Tuesday, August 22, 2006

edinburgh film festival 8/20

Peter Musevski, Natasa Burger, Polona Juh, Tomi Janezic, Andraz Polic, Ana Kerin, Taja Strle


See it with someone you love ... and maybe even trust.

Married couple Peter and Katerina are drifting apart: while in Brussels on business, he visits a hooker, and returning home, half-heartedly pursues a liaison with a former classmate; meanwhile, his wife, a graphic designer, conducts a brief fling with a poet, whose book of verse - titled, ironically, Closeness - she's designing. But only one of them will pay the price...
Co-written by Romanian director Sinisa Dragin (whose Every Day God Kisses Us on the Mouth played EIFF in 2002), this is an uncomfortably clear-eyed look at marital discord and sexual politics, reminiscent in its power, and unflinching honesty, of Bergman's great Scenes from a Marriage. Faultlessly acted by its ensemble cast, and stylishly directed, it's a film for adults, unafraid to confront the issues it raises.


Birgit Grosskopf / Germany / 2006 / 82 min

Irina Potapenko, Henriette Müller, Desirée Jaeger, Amina Schichterich


You know, that title might just be ironic...

The 'princesses' of the title are a gang of four young women, living in the public housing slums of a dismal West German suburb: Katharina, recently relocated from Russia; Yvonne, who's about to go to prison for almost beating another girl to death; perverse, sexually aggressive Jenny; and Mandy, a creepily precocious 11-year-old. It's the dead space between Christmas and New Year's Eve, and the girls are trying to make the most of Yvonne's last day of freedom: the following morning, she must report to jail. But Yvonne, unpredictable to the last, has other plans... Depicting its dead-end setting with discomfiting fidelity, lit by flashes of sudden, surreal invention (like the sound of fireworks, constantly exploding from the tenement balconies), this is a powerful, harrowing drama about friendship, loyalty and betrayal.

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