The setting is Vienna. A young American woman is brought to a hospital after overdosing on pills, apparently in a suicide attempt. A police detective suspects foul play on the part of her ... See full summary »
Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband's estate, a contract which extends ... See full summary »
In the final sequence showing the girls descending the steps to the fountains, the picture has been flipped to maintain their movement from left to right. In actuality they are descending from right to left. See more »
We watched this film during my Film History and Theory class this past Thursday and aside from shoddy presentation (the projector was absolutely horrible and displayed the film too dark), I have to say that I enjoyed this quite a bit. At first, I almost dismissed it as artsy, pretentious French cinema due to the very slow pace and methodical direction but it had this eerie quality to it that kept my eyes glued to the screen, anticipating what was yet to come. The story is told in a very abstract way and the story is never really laid out for you in a conventional manner. In truth, it is a very simple tale but told in an imaginative way. There was great imagery and the use of sound to create a mysterious environment was very well done. At times it reminded me of the films of David Lynch, (especially Lost Highway and Mulholland Dr.) and Gaspar Noe (Irreversible), which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. The acting by the principals is very good, considering that they consisted mainly of very young girls. The director managed to capture natural performances from all of them and having worked with children on films in the past, I have to applaud her efforts on this end as I know how difficult it can be to get them to give you the results you're looking for. From a negative stance, the film runs just a bit too long and the pacing could've been trimmed a little to make it run a bit faster and leaner. There were stretches where the film felt like it was never going to end. In the end, I would definitely recommend this to those who appreciate art-house cinema as this caters directly to them. This was an impressive debut for Ms. Hadzihalilovic and I am definitely curious to see what she comes up with next.
RATING: ***1/2 out of *****.
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