Abandoned House is about a group of young people in Italy who exchange stories. The protagonist Maria listens to young men and women who report on sexual abuse and warped pleasure and she ... See full summary »

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Pier-Nicola Bruno
Maria D'Amato
Dag Madsen
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Abandoned House is about a group of young people in Italy who exchange stories. The protagonist Maria listens to young men and women who report on sexual abuse and warped pleasure and she seems to feel the need to manipulate their vulnerability and rediscover her own lost love. Pictures of Tuscany and the sensual light within which the young naked figures in the film bathe serve to temper the darker aspects of the film with a tangible lyricism. In the end, the scars of abuse give way to the tenderness of the visual language itself. As more often in the work of James Herbert, much room is left for naked and half-naked, talking and languidly love-making youths in an opulent villa in an idyllic Italy, and for a play between these bodies, the objects and sunlight be it tempered or not. Herbert himself uses the term 'landscape/bodyscape'. Abandoned House is however different from earlier work in the use of digital photography, as a result of which different aesthetic decisions were made. ... Written by EH

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26 January 2007 (Netherlands)  »

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Worst film of the year
12 January 2008 | by (Utrecht, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie at the Rotterdam Film Festival early 2007. The first 5 minutes or so looked promising, but I quickly got bored, and finally I started resenting the film, the actors and most of all the director.

The movie consists of long drawn-out scenes of young, usually naked, people talking about their lives. The cinematography is OK. The scenery is quite gorgeous (hey ... it is Tuscany !). But watching young people you do not care about one bit talk endlessly and seemingly in circles quickly becomes boring and after that upsetting. Whether they are naked or not. In the end I felt like shouting at them to go get a job, go to college, get married, join the army, anything, but DO something.

In addition, I felt vaguely troubled by the pointless nudity of the young actors. The director blurted out before the movie started that he was "fascinated by the nude", and had found a "trusting community" where he could film what he wanted. It made me feel a bit ... dirty even watching it.

Easily the worst film I saw all year.


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