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Showing posts with label Tots volem el millor per a ella. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tots volem el millor per a ella. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Une maison est une machine à habiter [...] un fauteuil est une machine à s’asseoir ~ Le Corbusier¹

This is a Festival preview of Júlia ist (2017) (for Cambridge Film Festival 2018)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2018 (25 October to 1 November)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

21 August

This is a Festival preview of Júlia ist (2017) (for Cambridge Film Festival 2018)

The #CamFF synopsis, duration and other details for the film can be found here,
and it screens on Sunday 28 October [in Screen 2 at Festival Central] at 5.45 p.m.

As was said last year, about La propera pell (The Next Skin) (2015), Júlia ist (2017) is likely to leave one in need of time for reflection, and so is not likely to benefit from hurrying, Festival style, to the bar for coffee (or stronger) and then straight to one's next film² !

Immediate points of comparison may come to mind in the form of Jeune femme (2017) or Lady Bird (2017), but just using them (although they also defy the notion of fitting into a genre called ‘coming of age’ as such, and the former's protagonist [Paula Simonian, impressively brought to us by Laetitia Dosch] is anyway said to be thirty-one ?) would fail to reflect the fact that the film’s pre-occupations are not necessarily those of a young(er) person – any more than those of Gloria (2013) or Aquarius (2016) are of someone older – but ones that help define our humanity :

They are questions such as how do we want to live, in what relation to others – and in what way might the type of dwelling where we choose to live affect and shape our behaviour and, in consequence, us³ ?

The main thrust of [Tom Wolfe's] talk was to blame Americans for their servility to what he regarded as the socialist ideology of the Bauhaus :

[... It] meant, he said, that its highest goal was the creation of perfect worker housing, meaning housing which looked anti-bourgeois and remained resistant to the trappings of upward mobility. Such housing might be fine for pre-war German artisans, but it was out of place in America, especially in a century when 'the energies and idle pleasures of even the working classes became enormous, lurid, creamy, preposterous.'

Stephen Games ~ From 'Walter Gropius' crystal visions'
[chapter 7 of Behind the Façade⁶]

Looking back to Camera Catalonia in 2014, those are amongst questions that Geni (Nora Navas) asks herself in Mar Coll’s Tots volem il millor per a ella (We All Want What’s Best for Her) (2013) : the expectations - partly from Geni herself, but mainly from others (and thus the ‘Tots volem’ of the title) - are that, with help and over time, she will be able to rehabilitate herself, physically and mentally, after the change in her life that has been brought about by a road-traffic accident. However, as discussed with Mar Coll at the start of an interview (as appended to Rebecca Naghten's review of the film for TAKE ONE), although Geni is seen to put a brave face on things in a medical appointment at the start of the film, she is beginning to realize otherwise : here is a link to the longer version of the trailer for the film.

In Berlin, with Júlia (director and co-writer Elena Martín)

In Júlia ist (2017), and with no more mise-en-scène to paint the background for us than is essential, the change in life is not at all of this magnitude, but of going to Berlin as an Erasmus student as part of Júlia's architecture course (maybe with not good enough German ?) : it seems to have been Júlia’s choice to be in Berlin, but we will ask whose expectations were they of this profession or of coming there to study (and also whether they are wholly realistic). There are certainly numerous hints that we will pick up, amongst the distinctive and stylish presentation of the vibrancy of Berlin⁵, and they should be allowed to speak to us in an intuitive way that connects us to Júlia as a person, irrespective of her age, but not of her qualities of emotional intelligence, in this role in which Elena Martín directs herself.

Gloria (2013) and Aquarius (2016) raised issues of their
principal characters’ personal and emotional qualities :
Paulina García and Sônia Braga are pictured (upper two images and lower, respectively)

Early on, for example, Júlia goes to buy some beer in a shop, and, having picked a couple of bottles out, then seems to play safe by buying ones, instead, with a gold-coloured star on a red cap (the familiar trademark of Catalunya’s own Estrella Damm). (She may not realize it herself, but, when she is asked questions, one of the answers that we will hear her give most often is ‘I don’t know’.) On Júlia’s return to the flat, it is evident that the others with whom she is staying do not share her attitudes or interests, and it then also becomes more so that, from home (via Skype®), there is parental disapproval of her finding somewhere with a friend, with whom she thinks that she will find it more congenial to live.

