It is the 70s and a group of very different individuals live together as a community. One of the members sister, Elisabeth needs a new place to stay with her children after having had ...
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Sixteen-year-old Lilja and her only friend, the young boy Volodja, live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej, who is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.
Poetic, experimental and different, Container is described by Lukas Moodysson as "a black and white silent movie with sound" and with the following words; "A woman in a man's body. A man in... See full summary »
While on a trip to Thailand, a successful American businessman tries to radically change his life. Back in New York, his wife and daughter find their relationship with their live-in Filipino maid changing around them. At the same time, in the Philippines, the maid's family struggles to deal with her absence.
Gael García Bernal,
Roro, a foreign worker in Swedish parks, loves his girlfriend but is about to marry another girl to prevent her from being sent back to Lebanon. Roros best friend, Måns, has his own ... See full summary »
Reine quits his job because he's tired of his boss. He takes a job at the Kumla Prison in hope that he can set up a play acted by the prisoners, who are not very interested. But they ... See full summary »
Daniel Lind Lagerlöf
It is the 70s and a group of very different individuals live together as a community. One of the members sister, Elisabeth needs a new place to stay with her children after having had enough of her alcoholist and abusive husband. Elisabeth is neither a socialist, feminist or into the green movement but ends up loving living in the community where they all learn from eachother. The film makes a little fun of people with strong ideals and "square" minds whether they be vegans, communists or people who absolutely disgust vegans or socialists, in the end the message of the film is that people can grow and gain from bonding with eachother. It also shows how we need to shape up a little for this to work, either through working with own behaviour that affects other people badly (like alcoholism or abuse) or the need to set up own boundaries and not let other people walk all over oneself. Written by
one house; one revolutionary; two open straight marriages; three gay people (maybe four); three children; two carnivores and eight vegetarians; there's only one way they're going to make it... together
Together is a good film. It has no plot to speak of, but hey plots are overrated anyway, especially as most of them have so many holes it's impossible to make sense; Together bypasses this by not having one. But instead what we have is a beautifully observed and a very subtle intelligent comedy. Together (initially ironic) follows the discordant inhabitants of a hippie commune in the mid-seventies. It begins with them all literally jumping for joy at the news of Franco's death: so yeah they have their beliefs, where much of the comedy is derived coming as we do from an apathetic cynical new-millennium perspective. Well I laughed: an example; one of the children is called Tet after the Tet offensive during Vietnam!!. And there's the free love, the radical politics, and the ostracisation towards them by their neighbours. All the clichés, but clichés do happen: and as with Show Me Love the writer/director Lukas Moodysson manages to somehow freshen and make them no longer clichéd at all: a very good skill he has.
Coming from the position of being a very big fan of Lukas' first and better film Show Me Love/ Fucking Åmål it's easy to see the similarities between the two. The similarities are what make Together less impressive, that and the story is less interesting: it's not dull but there are just too many characters, it's hard to connect with any one of them. I've seen Show Me Love perhaps too many times, what keeps me coming back again and again is that I really connect with and love the main characters, it's like they are versions of who I once was. Additionally, there are essentially only two of them for Lukas to focus on, whereas with Together there are at least ten. I don't think it's the age thing either as I'm closer to those in Together than Show Me Love (depressingly). There are just too many characters and he can't focus on them all, the film is essentially a snapshot of their lives over the space of a turbulent few weeks. Similar to Show Me Love, only with the same duration: Together needed to be longer. However at the close it does all come together, you begin to feel for the characters. You come to understand and witness some growth in them: they lose some of their radicalism and begin to actually like each other becoming more synergistic as the staunchly dogmatic members leave for more idealistic communes or the Baader Meinhof! I think the point is that the remaining characters may be similar to me, I may have found a connection only there is no time to show this as they only get a few moments of focus each.
There are also some annoying directorial techniques (the same ones as in Show Me Love) like the fast-zoom to close-up where sometimes a static shot would have been better, I hoped he'd learnt to use it sparingly but obviously he loves it too much to ever part. But this is a tiny point, the biggest drawback is that I can see all the characters from Show Me Love transposed onto this film; different ages, different settings but essentially the same: it's like we're watching the parents of the kids in his earlier film. It's not enough to annoy me, but it does detract, it's what makes this film only a nine rather than the definite ten that Show Me Love deserves. Finally, I hope Lukas will make a film better than Show Me Love so he'll not have it like a millstone, but first he has to find different voices for his characters. I hope everything he does will not be compared to that film, but it is a very good film indeed. However, Together, as it stands, is just too similar not to compare it with his earlier film.
After seeing Together I left the cinema smiling and, if nothing else, it managed to make me sing ABBA's SOS all the way home, and I hate ABBA, being a man and all! And I'm still deciding about seeing it again, so it is a good film and I did enjoy it, the difference being that I wanted to see Show Me Love again immediately and then over and over and over: and do. Maybe after a second viewing I'll feel something more for the characters? I'll let you know!
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