Tag Archives: school

Dans la maison (2012) by Francois Ozon #LFF

 

Complicated story of a relationship between a master and an apprentice, a teacher and a pupil.

This is an adaptation of a play, yet the way Ozon transformed it onto the big screen does not give that feeling. The voiceover which I usually strongly oppose – here works perfectly and I even did not realise it was there – as it blended so smoothly into the narrative, into the story, into the film.

Emmanuelle Seigner as Esther is the perfect middle class woman, fascinating a 16-year old Claude. As a crude experiment he lets himself into her house by trickily making friends with classmate Rapha, who appears to be Esther’s son.

Claude also teams up with his literature teacher who, spotting a rare talent, becomes an unlikely ally to Claude’s excursions. Mr. Germain is married to Jeanne (Kristin Scott-Thomas) and the duo become avid readers of the story that Claude unveils in front of them inch by inch. Every episode (submitted in the disguise of homework) is finished by the ‘to be continued’ term.

Magically all the characters get entangled into what soon becomes a very blurred mix of fiction and reality.

As Germain teaches Claude the basics of storytelling, it is Claude who will soon take over the baton and teach his professor a lesson he will never forget.

Ernst Umhauer (Claude) has the magnetism of an Adonis, with an inconceivable amount of innocence. It is immensly hard to depict Claude as the evil puppet-master.

What opens up as a light comedy turns out not so light towards the end.

Great costumes, interior design, amazing dialogues – brisk and canny, impeccable acting and as always fantastic entertainment with a grain of salt.

It’s a story about crossing the lines and seeing what’s on the other side. It’s a story about exceeding the limits that would normally not be reached. It is a valid lesson for those who write and do not hesitate to source their inspirations from real life people. Sometimes it is simply safer to rely on imagination. For both sides.

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Filed under 2012 cinema releases, film reviews

Detachment by Tony Kaye (2011)

Adrien Brody is a replacement teacher who only teaches English until the end of the semester before the proper teacher gets hired.

The film pictures the crisis of the institution of school, the burning out of teachers, the helpless children who get agressive and violent as that seems to be the only way for them to survive the cursed adolescence.

Brody plays a flesh and blood character who has the patience and smoothness of a lamb while at school, but has also a brutal and strict side of him outside the workplace.

Amazingly acted and fantastically told – great watch.

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Filed under 2011 cinema releases, film reviews

Submarine by Richard Ayoade

A brilliant, genius film.

If all films were made like this, we would not need the star rating system at all.

The technical, filmic conscience is fantastic, the play with colour, frames, shots, slow motion unveils director with ability to play with convention and to cunningly break the fourth wall.

There are extracts shot on Super8, there are VHS films within the film, there is a red coat, there is a proper dramatic construction with a prologue and an epilogue.

The story is based on a novel by Joe Dunthorne. A fantastic tale on coming of age, the horror of being 15, having weird parents, a psychic neighbour with whom Mum shares a past, on first love, first kisses, first encounters with death…

Paddy Considine in the role of the derailed light guru delivers great acting. Other adult roles are also well cast. The main young actor Craig Roberts is incredibly authentic in his 15-year-old’s frustrations.

Tremendous cinema.

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Filed under 2011 cinema releases, film reviews