27 November 2012

PÖFF 2012 part 2

Pimedate Ööde Filmifestival / Black Nights Film Festival
Tallinn, Estonia

A Lady in Paris
Ilmar Raag
Estonia/France/Belgium 2012

This is a story about being all alone, about fulfilling dreams, about living in exile, about relationships. A middle-aged woman grasps the opportunity to get away from her dreary life in Estonia as she is offered the posision as the assistant of an elderly Estonian woman in Paris, the city of her dreams. But as she arrives she discoveres that reality is quite different from the dream. She realizes she is all alone. But after a while she understands the old woman is even more lonesome. She has cut all her bonds to fulfill her dreams. The film urges you to consider what, and most of all who, is important.

In Another Country
Sang-soo Hong
South Korea 2012

Three stories, all created in a bored young girl's mind. All with the same actress playing the foreign protagonist. On the surface this seems like a film about a foreigner "lost in translation". But it is rather a film about how locals consider foreigners. The foreigner becomes an object of desire, envy and jelousy. They all are considered being the same (like we Europeans tend to think Asians all look the same) - in this case they actually ARE the same actress.  

Toomas Hussar
Estonia 2012

An Estonian comedy about corruption, lies and mushroom picking. Gather the cliches: the middle-aged grey politician, his energetic wife eager for outdoor life, the über-cool rock star, and send them to the forest while a corruption scandal hits the press and the young assistant tries to clean up. Let them be lost for days, and then be attacked by a local villain - and this is "Mushrooming". The film does not pretend to seriously work on the issues corruption among politicians, the difference between urban and rural life, or the easily led press. It just wants to make fun of the stereotypics. The politician manages to quench the scandal by sweet talking, and all is back to normal. Just lean back and have fun. I am not sure how well the humor is taken outside Estonia, though.

A Caretaker's Tale
Katrine Wiedemann
Denmark 2011

A misantropic caretaker suddenly discover a naked, speechless girl in an empty flat. In a weird way her beauty brings light into his grey life. Miracles do happen. But for how long does a miracle last? How long can you cling on to that miracle until you have to get on with your life? And does sharing the miracle make it smaller or larger? Important questions are asked in this gem of a Danish film, full of surprises.

The Sessions
Ben Lewin
USA 2012

A poet suffering from polio wants to feel physical love, even if he is chained to the bed and iron lung. We meet the three important women in his life, the one that loved him "- but not that way", the one that learned him about sex, and the one that loved him in all ways. The second is the important one, the one that made him accept his shortcomings and appreciate his possibilities. A warm story about how what you think is impossible becomes possible, about dreams come true, about happy endings. A well made, well played, all through USA-nian feelgood film.

Everybody's Gone
Georgi Paradzhanov
Georgia/Russia/Czech rep 2012

A picturesqe film about childhood in a Georgian town in the 60s. We are shown the traditions of marriage and funeals, but also the individual strange habits of tying the left-handed boy's left hand and the witch collecting dreams in bottles. A nice film showing life in a village, or is it a town. Is this typical of Georgia? We will have to go there ourselves to check it out, and after all, much may have changed during the years. As is also shown in the prologue and epilogue, where the boy is old and is looking back.

Faure Etienne
France 2012

A triangle love drama from France, that is not exactly something new. But this has several surprising twists to the story, turning it into a square, septant, or whatever, love drama. And it is not about love after all. The story is inventing and could have been quite interesting and thrilling. But that was let down by strange editing to some annoying jumps in time or repetitions, and leaving out important parts of the story. And the use of sound when a perfectly calm and ordinary scene is pimped up with scary music. Sad, because this could have been quite a good thriller about the danger of moving from the city to the countryside.