previous acquaintance, it turns out they had never met before. They spend the night together – in the Linklater’s sense of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset – walking around London, talking, or not, sometimes dancing, drinking, exploring the outside world through each other’s eyes.
Supposedly it is a non-mainstream love story. Supposedly it is a fake love story without a happy ending. Supposedly it is a warm tale making us believe in humans again.
It is nicely photographed, craftily lit and London always looks stunning in October, the duo surely knows how to dance. I liked the costumes.
Would a ballet dancer riding a bike to the audition throw in two bricks into his backpack? Just a thought.
Lightweight comedy bringing to mind Scooby Doo group of teenage friends solving criminal mysteries.
Four twenty-something Americans are forced by their parents to visit Europe ‘as adults’. That means they have to deal with issues by themselves rather than ring parents for help, who refuse to pick up their calls.
Realised in a true indie spirit – most of the film was shot on a handheld digital camera. A list of thankyous is quite long – mainly to locations. Apparently the cost of the film did not exceed £3000. And yet, it is a nice dose of entertainment.
How often does a documentary watch like a love story? Not that often in my experience.
This is a love story.
Camera follows Slavik – a Russian ballroom dancer, who works on returning back to fame, back to the good old days when he was the World Champion. He starts anew with new young partner and competes against his old flame, who kept the title – winning with her new partner.
This film is so amazingly photographed and scored, that only for those two elements it is worth a watch. And on top of that you have a great true story of one man fighting for his career, his love, his life. Amazing film.
One room, one continous take, four characters, three bags of ‘herb’.
Salvatore (Sal) is an ‘herbal enterpreneur’ – i.e. NOT a drug dealer.
His flatmate named Percival (Percy) is a struggling actor.
The two behave like an old married couple – but it becomes obvious that just like a married couple they couldn’t live one without the other.
What do they talk about? Girls, life, future. Then – when the girls arrive, they split into twos, however, whoever leaves the room is not followed. Just like in theatre, just like on stage.
I like such confined setups. It allows to focus the whole attention on what is being said rather than what happens. In a way this is a social analysis of contemporary 20-year olds and their lives, their hopes, their plans.
This is a Mexican drama. It tells the story of a hopeless case of middle-aged Augusto, who is a teacher, husband to beautiful Ruth and falls for a destructive passion for a 13-year old sort of adopted daughter of his.
The tragic journey to catch the escaping dove (or maybe in Mexico it is more like a seagull) should teach him a lesson. Yet he never learns and carries on through neckbreaking quest. The trip he undertakes is less geographical and more existential. There is a very high ladder he falls down from.
Perhaps this is a portrayal of contemporary Mexico and how thin the border is between the rich and the poorest. Perhaps this is a tale showing how relatively simple it is to switch from a fairly comfortable life to a life in the gutter.
All in all, perhaps the strongest side of this film is the costume, the colour, the music and the illusive beauty of the girl, who seems so innocent.
Marcel Lévesque is a car salesman. The best one among his colleagues for many years. He is 67 years old, lives across the street from the garage, has a single daughter and an 8-year old grandson. He is a very happy person, who enjoys his time on this earth with the people he likes and those two he truly loves.
The peaceful image presented begs for a disturbance, for a crack which unfortunately for the protagonist comes from two sides. Both cracks are signalled very early in the movie which makes them less shocking.
The moral of the story may be read from various angles.
Maybe it is about having a life outside of the job or maybe it is about making your job your life. I don’t know. But this is a very melancholic and lovely tale of life.
To an extent it reminded me of Glengarry Glen Ross – as one more time the job of a salesman is to sell something people don’t want to buy or can’t afford to buy. But it does have a more personal edge to it. Amazing cinema.
What is a good recipe for a pleasant watch?
How about this:
2x beautiful girls,
1x Alfie Allen,
tons of ducktape,
reasonable amount of (fake) blood,
1x cane and
1x pair of stilettos?
Does it sound sufficient? Throw in a little bit of crafty cinematography, great lighting, costume+interior design and lock it all in a reasonably sized London appartment.
What do you get?
You get “Confine” – presented at Raindance in the main UK feature competition.
Tobias Tobbell – writer-director delivered an aesthetically delectable piece fitting into the contemporary British new wave of indie films.
Starring former model turned actress Daisy Lowe and Eliza Bennett as two strong characters juggling options which are not always predictable.
This is a well constructed suspense thriller with the inevitable twist towards the ending. I want to watch it again to devour the tiny details, to admire cinematography again, to contemplate the lovely movements of the two ladies verbally wrestling next to powerless in their presence Alfie Allen.
Here’s an interview carried out with writer-director Tobias Tobbell:
Louis is an unassuming 20-something single man intensly going through a thick volume of Quebecois Poetry.
The opening scene gives a hint on what follows – it is a closeup on a lapdance photographed at the hip height – so that we never see the face of the dancer but perceive her body as if the audience was the receiver. Behind her is sitting the man in question – Louis whose face could not be more bored.
We slowly enter his world intermixed between masturbation acts, poetry reading and random aggressive attacks at English speaking community in the heart of French speaking Montreal. He has an on and off girlfriend Rosalie, but no dialogue between them is ever substantial. At one point I was led to believe that Louis might be gay.
Long slow takes on grainy film bring a peaceful and deceitful POV allowing to draw conclusions which get their throats cut off brutally at the very end of the story.
It is a very powerful poem on a quite peculiar social inadequacy and lack of political correctness on our contemporary streets despite the official image imposed from the above.
Watch it if you can.