This film marks the directorial debut of actor Jean-François Stevenin. Serge (Stevenin) is a dweller in the French provinces who happens upon Georges (Jacques Villeret), a Parisian motorist in distress. Serge arranges for the car to be taken to a nearby garage. Georges’ friends, who were with him in the car, have continued their journeys. Because of that, Serge takes Georges under his wings while he waits for his car to be repaired, and they tour the countryside and party with the local revelers. Nothing much is said between them, but it is clear that they have become friends Continue reading
On her birthday, 11-year-old Angeliki jumps off the balcony to her death with a smile on her face. An investigation is started as to the reason for this apparent suicide, but the family keeps insisting that it was an accident.
Pereda’s films pass through a transitional period; Los mejores temas was probably a conscious farewell to a filmic representation system while Matar extraños turned out to be an enigmatic first test; El palacio is a new attempt at renovation, an experiment. These last two films show a novel element —the shifting of the family and domestic spheres to a public and political space. Whereas Matar extraños used revolution as its focal concept, in this enigmatic film the microphysics of power is the permeating idea.
The opening wide shot is brilliant; the 17 women who appear in this film are washing their teeth at the same time. Among this group there are little girls, young and old women, and they are not at a bathroom but at a patio filled with large sinks. Their activity unites them, though their experiences and, eventually, their functions differ. Where are they? For several minutes the only thing we will see are the diverse cleaning-related actions performed by these women. Everything happens in an old house, without any indication of its location. Abstraction and routine. Pereda is capable of filming someone hanging clothes to dry or making a bed as if those were aesthetic events.
A donkey wonders around and imposes a comical tone for a moment; but a donkey is an animal used for servitude. And the title of the film mentions a palace.
Jan Němec’s original proposal in 1966 to adapt Kafka’s Metamorphosis as a theatrical feature was rejected by the Czech state film board. In 1974, he was forced into exile — first seeking refuge in Germany: Continue reading
A year after Franz Kafka’s work had been translated from German into his native Czech, this experimental feature was full of Kafka’s tone and style. The story is about Harold, an isolated figure in an overwhelming world of totalitarian bureaucracy. Harold tries to find the elusive Joseph Kilian, an old acquaintance, in Prague. When Harold stumbles across a state-run cat-lending store, he impulsively rents a feline for the day. Later, he attempts to return the cat and finds that the store no longer exists. Now with a furry companion, Harold continues his search for Kilian. Written and directed by Pavel Juracek, this 40 minute film effectively aims its allegorical shots at personality cults and the absurdities of a totalitarian regime. × Continue reading
…even after a number of viewings, I’m still not sure if what I have seen is a kind of high Euro-modernist masterpiece about race, culture, urban rage and alienated identity – or a perversely opaque and frustrating essay in enigma, a labyrinth of blind alleys, in which putative solutions are forbiddingly walled off. It is a film which gestures at the literal incomprehensibility of experience, how it resists encirclement and extends beyond the perimeters of perception and interpretation. The mood of Code Unknown is moreover often fractious, crackling with unease and ill-humour, and yet this is a movie whose images and personae linger in the mind, and which can deliver dazzlingly generous, compassionate insights…
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian Continue reading
In a little village somewhere in Africa, a boy named Kirikou is born. But he’s not a normal boy, because he knows what he wants very well. Also he already can speak and walk. His mother tells him how an evil sorceress has dried up their spring and devoured all males of the village except of one. Hence little Kirikou decides, he will accompany the last warrior to the sorceress. Due to his intrepidity he may be the last hope of the village. Continue reading