29 September 2012

Shores of Hope (TIFF 2012)

Wir Wollten Aufs Meer, Germany 2012, dir. Toke Constantin Hebbeln  ****

Taking The Life of Others to an extreme, this new entry by debut director Toke Constantin deals with the consequences of espionage and betrayal in the former East Germany. Two friends plan their imminent escape to the West, and soon enough one of them is contacted by the Security Police, Stasi, ruining their plans and ultimately, their lives. Very good performances overall. The story will both depress you and perhaps give you some hope at the end.

Twice Born (TIFF 2012)

Italy -USA, dir. Sergio Castellitto, 2012 *

The story of a Sarajevo refugee now established in Italy. After starting afresh in a new country, she decides to go back to her native city and meet with friends from the past. Her tragic story is revealed to the viewer in alternate flashbacks. The movie is quite long for the storyline, as is the case in many Italian movies. Some tragic scenes end up being funny instead. The movie was booed at the San Sebastian film festival. Penelope Cruz as an Italian is a good choice, but the moment she starts speaking English, the magic is gone. It is impossible for her to hide her Spanish accent. 

08 September 2012

Vanishing Waves (FIFF Montreal 2012)

Lithuania, 2012, dir. Kristina Buozyte ****
A scientific experiment in which a subject is connected to the brain neuronal activity of another person who is in comma. Both meet in the mind of the comatose person, in an in-between world of the subconscious. A stunning visual movie full of suspense. One of my favourites this year.

Shifting the Blame (FIFF Montreal 2012)

Schuld sind immer die anderen, Germany, 2012, dir. Lars-Gunnar Lotz ***

A youngster is involved in an assault and robbery to a young woman.  Some time later he gets caught for another crime and ends up in a detention house for young offenders. He finds out that the manager of this house is none other than the person he assaulted and robbed. A game of lies will only end in the realization of a darker secret that takes everyone by surprise. 

Moonrise Kingdom

USA, 2012, dir. Wes Anderson **

A small boy scout decides to flee his camp and escape with her new girlfriend. A kid's adventure, except that it's for grown-ups. Sarcastic and supposedly funny, it is hard to grasp the comic situations at times. Entertaining nonetheless. Visually perfect, every scene is conceived as if it were a photograph.