From Time Out London
Slow, portentous, absolutely bloody miserable, the fiercely independent Fred Kelemen’s earlier work was the veritable essence of arthouse gloom, so much so that it often prompted unintentional giggles. After a six-year break, his latest marks a positive shift, packaging his deep-rooted existential angst within a much more involving narrative framework. Shot in lengthy takes in digital black-and-white, matching a sonic backdrop of industrial noise against grimy Riga locations, the presentation is still somewhat self-consciously doom-laden, but this time there’s an effective storyline to draw the viewer into Kelemen’s world.
Crossing a bridge one night, Matiss (Egon Dombrovskis) hears a splash and realises the woman he’s just passed has jumped to her demise.
Discovering her handbag, this archivist is soon driven to understand what led her to this final act of desperation. Needless to say, his journey into another life throws some unexpected curves as it ponders issues of isolation and responsibility, and if the film never quite manages the oneiric poetry of its obvious celluloid models (Tarr, Tarkovsky), it’s compact, intriguing, and ably achieved within its own particular terms.
Author: Trevor Johnston
Time Out London Issue 1884: September 27-October 4 2006
Language:Russian | Latvian
Subtitles:Deutsch English Francais Espanol Russian Latvian (VobSub format)