Denis revisits Africa, this time exploring a place rife with civil and racial conflict. A white French family outlawed in its home and attempting to save its coffee plantation connects with... See full summary »
Isaach De Bankolé
Still Walking is a family drama about grown children visiting their elderly parents, which unfolds over one summer day. The aging parents have lived in the family home for decades. Their ... See full summary »
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
A woman's life is derailed en route to a potentially lucrative summer job. When her car breaks down, and her dog is taken to the pound, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes ... See full summary »
Masterfully controlled Pinter-like relationship study
It is a commendation of this film that I simply didn't know what the broad story was after an hour - and still didn't by the end to which I had felt, nonetheless, compelled to watch. Claire Denis' film is called 35 Shots of Rum in reference to a ritual drink binge. The actual occasion for the 35 shots is never made explicit, and so it is with the causal scaffold of the story. As in Pinter, we are invited to experience the relationship-in-itself between characters, devoid of a context which might qualify it. My feeling was that, unlike Pinter, this was actually to get us to extrapolate our own idea of what their relationships consist in.
There are hints which one can use as a prop but essentially we are left with a strange - and fantastically controlled (rather like Michael Haneke's contemporaneous The White Ribbon) coil of narrative that juxtaposes happiness with tumescent tension. The lack of narrative can be frustrating but it is actually a more eloquent representative of the naturally complex and sometimes contradictory humanity that constitutes these characters (who are all conspicuously handsome, by the way!). Fine film-making at the very limit of convention. 6/10
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