Tag Archives: indie

Culture Shock by Steve Balderson (2012) #rdff

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.

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Filed under film reviews, Raindance 2012

Treacle Jr. by Jamie Thraves

I will not summarise the plot. The story feels painfully close to 21st century alienation from one’s self. A few films touch upon this very subject (Cedric Klapisch’s Pot Luck to name just one).

It’s a great peek at our contemporary lives in the rich Western civilisation, how illusive everything is and how thin is the line between success/family/richness and poverty/homelessness/loneliness.

The film shows how a cute boy unable to live his life decides to change his and to disappear. On one hand this is easy, on the other though, he slowly learns to understand how attached he is to his earthly belongings and how to use them in the right way.

Buddy/social drama with two cats, one beautiful gal and familiar South London surroundings. Lots of Herne Hill, Dulwich etc. A feel-good cinema this summer. Geniously brilliant role by Irish actor Aidan Gillen.

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Filed under 2011 cinema releases, film reviews

Prosta Historia o Milosci by Arkadiusz Jakubik

In other words: A Simple Love Story.

Not as simple as the title would suggest. The love story happens on (at least) three levels. There is a scriptwriting couple telling the story from voiceover, there are two young people, who meet after many years and there are two roles told by the first couple, played by the second one.

Jakubik challenges the audience to read as much into the story as possible adding one more level – of actors being interviewed as improvised monologues. The blurring between what’s written, what’s improvised and what’s played is so twisted that at some point each of the spectators will gladly surrender to the master hands of the film’s author.

A brilliant idea, made for own money, a truly indie cinema in skillful hands.

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Filed under Film Festivals, film reviews, Off Plus Camera 2011

Charlie Casanova by Terry McMahon

This is an amazing story. Throughout. The back end as well as the front end.

Terry McMahon did an amazing job of gathering cast, crew, equipment and all he needed to make a film via Facebook.

There is no lighting, except for two 5 Euro lamps, the film is shot with two video cameras.

The story is tough, as life in today’s Ireland is, apparently. Charlie Casanova is an everyman, but a coward at that. He’s one of a kind and yet, there are probably thousands like him. It is a guy nobody would want to meet at a cul-de-sac. The story is as dark as human nature’s darkness can get. There is no hope, no love, no ray of light. The world is cruel, hopeless and the spectators are helpless, hypnotised by the vision pictured, where an obvious mad man rules their attention and the world on the screen. Charlie Casanova is the puppet master, a clown and a cruel character, whose intensity paralyses everyone around him including the audience.

The experience keeps everyone in their seats until the last long scene which proves Terry McMahon’s point.

A must see.

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Filed under Film Festivals, film reviews, Off Plus Camera 2011