In terms of Júlia's participation in the group that is devising an entry for a prize-competition, where they debate what dwellings are and the related question how they should be designed, we are probably not much meant to follow the ideas and the discussion about them in literal or specific terms (or just to go to the other extreme, and see that their taking place concerning such themes is a necessary means of structuring the film). Rather, we will almost certainly find - on account of how each scene has been edited, and the cut-together of the film as a whole - a meaningful juxtaposition between how, in ideal and non-personal terms, living with others might be viewed and yet how it relates to Júlia's everyday domestic arrangements and / or as an individual in a social circle.

In the best traditions of Camera Catalonia, Júlia ist (2017) has – as Tots volem does – significant elements of a character-study, although the character may also be a place or city (e.g. L’adopció (Awaiting) (2015)), rather than a person (Tots els camins de Déu (All the Ways of God (2014)). (Or the effect of one on the other, as in La propera pell, or El camí més llarg per tornar a casa (The Long Way Home) (2014), but none of these films absolutely has to be looked at in one way rather than in one of the other two.)

He envied Miss Barrace at any rate her power of not being. She seemed, with little cries and protests and quick recognitions, movements like the darts of some fine high-feathered free-pecking bird, to stand before life as before some full shop-window. You could fairly hear, as she selected and pointed, the tap of her tortoise-shell against the glass.
The Ambassadors ~ Henry James

When the character is a place and its differing mores, sometimes one is reminded of the clash of cultures in Henry James that is experienced by visitors to Europe from the States, such as in The Ambassadors or The Golden Bowl, and of which a vivid example would be of the shock to Marc (Miquel Quer) of Venice, as an innocent abroad, in Jordi Torrent’s La redempció dels peixos (The Redemption of the Fish) (2013) [which screened in Camera Catalonia in 2013].

A production-shot from La redempció dels peixos (2013)

If we think of Barcelona as A City that does not Sleep, which is what is presented by the opening to what is the tragic unfolding of Stockholm (2013) or the setting, from Camera Catalonia in 2016, of Barcelona nit d’estiu (Barcelona Summer Night) (2013) [images from both of which are shown below], we may forget that whether one is used to night-life may be partly a matter of class (as we can tell from hearing and seeing Júlia's family, and also the fact that she is an Erasmus student), and may also be determined by whether Júlia has attended her university studies from home in Catalunya (Catalonia). (In Stockholm, ‘Ella’ (Aura Garrido) lives with her mother [Javier Pereira plays ‘Él’].)

Trailers are linked to for Stockholm (upper two images) and Barcelona nit d'estiu (below)

Earlier, Geni was talked about, as a woman facing a very significant change (in Tots volem), and the film L’adopció (2015) was mentioned, in which the great Nora Navas likewise stars, as an example of where a place acts as a character-study in Catalan cinema : leaving aside how that film riffs on The Christmas Story⁶, Natàlia and her partner Daniel (feelingly played by Francesc Garrido) find themselves called to make all sorts of unenvisaged financial, moral and familial compromises - or else abandon the purpose, i.e. international adoption, that brought them to another country.

Clearly, Júlia does not have the extreme experience of either character played by Navas, but she does need to find her own way of being and of living : done with initially seeking out links from home, it proves to be in a meeting with lifestyles that are Bohemian, not to say 'alternative', that Júlia acclimatizes herself to Berlin, and to its various joys and pains.

By the time of the brief scene with a friend on the bank of the River Spree, Júlia understands both herself, and also the significance of her time in Berlin, much better : we, similarly, find with her that it is at this moment when we understand the reason for the title of the film.

Gropius retained the mysterious ability to see in the ugliness of the modern environment a still-shining crystal symbol of his faith in the future. It may have jeopardised his reason and his art, but that was the German disease.

