Seeing three or four films a day, bouncing from one country to another is thrilling, entertaining and challenging; after four days here is a “taste” of the places I’ve savored so far:
“Mia Madre” (Italy, France); Nanni Moretti (director/actor) semi- autobiographical scenario revolving around the vicissitudes of balancing one’s daily life/profession while dealing with the imminent passing of a beloved parent; soars in depicting profound familial love and respect; flounders with tiresome monotony. John Turturro’s performance infuses “Mia Madre” with sorely needed comic relief, and the man can dance!
“Girls Lost”, (Sweden); to this point, a five star favorite. Stunning, emotional portrayal of three teenage girls, struggling with their sexual identity; strips to the core the horrific, painful angst, suffering when your exterior is perpetually in conflict with your interior.
“Hopefuls” (Brazil); “hopeless” underdeveloped theme of a young man, because of his actions, has eliminated his “choices”; minimal soccer scenes cannot salvage an even more minor plot.
“Three Days in September”, (Macedonia, Kosovo). Twists and turns; powerful, subtle performances bless audiences with a thriller about a serendipitous encounter of two women on a train to destiny; crossed paths, change their lives; never a “yawning” moment.
“Invention” (Canada, France). Intense, soundless homage to the architecture of three iconic cities: Toronto, Paris, San Paolo; director Mark Lewis gently lavishes overwhelming reverence, from the banal to the sublime, on the architecture, art and those unnamed who interact with the myriad of genres.
“45 Years” (United Kingdom). Overwhelming, intelligent acting by Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, on the eve of their 45th wedding anniversary, uncover events that will be the fodder for movie discussions in the near and distant future.
“Banana Pancakes and the Children of Sticky Rice” (Netherlands). Those who have traveled to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam will recognize the inhabitants of this primal village and how the West has altered their existence. In no way “political”, this documentary gives an in-depth, investigative, penetrating perspective, of a pristine society blending their traditions with Western influences.
“A Very Ordinary Citizen” (Iran); another favorite; fascinating, human analysis that exponentially intensifies as the action progresses; an elderly gentleman, becomes fixated on a young, effervescent travel agent, in modern day Tehran; shocking, satisfying conclusion!
To be continued…………….