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Review: August Days

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August Days

It’s easy to hate on Marc Recha’s doc-fiction hybrid August Days, especially in the early sections where it’s nearly derailed by one too many pop music-scored driving montages. Kiarostami this ain’t, but there’s method to Recha’s minor-key madness. Both he and his twin brother David play themselves (though they tellingly look nothing alike) reenacting a trip they took together into the Catalan countryside. The ostensible goal is to reflect on a series of interviews they conducted with the acquaintances of Ramon Barnils, a deceased journalist friend, but as the landscape takes hold their own personal histories and crises intrude. If this makes the film sound like so much insufferable navel-gazing (cinema as therapy session) it plays with decidedly more intelligence, emotion, and insight. Recha doesn’t merely recreate; his remarkable camera placements—managing, with no discernible effort, to be at once precise and spontaneous—take pains to provide contextual distance, as does an omniscient narrator (supposedly a Recha relative) whose voiceover couches the film within the realm of myth. Recha recognizes that stories traded between family and friends never come off in exactly the same way and, at its best (specifically in its superbly searching middle section), August Days seems a profound amalgam of all the versions of this story that could ever be told.

Cast: David Recha, Marc Recha, Mariona Ordóñez, Pere Subirana, Fina Susin Director: Marc Recha Screenwriter: Marc Recha Running Time: 93 min Rating: NR Year: 2006 Buy: Video

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