Stephen Games ~ The last paragraph (adapted) of 'Walter Gropius' crystal visions'
[chapter 7 of Behind the Façade⁴]

Amidst the reviews for Pere Portabella’s Pont de Varsòvia (Warsaw Bridge) (1989), on the IMDb web-page, is written what is apt to cite here for Elena Martín's film :

There are ambitious and elaborate shots, serious attention is paid to colour and palette,
and the camera is put to work, no laziness in this film whatsoever.

The #CamFF synopsis, duration and other details for the film can be found here,
and it screens on Sunday 28 October [in Screen 2 at Festival Central] at 5.45 p.m.

For those who have Catalan, there is a short interview with Elena Martín

End-notes :

¹ We may not consider this matter at all, but, if we know this proposition Une maison est une machine-à-habiter [as sometimes rendered], we think of it as having been made by Le Corbusier :

However, his given name was Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, not Le Corbusier, and – as with many assertions that are so pithy that they seem to declaim themselves as utterances ? – this one of his, both highly celebrated and controversial (please see below), is often quoted on its own, without the context that he gave it in his writings (not even in a full sentence (or paragraph)).

Yet, in searching for la formule si célèbre et si controversée, as Sylvette Denèfle, Sabrina Bresson, Annie Dussuet et al. - the authors of Habiter Le Corbusier - call it, one can curiously find these words cited both as ‘Le Corbusier, Vers une architecture, Arthaud, Paris, 1977, p. 73’ [the text dates to 1923, so this appears to be the edition that they have used], and, in an article by Thibaud Zippinger called ‘Humanisme et urbanisme‘ (on the web-site implications philosophiques), as ‘Le Corbusier, Urbanisme, Paris, Crès, 1925, p. 219’.

² During Camera Catalonia in 2016, one would certainly have missed much of the point and import of Ventura Pons' El virus de la por (The Virus of Fear) (2015) by thinking no more than that it was 'about a leisure centre', but - because it wouldn't happen like that in one - dismissing it (for not plausibly being what it only superficially ever was...).

³ As to 'habitat', the Catalan film Sobre la Marxa (The Creator of the Jungle) (2013) also has some questions to ask.

⁴ Stephen Games ~ Behind the Façade, pp. 134-153. Ariel Books / BBC, London, 1985.

At the beginning of the chapter, before the text that is quoted (p. 136, in edited form), Stephen Games humorously describes (as he does throughout (p. 134)) how, when in New York and when attempting ‘to break through the stubborn resistance of [Wolfe’s] answering service’, he tried to obtain a synopsis of the keynote address that Tom Wolfe was to give to the Royal Institute of British Architects in London [at that year's (1979's) joint RIBA and Society of Industrial Artists and Designers annual conference, entitled Frontiers of Design] :

No, Mr Wolfe was not available. No, he was out of town. No, I could not speak to him direct. Yes, they would leave a message. Yes, they would have him call me.

⁵ Pere Portabella’s Warsaw Bridge (Pont de Varsòvia) (1989), which screened, in 2012, in the first Camera Catalonia at Cambridge Film Festival (@camfilmfest / #CamFF), also mixes the Berlin of its title with Barcelona, and the more reflective part of Futuro Beach (2014) takes place there, after starting in the director's native Brazil.

⁶ Which, as the end-notes to the Camera Catalonia preview in these pages make clear, are also apparent in not using a direct translation for the English title, but invoking Advent by calling it Awaiting.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

You say that, because you’ve been here for a while ~ Rose

This is a review of La Plaga (The Plague) (2013)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2015 (3 to 13 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

25 February

This is a review of La Plaga (The Plague) (2013), seen at a press-screening at The Institute of Contemporary Art (@ICA) in advance of its series
Catalan Avant-Garde

The season opens on 28 February 2015, and, with La Plaga screening on Tuesday 27 October, runs until Friday 18 December, the full programme being (all screenings at 8.50 p.m.) :

Saturday 28 February
Sobre La Marxa (The Creator of the Jungle) (2013) followed by a Q&A with director Jordi Morató

