The film dramatizes November 11, 1919- a crucial date in the battle for Latvian independence. A year after the end of the official hostilities of WWI, a renegade German general and troops ... See full summary »
It's the last day of school. Christian (19) and his younger sister Sofie are on their way to a party together with their friends. They've got to finish studying for their finals, take the ... See full summary »
A film that depicts the mentality of the inhabitants of a small village on the Baltic coast. Three guys are trying to fulfill their life's by drinking beer, killing time and picking up ... See full summary »
America a tragic story told in a burlesque and ironic way, within a love triangle. Liza, a beautiful young Russian woman, is married to Victor, a small-time crook who lives on scheming and ... See full summary »
João Nuno Pinto
Another iconic Latvian film, known to be one of the best movies of director Janis Streics. When old auntie Mirta succeeds in a lottery and wins a car, which she cannot use herself, ... See full summary »
A national film where joy crosses with sorrow and love enhances the wish to live. It is the dawn of the XX century -a promising time for Latvian people. The national self-esteem of the ... See full summary »
The 30-year war still goes on. Riga headmasters have decided to submit themselves to mercy of Polish-Lithuanian Duke. Rigas' defenders disagree strongly and steal the ceremonial Key of Riga... See full summary »
Janu Nakts (St. John's Night) is a traditional Latvian celebration during which family and friends gather to build bonfires, barbecue, drink and generally have a good time. According to legend, lovers and those who would like to fall in love, can search the woods for the "magic fern" on this night. This magic fern serves as the focus and pivotal point of the six stories in "Midsummer Madness" It is also a metaphor for the film's underlying theme - finding love. "MIDSUMMER MADNESS " is reflected in the recurring element of the magic fern, a metaphor (both in the film and in real life) for love. The question posed by the film is: can a search for love ever be successful? Each story deals with this question. An answer is provided at the film's conclusion in a humorous and unforgettable way: we see the legendary fern, glowing magically in a meadow. It exists after all! Then a cow ambles along and eats it. The deeper message, which is not obvious to the audience, is therefore: Yes, a ... Written by
Joe W. Wrist
Alexander Hahn's "Midsummer Madness" reminded me a bit of Jim Jarmusch's "Mystery Train", with a bunch of people independently doing similar things. In this case the story takes place in Latvia during the celebration of summer solstice, or Jāņi in Latvian. Some of the characters are Latvian citizens, some are travelers, but this particular day holds some surprising experiences for everyone.
The movie is half focus on the characters' quirks and mishaps, half look at the Latvian countryside. When I went to Latvia I pretty much stayed in Riga, but the rest of the country looks beautiful. In one scene, the taxi driver tells the visitor that Latvian male names end in S (such as Gundars Āboliņ). Thanks to Wikipedia I've seen that when male names from other languages get written in Latvian, they add S on the end.
The movie itself is OK, not great. The best part is the focus on the relationships between the characters. We get to hear Latvian, English, French and Russian spoken. The cast includes Orlando Wells (Susannah York's son), Maria de Medeiros (Butch's wife in "Pulp Fiction") and Dominique Pinon (who always appears in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's movies). What a mixture for a celebration in the former Soviet republic. If I ever go back there - along with Estonia and Lithuania - I'll make sure to go to the countryside. Dievs, svētī Latviju!
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