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Showing posts from September, 2019

Blanco en Blanco in Venice Horizons section

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By Moira Sullivan

Blanco en Blanco is an extraordinary film which debuted in the Horizons section of the Venice Film Festival Sept 3 directed by Spanish/Chilean director Théo Court. Apart from the opening scenes, the film is about molestation and murder of young Indian women in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago that lies between Argentina and Chile. The opening seen of Blanco en Blanco Court shows a beautiful landscape of plains and frozen earth.  Away from the mountains the snow is melting on a settlement with sparse makeshift cabins.

We see the instruments of early daguerreotype photography and the reverence that the main character and the filmmaker holds for these inventions and instruments is evident. The stark realism of this scene is highly crafted by cinematographer José Alayón who takes beautiful moving pictures and stills– for example when the photographer sits in a beige painted wood paneled room with a small window and a small candle on the table. The way the still shots are c…

76th Venice Film Festival Golden Lion to 'The Joker'

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By Moira Sullivan

The awards for the 76th Venice Film Festival were given out on September 7. Venice Jury President Lucretia Martel took heat for comments badly translated about Roman Polanski whose film An Officer and a Spy is based on the Dreyfus Affair. An allegation that Martel had misgivings about showing Polanski’s work because of pleading guilty to statutory rape charges for sex with a minor in 1977, she said,   were misconstrued. Producers threatened to pull the film from the competition based on this miscommunication --so, it just had to win - still Polanski could not pick up his Silver Lion award since Italy has an extradition agreement with the US. His wife Emmanuelle Seigner accepted on his behalf. The film is based on the true story of a Jewish officer  in the French military who was charged for treason in 1984 for selling military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris. He was finally acquitted. "The Dreyfus Affair" never goes away and Martel said we still ha…

The Criminal Man debuts at Venice Horizons section

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By Moira Sullivan

The Criminal Man
premiered at the 76th Venice Film Festival in the Horizons section on Sept 4, a well-crafted film with excellent cinematography by Anton Gromov, directed by Dmitry Mamuliya from Georgia in the Russian Federation.

The film starts with a car traveling along a road surrounded by small hills in an industrial area. There is a side shot of a man looking at this journey from a distance staring intently like Ulysses in a lost land. There is something going on between two cars close to the lone traveler that doesn’t look quite right. And then there is the sound of a shot not once, but twice and once more. The observer does nothing and returns home. He is Giorgi Meskhi (Giorgi Petriashvili),  a 27-year old deputy chief engineer at a plant. The interior of his workplace is gritty and run down as are the workers who congregate over a dirty table for breaks.

How does a seemingly harmless voyeur with a steady job become a serial murderer? This is the premise of Kat…