Tuesday 28 April
El Cafè de la Marina (The Marina Café) (2014) followed by a Q&A with director Sílvia Munt

Friday 26 June
Tots volem el millor per a ella (We All Want What's Best for Her) (2013)

Friday 28 August
Born (2014) followed by a Q&A with director Claudio Zulián

Tuesday 27 October
La Plaga (The Plague) (2013)

Friday 18 December
El cant dels Ocells (Birdsong) (2008) followed by a Q&A with director Albert Serra

The physicality of La Plaga (The Plague) (2013) is evident before the first frame is seen, there in the sound of what could – emerging from a blacked-out screen – have been energetic sex, but is another form of exercising, Iurie* wrestling in a practice session at the gym.

In fact, the notion of the tactile, or the substantiveness of matter and of action, could easily be perceived as the theme around which this film is built – and, on the natural-world side, we are (perhaps inevitably) reminded of Terrence Malick, with (in another era) undertones of The Book of Exodus and Old Testament judgement in Days of Heaven (1978) (or even, before that, in Ingmarssönerna (Sons of Ingmar) (1919))…

However, not least as this is in ICA’s series of films, grouped under the heading Catalan Avant-Garde, it is arguable that the film also, and more subtly, meditates on the nature of choices, whether or not our own : some of them do not always prove to leave us where we expected to be, but, in retrospect, we can still very clearly trace them back to where we started**. It is probably universal to experience the feeling that we have striven to get somewhere (or have been propelled towards it), and almost everyone in this film not only says states what his or her story is, but also has to address it in some way.

This state of knowing why we are where we are is by contrast with our casual, everyday decision-making, where we might easily have forgotten our motivation (or the impulse for change) – much as we might have discarded our rough working for a plan, or a calculation. Here, our original aspiration, what it was all for, has not been submerged, so, if asked to account for living in (or not living in) X, we can frequently say straightforwardly that we moved to this house, took this job, because of Y. Here, all the principal figures know why they are where we see them, even if that explanation no longer really works as a sufficient one for why they have to remain, or choose to remain.

On this level, one is reminded more than a little of another Catalan film in this series, which screened twice (both times with Q&As) at Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (@camfilmfest / #CamFF) : Tots volem el millor per a ella (We All Want What’s Best for Her) (2013). That said, director and co-writer Mar Coll comes at this question differently, and thus it is not from a choice that leads us elsewhere, but from other people’s expectations after a serious accident***. Here, Geni (wonderfully played by Nora Navas) is in the position of finding her relations to her life, her family, her job, her friends all in transition, because she desires what people want for her, but there are things about her now that they do not realize – or will not acknowledge : by contrast, La Plaga has several people on the verge of the unforeseen consequences of their actions, and of the plans that lay behind them.

A closer reference than that in Tots volem, although that film’s intense connection with the experience of the linked issues of physical and mental disability assuredly takes it out of the mainstream, is with the even more experimental film Sieniawka (2013), which also screened twice (with Q&As) at Cambridge (in 2013). The connection is largely in the blurring between acting and footage originally taken for pure (sic ?) documentary purposes, because we emerge from the unexplained happenings outside of a psychiatric institution, whose name (taken from its location) gives the film its title, to quiet, often almost painfully drawn-out sequences in it, before the film finally takes us out again :

One would have to be uncertain about calling Sieniawka a documentary, even in its long central part (where – one is told – it was filmed as it is seen), but one is likewise uncertain about what is captured, what re-created, in La Plaga. The distinction that one could perhaps draw is that it is of far less consequence, in the latter case, which is which****. Likewise because the performances / characters (as themselves), in particular, of Maria Ros and Rosemarie Abella are so strong, one feels for what is happening between them when one is in the care of the other, and more poignantly, since, as Rose tells Maria, neither really had wanted to be where necessity has taken them.

