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Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:33 am
by arsaib4
ROADS TO KOKTEBEL (2003)

Its not surprising to learn that Roads to Koktebel, the debut feature of two young Russian filmmakers, Boris Khlebnikov and Alexei Popogrebsky, has played at numerous film festivals around the world since its premiere a couple of year ago, winning many awards during its run. While the film isnt remarkable in any way, its straight-forward, understated approach is quite appealing. But Im sure a few people have overstated their case after discovering some correlation between the bleak landscapes found in Roads to Koktebel and the ones omnipresent in the works of Tarkovsky and Sokurov.

The film deals with a father (Igor Csernyevics) and his precocious 11-year-old son (Gleb Puskepalis) trying to reach a town called Koktebel, which is in Crimea near the Black sea. We gradually discover that theyve started from Moscow on foot because of necessity, and need to see the boys aunt once they reach their destination. Along the way, they come across individuals usually found in movie road trips: a good-hearted station master, a duplicitous old man, a lonely nurse etc. But interestingly enough, the father, who initially came across as a responsible individual, slowly succumbs to booze (his possible problem before the trip started), and gets smitten with a woman, forcing the boy to make his own decisions.

Along with being a well-acted and beautifully shot effort, Roads to Koktebel is also expertly crafted and sustained tonally, something not usually seen in debut features. There isnt much dialogue; most of the action is interpreted from gestures and expressions. A couple of characters early on in the film couldve been employed more meaningfully, including a teenage girl, however, the filmmakers do spend as much time as possible with their protagonists, allowing us to grasp their developing relationship. The metaphysical contortions in the narrative are extraneous, but the film makes up for them during the final sequence which is fierce and brazenly alive.
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*ROADS TO KOKTEBEL was released on DVD in August by Film Movement.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:32 pm
by SenileFelines
Just came back from seeing L'Enfant. I'd seen the trailers and I thought to myself before the movie started, how this movie could have gotten the Palm d'Or. It doesn't look like anything special. Well, I was wrong. It was a pretty great movie. The direction by the Dardenne brothers are perfect for the flow and realism of the story. It's almost like a Dogme film. It's a great movie, but I still prefer Haneke's Cach to this. Both great movies though.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 2:38 am
by wpqx
Stay (2005) - Marc Forster

I will make a proper thread about it, but damn this movie takes some figuring out.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:45 pm
by wpqx
Distant Thunder (1973) - Satyajit Ray

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 5:00 pm
by trevor826
Good review wpqx but doesn't it belong on the "Classics" board?

Cheers Trev.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2005 7:34 pm
by wpqx
Thought about that, didn't know how much I'd write, but hey I'm a mod it can be moved.

I just watch Kaneto Shindo's The Island (1961). Basically it's what Robert Flaherty would have done if he was Japanese. All about a family living in a meager island. The story is told with no dialogue at all, and barely any sound. It's a film of scenic beauty, but of course there is some drama to be had. The film is a study in the power of images and visual storytelling.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:19 pm
by SenileFelines
I saw Woody Allen's Match Point today. I went into it not knowing anything about the movie. I hadn't even seen any trailers. All I knew was the cast and the director. I disliked Melinda and Melinda, so I wasn't expecting much for this one, but it turned out to be really good. Great work from Allen, and the cast. It was very different from his other works. The movie didn't start out too well, but it kept improving, and by the end it was great.

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:26 am
by hengcs

Quote arsaib4,"ROADS TO KOKTEBEL (2003) ..."

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 11:29 am
by hengcs
Quote SenileFelines,"Just came back from seeing L'Enfant. I'd seen the trailers and I thought to myself before the movie started, how this movie could have gotten the Palm d'Or. It doesn't look like anything special. Well, I was wrong. It was a pretty great movie. The direction by the Dardenne brothers are perfect for the flow and realism of the story. It's almost like a Dogme film. It's a great movie, but I still prefer Haneke's Cach to this. Both great movies though."

wow ... i want to watch these 2 films ... unfortunately, they are not screened here ...

do you care to write a review on these 2 films (on a new thread) because I guess there will be more to add in due time?

Re: The Last Film Seen

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:08 pm
by SenileFelines
I'd love to be able to write reviews, but I just don't have the talent to do so. I can only write 1 or 2 sentences, and that wouldn't be worth starting a thread for.