Martin Kohout

IN BLOOM

Georgia, Germany, France | 2013 | 102 min. | director: Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross | DoP: Oleg Mutu | screenplay: Nana Ekvtimishvili | cast: Lika Babluani, Mariam Bokeria, Zurab Gogaladze, Data Zakareishvili, Ana Nijaradze, Maiko Ninua, Tamar Bukhnikashvili, Temiko Chichinadze, Berta Khapava, Sandro Shanshiashvili a další

They were only fourteen, and  both had to grow up too quickly. Tbilisi, 1992 —after the fall of the Soviet Union. Breathtaking bildungsroman on the screen of directing duo Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß. Oleg Muta behind the camera. And above all, the power of the two main characters, who become more and more real. You will think of Elena Ferrante.

You know and then there’s the dancing scene. I really wanted to tell you about the moment when Eka suddenly starts dancing for Natia. It gives me the chills every time I watch it again. Seeing how with her every move she edges towards maturity and towards what she knows that she must accept and refuse about their friendship and about where they’re growing up. And how strong the moment is, the moment, when you realize that there is not a better way for her to have then expressed it by dancing.

 

IL SE PEUT QUE LA BEAUTÉ AIT RENFORCÉ NOTRO RÉSOLUTION: MASAO ADACHI

France | 2011 | 73 min. | director: Philippe Grandrieux | DoP: Philippe Grandrieux | screenplay: Philippe Grandrieux | cast: Masao Adachi, Naruhiko Onozawa

Where to begin when describing a film that wanders through itself to guess the meaning of what has just been said or made a statement into a question or denied itself to move forward in order to look back. Well anyway… The film is clearly simple. Dusky, warm and hypnotic. Only the old Adachi with his endless monologue and beautiful voice is complicated. What should I think of him? He was a revolutionary, a member of the Japanese Red Army, fighting for the liberation of Palestine. A terrorist. But before – he was a director, a member of the Japanese New Wave, author of “masterpieces of militant cinematography” such as Sexual Play (1969) and A Woman in Revolt (1970). He fled Japan and followed the revolution to Beirut. Claiming he did so to avoid the dissatisfaction with Japanese commercial culture. We will not learn much about Adachi’s life. But it is no wonder that Philippe Granrieux is portraying him. He naturally floats through the twilight of Adachi’s confession and reflections of his own past. As if he was not there at all and yet it is so clearly his film. Whose film?

 

MEEK’S CUTOFF

USA | 2010 | 104 min. | director: Kelly Reichardt | DoP: Christopher Blauvelt | screenplay: Jonathan Raymond | cast: Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson, Neal Huff, Tommy Nelson, Rod Rondeaux
 

Kelly Reichardt shot a western overflowing with the beauty of the wilderness, hair messed by dusty wind, dirt under the nails, lips cracked with thirst. It follows a story of three carriage wagons of newcomers that got lost, searching for a shortcut across the Oregon High Desert, despite having a guide – Stephen Meek. They are running out of water and food. The tension is rising, as Meek does not want to admit that he has no clue where they are.  And so they keep walking. But the wives loose their patience with the failing men, who ignore them during the meetings setting out for death. Slowly, they begin to act with a completely different power then the one their men desire. Kelly Reichardt has made a masterpiece that very carefully but with courage sets against a genre that she has moved so far, in such an astonishing way, and thus made it relevant again. Based on a true story. 

 

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