The 73rd Venice Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia - Awards

By Moira Sullivan
"Home" by Fien Troche
This year there were some exceptional films in the Orizzonti or Horizons section of the Venice Film festival that ended Sept 10, and several were made by women. The Belgian independent film director Fien Troch won the best director award for “Home”, a disturbing tale about young people involving incest and subterranean family violence. The story is told in an innovative film style with inventive use of mobile framing (Frank van den Eeden) and solid character development. The enfolding narrative is shown full screen but when there are flashbacks or special focuses on characters, the screen space is cut in half (editor of film is Nico Leunen -Troch’s husband). “Home” is well made revealing an artisan of high caliber. The premise of “Homes” is the paradox of three young men, two of which share the same girlfriend Lina (Lena Suijkerbuijk), and they all have with severe problems at home. John’s (Mistral Guidotti) mother molests her son, Sammy’s (Loïc Bellemans) mother pampers him and teaches him to lie and Kevin (Sebastian Van Dun) can’t live at home because he fights with his father and his mother doesn’t stand up for him. None of the youths are interested in what their parents have to say, especially John. His solution is to take Xanax which Kevin steals for him but then he is “forced” to take more drastic measures.

Two other films dealth with the subject of youth boredom and angst as Troch’s “Home” --Tim Sutton’s “Dark Night” (USA), and Gastón Solnicki’s, “Kékszakállú” (Argentina).

In “Dark Night” six youths are chronicled who skateboard, swim, go to the movies, dye their hair orange, use Google maps (as does cinematographer Hélène Louvart who worked on Alice Rohrwacher’s Venice Jury Prize winner“The Wonders” 2014), Skype, ride around in cars, and fill their universe with “nothing” in the constant numbing of youth, avoiding the realities they don’t want to know about, to hear about or see . Freeways, tract homes, parking lots, green grass, and recurrent mall lights resurface as the momentum builds for a brutal gun attack. We know that it is coming like the slithering slide of a snake as it approaches its prey and is ready to pounce. The vacant dead eyes of the perpetrator should give pause to the victims or anyone he sees.

The contorted faces of men and women who scream reveal the angst that so many keep inside. In that respect the scenes of passing time that build up to these contortions, express the real violence. Dark Night's carnage, is a real life occurrence at a movie theater, that claimed the lives of young people, many with bottled up rage, just like their shooter. The year is 2012, Aurora Colorado.

Gastón Solnicki’s won the FIPRESCI award this year for “Kékszakállú”, a magnificent shot epic about the dying Argentine economy that no longer supports the upper class and the young women of a new generation who dispense with its privileges. Some of them work in a factory that produces chemically hazardous plastic, and spend their free time cooking huge octopi for evening get-togethers or congregating in municipal diving pools. These venues in the film are accompanied intermittently by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok’s Kékszakállú about the story of (Bluebeard) who has eloped with his new wife Judit.

© 2016 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 09/21/16
Movie Magazine International