6.3/10
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32 user 151 critic

Amer (2009)

Not Rated | | Horror, Thriller | 3 March 2010 (France)
As a young girl Ana was a rebellious child. She was also tormented by images of death and a shadowy, ominous figure in black. Now an adult, she is once again tormented by shadowy, other-worldly forms.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cassandra Forêt ...
Ana enfant
...
Ana adolescente (as Charlotte Eugène Guibbaud)
...
...
La mère (as Bianca Maria D'Amato)
Harry Cleven ...
Le taximan
Jean-Michel Vovk ...
Le père
Bernard Marbaix ...
La grand-père mort
Thomas Bonzani ...
Nono, l'adolescent
François Cognard ...
La silhouette
Delphine Brual ...
Graziella
Jean Secq ...
L'épicier
Béatrice Butler ...
L'épicière
Charles Forzani ...
L'agriculteur / L'homme à la voiture rouge
Benjamin Guyot ...
Éboueur
Yves Fostier ...
Ëboueur
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Storyline

Three key moments, all of them sensual, define Ana's life. Her carnal search sways between reality and colored fantasies becoming more and more oppressive. A black laced hand prevents her from screaming. The wind lifts her dress and caresses her thighs. A razor blade brushes her skin, where will this chaotic and carnivorous journey leave her? Written by Coach14

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Horror | Thriller

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

3 March 2010 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Amer  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot over a period of 39 days. See more »

Connections

References Suspiria (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Furore
Written by Adriano Celentano, Ezio Leoni, Piero Vivarelli
Published by Edizioni Musicali E.A.R. Sas
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User Reviews

 
Part giallo homage, part avant-garde mood piece
2 March 2011 | by See all my reviews

Amer is an example of pure cinema if ever there was one. It's a movie with extremely little plot and very minimal dialogue. While on one level it's a homage to the Italian giallo film, it's at least equally an avant-garde experimental piece. If you could imagine a collision between Suspiria, A Lizard In A Woman's Skin and Meshes of the Afternoon you wouldn't be too far off the mark. It's similarity to the latter Maya Deren film is where it might be problematic to those who think they are in for a true homage to the giallo, as this is a movie that is more of a mood piece than anything else. Admittedly it's a pretty dark mood but nevertheless this is first and foremost an experimental work. Your tolerance level for narrative-free avant-garde cinema will be the deciding factor in whether you like this or not.

It's about a girl called Ana. And it's divided into three sections: childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The first part is the most impressive; it's a deeply creepy segment about the child at a highly traumatic moment in her life, involving her dead grandfather and her witnessing her parents having sex. It's full of surreal nightmare imagery that recalls some shots directly lifted from Suspiria, with the requisite intense colours – greens, blues, reds – with a creepy soundtrack of sighs that also recalls that famous old film. The second part loses the momentum a bit; it switches to a sunny outdoor locale and has the teenage Ana accompany her mother in a trip to the local town, where she seems to experience some sexual awakenings. The final part has Ana arriving at the run down family home again; this part incorporates some of the fetishistic giallo motifs that you might expect.

Amer is a highly stylised film. The cinematography is constantly inventive and artistic. There is a preponderance of close ups; in particular eyes and skin. The compositions are beautiful and the use of widescreen is excellent. When you see a film like this it does make you shake your head sadly when a film such as The King's Speech is nominated for best cinematography at the Oscars ceremony. As fine a film as it is the cinematography in that film, and most winners of this category in the Academy Awards, is solid yet so safe and unremarkable. This little film from Europe wins hands down against any contender from this year's Oscars in that category. But films like Amer are never nominated for Academy Awards and never will be. Rant over.

The film features a purely retro music soundtrack from the likes of Bruno Nicolai, Ennio Morricone and Stelvio Cipriani; the opening piece being from the Sergio Martino giallo film The Case of the Scorpion's Tail. And I suppose that opening would make you think this film is going to be a straight homage but as I have said it really isn't. Amer is most certainly not a film for everyone it has to be admitted but if you like gialli and avant-garde cinema then I think you would do well to at least give it a try.


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