Lisandro Alonso (#110 of 3)

Toronto International Film Festival 2014 Eden, Rosewater, & Jauja

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Toronto International Film Festival 2014: Eden, Rosewater, & Jauja
Toronto International Film Festival 2014: Eden, Rosewater, & Jauja

Filled with retro house cuts, Eden insists upon a good time whenever Paul (Félix de Givry) or his DJ peers spin in various house parties and clubs, yet the prevailing atmosphere of Mia Hansen-Løve's film is melancholic. One of the more sensitive contemporary directors of youth, Hansen-Løve flips the dynamic of Goodbye, First Love, a film in which the passage of time is keenly felt in the protagonist's maturation and regression occurs from the reintroduction of outside elements. In this film, it's everything around Paul that changes and outpaces him while he remains resolutely, depressingly, the same person at 34 that he was at 20.

Film Review: Liverpool

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Film Review: <em>Liverpool</em>
Film Review: <em>Liverpool</em>

During the last couple of decades the long-take, fixed-shot school of filmmaking has become something of a default for directors with an eye toward the festival circuit—the signature style of many of the world's leading arthouse auteurs. You know the drill: the filmmaker sets his camera at a certain distance from his impassive protagonist and observes him enacting the minutiae of daily life. No music is there to cue the viewer's emotions and we're never invited into the character's headspace. At its best, as in the films of Tsai Ming-liang, the approach encourages a certain intellectual distance between audience and character, granting the viewer sufficient freedom to mentally maneuver about the film's staged environment, while never precluding the possibility of a direct emotional involvement. Such works encourage the viewer to adjust his mental rhythm to the pace of the picture, to recalibrate his body's clock to the film's tempo. Finally, this long-take approach promotes an appreciation of composition for its own sake, focusing audience attention for extended periods of time on a series of static framings.