The film appears to unfold essentially chronologically, and some developments (though they are not always explained, not even later on) are shown in a sequential manner. However, it often enough floats free of requiring a structure – for those who watch a film such as Amour*** (2012), and do not desire everything to be spelt out, it will pose no obstacles. None, that is, beyond those of relaxing into trusting one’s intuition, and of learning not to concentrate too much on the detail of some screen-time activity or specificity (e.g. wrestling, or dancing) :

For the more that, at such moments, one observes La Plaga in what seem its intended broad terms (and filters out what is extraneous to the scene), the less one may pose oneself a great effort for low yield. That may sound like a quite negative comment, but it is the truest way to watch kindred types of film to this one, such as Sacro GRA (2013) – with, also, its placing of the rural in relation to the urban (and hints of Aesop’s Fables, with that of ‘The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse’ ?) – or Leviathan (2012), or Samsara (2011).

In essence, then, one could regard these films as long narrative poems, rather than sonnets, which one can hear in under a minute (and almost mentally analyse as they are being read). For that reason, they need to be taken in, as a whole, and without anxiety about, or over-attention to, the content (save in relation to its place in the general form) – for some, perhaps a different way of watching, and of being with, a film ?


* Iurie’s name, in a sans-serif typeface, looks as if it begins with a lower-case ‘l’, and he was playing [a version of] himself. (Not that it matters much to an appreciation of the film, but so was everyone.)

** Quite a difficult read, in Samuel Beckettt’s canon from the early 1960s, but maybe one is reminded, in all this, of the schema of his Comment c’est (which Beckettt translated into English from the original French as How It Is) ?

*** I.e. that one can climb back and resume one’s life, and that, if one can, one should. In Amour (2012), Michael Haneke directs Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant in giving us the life after another (less clearcut ?) medical emergency, and, likewise, we have the hard kind of choices that Nora Navas (Geni) is seen making, under Mar Coll’s direction, in Tots volem.

**** The extent to which Sieniawka feels exploitative is one of the topics handled in the Festival review.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Camera Catalonia at Cambridge Film Festival 2014 Part I : Q&A with Mar Coll, director and co-writer of We All Want What's Best For Her (2013)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

15 September

Summary account of a Q&A at Cambridge Film Festival 2014 with Mar Coll, director and co-writer of We All Want What’s Best For Her (Tots volem il millor per a ella) (2013)

* Contains spoilers *

As detail fades already, this is necessarily an impressionistic account of a Q&A that followed the second screening, at Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (#CamFF), of We All Want What’s Best For Her (Tots volem il millor per a ella) (2013) with director and co-writer Mar Coll, and hosted by the curator of Camera Catalonia (for the third year running), Ramon Lamarca, at 1.00 p.m. on Friday 5 September

Next on the blog (the 1,000th posting), a write-up of Q&A2 from @camfilmfest with Mar Coll, director of We All Want What's Best For Her...

The first screening of We All Want What’s Best For Her at Cambridge Film Festival, at 6.15 p.m. on Thursday 4 September, had been a UK premiere and so was also followed by a Q&A*.

Ramon Lamarca and Mar Coll at Festival Central - image courtesy of Tom Catchesides

To judge only by the end of that previous Q&A, this second one maybe gave a little too much weight to the question of Geni’s character (played beautifully by Nora Navas**) being a woman. That said, Ramon has since indicated that, because Birds Eye View is interested in and for exploring issues of gender and society (in relation to film-making), they had been very present in the discussion on Thursday evening – some might therefore be coincidentally interested in the following Tweet :

The reason for asking about Geni’s gender is that the main friend, on whom the film’s handling of the topic of recovery Mar Coll and her co-writer had based the premise, was a man called Eugènio (hence Eugènia, shortened to Geni) – maybe one of those slightly irritating facts that everyone wrongly thinks that they are alone in having heard and then so many people ask about it…

In fact, Mar did not think that it would have made much / any difference for Geni’s character to have stayed as a man (and, unfortunately, the reason that she gave for making the change has not registered mentally). [However, one is – only slightly – reminded of Cambridge Film Festival 2011, and confronting British actor and first-time director Paddy Considine with the possibility of such a reversal in his Tyrannosaur (2011), i.e. the idea of Peter Mullan’s character Joseph switching, say by becoming Josephine, with that of the now-everywhere Olivia Colman, so that we have a battered man (they exist), rather than a battered woman…]

For those who had seen Mar’s film before, this repeat screening was an opportunity to notice that, however ambiguously (and, of course, fully deliberately so) the question of paying the taxi-driver may have been left, we do not see Geni’s wedding ring after when she decided (after a hesitation) to leave it with him as a ransom,: the driver has been mean to her, and could she – on some level – have been acknowledging her husband Dani’s own meanness and have been making a symbolic sacrifice ? (For example, we soon see Dani (Pau Durà) criticizing Geni for stumbling in her speech, not talking in full sentences because she is upset, and how he patronizingly cajoles her, whilst all the time calling her ‘babe’.)

Mar acknowledged the possibility (which another audience member thought might even have been at the subconscious level of a Freudian slip) that parting with the ring is symbolic : as expected in the best of film-making, Mar wants the viewer to conclude what he or she thinks happened before / is happening on screen. (So when, after the Q&A, it was briefly mentioned that maybe Geni senses that Dani is attracted to Geni’s sister Raquel (Àgata Roca***), and perhaps has even been having an affair with her, Mar just agreed about the attraction, and left the rest as a possibility**** (although it is consistent with Dani’s lack of arousal when Geni, feeling close to him, tries to initiate sex on her return home, if he had been with Raquel earlier.))

Portrait of Mar Coll by, and image courtesy of, Tom Catchesides (@TomCatchesides)

As to future projects, Mar tempted us with mention of an exploration that she is doing with a group of film students, working on an adaptation of a Pinter play, and which your correspondent established to be Betrayal. When Mar asked, many of us knew the play, even the Jeremy Irons / Ben Kingsley / Patricia Hodge film (which Mar indicated that she was less keen on), so that sounds something to look forward to…

To come (when time / energies permit) : transcript / write-up of a interview that Mar Coll kindly gave about the film and its main character…

In the meantime, this is a link to a pre-Festival review (written with the kind assistance of Ramon, the producers of the film, and the Festival), which this account of the Q&A, and, in due course, the interview are intended to amplify (as the review had consciously been of a non-spoilery nature)


* At which Tom Catchesides’ (@TomCatchesides’) striking double portrait of Mar and Ramon was taken, when Ramon interviewed Mar (together with Birds Eye View) :

** Whom we had seen before, in the Catalan strand at the Festival in 2012, as the mother in Black Bread (Pa negre) (2010).

*** Whom we also saw during the Catalan strand two years ago, in V.O.S. (2009), and also this year in Camera Catalonia, in the same director’s (Cesc Gay’s) earlier Fiction (Ficció) (2006), which screened at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday 6 September – review to come...

**** At Enric’s – Geni and Raquel’s father’s – lunch-table, we seem to gather that Dani and Raquel knew / shared with each other at university, which strengthens the parallel drawn in the review with that wonderful predecessor Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).

Mar was pleased with that link, and also with having spotted the design influence of Allen’s earlier, neglected drama Interiors (1978) (for making which he had to endure such criticism, even abuse, because it was a drama, not comedy :

A style of film to which, after Match Point (2005) and Cassandra’s Dream (2007) (a review that, implausibly, has more than 10,000 page-views on the blog…), he has only fully returned to great acclaim, in Blue Jasmine (2013).)

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Planning Cambridge Film Festival 2014 : #CamFF - Work in Progress

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

24 August

Thursday 28 August

6.00 Peter Sellers : The Early Shorts (1957) : Emmanuel (90 mins) - Catch one film before...

7.00 The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (Opening Film) : Screen 1 (93 mins)

10.00 Magic in the Moonlight (Opening Film) : Screen 1 (97 mins)

Friday 29 August

12.30 Night Moves : Screen 1 (90 mins)

4.00 The White City (2014) : Screen 2 (running time not advised) If not on Sunday at 1.30...

6.00 Children of No Importance (Lamprecht) : Emmanuel (95 mins)

9.15 Cherry Tobacco : Screen 3 (97 mins)

11.00 House of Wax (Retro 3-D) : Screen 2 (86 mins)
or - when announced
11.00 TBC : Screen 3 (?? mins)

Saturday 30 August

11.00 Peter Sellers : The Early Shorts (1957) : Screen 3 (90 mins) - To catch the others...

1.30 Life of Crime (2013) : Screen 3 (94 mins)

4.00 I Believe in Unicorns (2014) : Screen 3 (80 mins)

6.45 Free Range / Ballad on Approving of the World (2013) : Screen 2 (104 mins) But if it drags...

7.30 Ida (2013) : Screen 1 (80 mins)

10.00 In Order of Disappearance : Screen 1 (116 mins)
or - decide on the night
10.30 Inferno (Retro 3-D) : Screen 2 (83 mins)
or - decide on the night
10.15 TBC: SCreen 3 (?? mins)

Sunday 31 August

1.30 The White City (2014) : Screen 1 (running time not advised)

4.00 Oh Boy (2013) (German) : Emmanuel (88 mins)

6.30 Home from Home (2013) (German) : Screen 1 (225 mins) But if it falters...

8.45 War Story (2013) : Screen 2 (90 mins)

Monday 1 September

1.30 A Most Wanted Man (2014) : Screen 1 (121 mins)

4.00 Four Corners (2014) : Screen 1 (114 mins)
or - decide on the day
4.00 In Order of Disappearance (2014) : Screen 2 (116 mins)

6.30 Under Milk Wood (1971) (Dylan Thomas 100) : Screen 1 (88 mins) If not on Tuesday at 1.00...

8.30 Finding Fela (2014) : St Philip's Church (119 mins)
or - decide on the day
9.00 Before I go to Sleep (2014) : Screen 1 (92 mins)
or - decide on the day
10.00 Love is All : 100 Years of Love and Courtship (2014) : Screen 3 (70 mins)

Tuesday 2 September

11.00 Under Milk Wood (1971) (Dylan Thomas 100) : Screen 1 (88 mins) If not on Monday at 6.30...

1.00 M : Screen 1 (1931) (117 mins)

3.30 Last Call (2013) : Screen 2 (91 mins)

6.00 How I Came to Hate Maths (2013) : Emmanuel (110 mins)

8.30 Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy (2013) : Emmanuel (127 mins)

Wednesday 3 September

1.30 Iranian (2014) : Screen 1 (105 mins)

4.00 Eastern Boys (2013) : Screen 1 (128 mins)

6.30 Stations of the Cross (2014) (German) : Screen 2 (104 mins)

9.00 Tasting Menu (2013) : Screen 2 (85 mins)

11.00 Short Fusion : Life Lessons : Screen 2 (79 mins)

Thursday 4 September

11.00 Night will Fall (2014) : Screen 1 (75 mins)

1.30 Le Jour se Lève (Daybreak) (1939) : Screen 1 (93 mins)

4.00 German Short Films (German) : Screen 1 (~70 mins) (all 2013) Will have to miss the end to get to...

6.00 Still the Enemy Within (2014) : St Philip's Church (112 mins)

8.30 Under the Lantern (1928) (Lamprecht) : St Philip's Church (129 mins)
Stay for this - or head to Festival Central for...
9.00 We Are Many (2014) : Screen 1 (104 mins)

Friday 5 September

1.00 We All Want What's Best for Her (Tots volem el millor per a ella) (2013) (Camera Catalonia) : Screen 1 (105 mins)

4.00 People on Sunday (Lamprecht) : Emmanuel (73 mins)

5.00 Energized : Screen 1 (91 mins)

8.30 Hosting Q&A for A Curious Life (no date advised) : St Philip's Church (78 mins)

10.30 The Mad Magician (Retro 3-D) : Screen 2 (72) If possibly back in time...

Saturday 6 September

1.00 Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Lamprecht) : Screen 3 (74 mins)

2.30 Fiction (Ficció) (Camera Catalonia) : Screen 3 (107 mins)

5.00 Amour Fou : Screen 1 (96 mins)

7.30 Tony Benn : Will and Testament : Screen 1 (running-time not advised)
Not likely to finish in time for...
9.00 West (Lagerfeuer) (German) : Screen 2 (102 mins)

Sunday 7 September

1.00 Othello (Otel.lo) (Camera Catalonia) : Screen 2 (69 mins)

4.00 A Poem in Exile (Camera Catalonia) : Emmanuel (77 mins)

5.30 Set Fire to the Stars (Dylan Thomas 100) : Screen 1 (90 mins)

8.00 Surprise Film : Screen 1 (?? mins)

All of the above translates here into what was actually seen / missed and done...

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Catalan strand 2014 : Parts I and II

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2014 (28 August to 7 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

19 August (updated 20 August, 4 September)

The author of What is Catalan cinema ?, otherwise known as @THEAGENTAPSLEY (reviewer of films, amongst other things), is now at liberty to share four links to reviews of films in the Catalan strand of this year's Cambridge Film Festival (@CamFilmFest), or #CamFF 2014 - please find below !

But, if you require less detail, read these paragraphs, for there is a quiet, gentle theme that meanders through all of these films, in their different ways :

* A woman who nearly died in a road-traffic accident last year (We All Want What's Best For Her (Tots volem el millor per a ella)

* Some amateur actors who have been invited to act together the main roles of Othello in a film (Otel.lo)

* A restaurant on which unrelated people converge for what is – for reasons not truly given – its last evening (Tasting Menu (Menú degustació)), and

* A teenage male devotes his energies to chess, but does his behaviour indicate that he needs a psychological intervention - and can one reach him through chess... ? (Son of Cain (Fill de Caín))

Respectively, she is married, they are a couple, there are at least three couples, and, lastly, we have 'a nuclear family', but the theme is only incidental to the couples, which is how the past informs where we are – and, more importantly, what we expect from the present.

For good or ill, the connections, decisions, mistakes and suspicions of the past come into view, or are brought there, and shape the immediate connections, decisions, mistakes and suspicions…

Othello (Otel.lo) (2012)

Showing as follows :

Only one screening presently scheduled (please see below), at 1.00 p.m. (Screen 2) on Sunday 7 September

Tasting Menu (Menú degustació) (2013)

Showing as follows :

On Wednesday 3 September only at Festival Central (please see next paragraph) and for general admission only at 9.00 p.m. (Screen 2), because the screening at 11.00 a.m. (Screen 3) that day is a Big Scream screening* - a sold-out screening on the night

Also screening (as are some other Festival films) at Abbeygate Cinema, 4 Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1NZ ( : Tuesday 2 September at 6.45 p.m.

We All Want What's Best For Her (Tots volem el millor per a ella) (2013)

Showing as follows :

On Thursday 4 September at 6.15 p.m. (Screen 1), and on Friday 5 September at 1.00 p.m. (Screen 1)

Son of Cain (Fill de Caín) (2013)

Showing as follows :

On Friday 5 September at 7.50 p.m. (Screen 2)

Two more reviews to come... However, at least one (that of Fiction (Ficcion)) will not be until after the screening - on Saturday 6 September at 2.30 p.m. (Screen 3) - so you might like to read what TAKE ONE's (the Festival's in-house publication's) Rebecca Naughten has to say

Notes on screenings

NB The allocation of films between the three screens at Festival Central can always change (as can, if one is coming from a distance for a specific film, the programme as a whole) : if the audience for a film scheduled for Screen 3 (the smallest screen, around half the capacity of the largest, Screen 1) proves greater than expected, it may end up being swapped, so there could be a change in the exact time of the screening, too

In the programme (for which that is a link to the where the PDF file can be downloaded - printed copies are available at Festival Central and all good local outlets), some slots are also marked 'TBC', and popular screenings may be repeated : announcements are on Cambridge Film Festival 2014's (@camfilmfest's) web-site (please see link, above), as they are of alterations to the programme or the allocation between screens


* The Arts Picturehouse's club exclusively for parents / carers accompanied by babies under one year old.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)