7 items from 2013
Toward the end of the potent In the Name of by Polish director Malgoska Szumowska (Elles, 33 Scenes From Life), about a country priest’s desperate efforts to repress the love that dare not speak its name, a glorious procession snakes through an empty meadow. All the residents of a nearby isolated provincial community participate, many holding icons in their hands or tall embroidered banners aloft, the pageantry proudly announcing the devout Catholicism that is their passion. Accompanied by what sounds like mellow English folk music, the lengthy sequence is more a holy entr’acte than a chunk of in-progress narrative. In […] »
- Howard Feinstein
A conflicted cleric gets stranded at a rural retreat for teenage tearaways in a film infused with stifled longing
This quiet provocation from the Polish arm of Lars von Trier's Zentropa Entertainments falls into that conflicted-cleric subgenre encompassing everything from The Thorn Birds to Antonia Bird's Priest. The tightening dog collar here belongs to Adam (Andrzej Chyra), who – after several muttered-about transfers – has been stranded at a rural retreat for teenage tearaways, where he finds regular woodland runs can't burn off a growing sense of isolation. Co-writer/ director Malgorzata Szumowska, improving upon 2011's Elles, downplays the conflicts in a scenario apparently ripe for torrid melodrama, allowing the story and characters to reveal themselves at their own pace. The gotcha-like ending may prove debatable, but Szumowska refuses to judge her protagonist, instead placing him within a persuasive atmosphere of stifled longing: every lingering sunbeam serves as an encouragement to »
- Mike McCahill
★★★☆☆ Catholicism and homosexuality is hardly a taboo partnership in modern Western cinema, but it is subject matter that retains the potential to be incendiary if mishandled. Thankfully, director Malgorzata Szumowska approaches the topic with apposite sensitivity in new film In the Name Of (2013), in UK cinemas this week through Peccadillo Pictures. Andrzej Chyra takes centre stage as a priest desperately trying to reconcile his faith and sexuality, whilst also acting as shepherd to a troubled flock. Yet, though the themes and performances combine to great effect, it remains hampered by a rough-edged, desultory narrative.
It's a dry, hot summer in a Polish backwater and Father Adam (Chyra) is the likeable head of a reformatory hostel for delinquent teenagers, along with his stern colleague Michal (Lukasz Simlat). Working days are spent on manual labour whilst the pair try to impart a sense of discipline and camaraderie through evening football matches. A »
- CineVue UK
Małgowśka Szumowska’s In the Name Of made its debut out in Berlin at the start of the year, walking away from the festival with two awards to its name.
Of those two awards was the prestigious Teddy Award, given to a film which looks at Lgbt topics, with past winners including Ira Sachs’ acclaimed Keep the Lights On last year, Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right, and many more.
Having spent the past few months on the festival circuit since its bow at the Berlinale, the film will soon be heading into UK cinemas at the end of the month, and we have the UK quad poster to exclusively share.
Directed by auteur Malgoska Szumowska (Elles) and winner of this 2013′s Teddy Award at the Berlin Film Festival, In The Name Of is a gripping and controversial look at homosexuality in the church, steeped in religious symbolism »
- Kenji Lloyd
The last time we saw Juliette Binoche on screen, she was frantically grinding away on Robert Pattinson's crotch in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis. Before that was prostitution tale Elles – in which the fearless 49-year-old French star confronted us with graphic masturbation – and she then took on Strindberg's Miss Julie at London's Barbican. Just a typical year in the career of the one who, back home, they call "La Binoche". "As an actor, you go into dangerous places," she shrugs. "And you're showing things that not always everybody wants to see or feel." »
★★☆☆☆ Malgoska Szumowska's In the Name Of (W imie, 2013) is first out the blocks in the race for this year's Golden Bear prize. An uneven, yet innovative examination of love through the constraints of the Catholic church, Szumowska's follow up to the underwhelming Elles (2011) is a patchy affair that asks its audience to cast the first stone. Adam (Andrzej Chyra) is a Catholic priest who discovered his calling late in life. He's slowly found a niche for himself working in rural Poland helping young orphaned boys with behavioural problems reintegrate into society. It's an insular life and not one suited to a man whose soul hungers for companionship.
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- CineVue UK
With the turn of a new year, the uncomfortably futuristic sounding 2013, comes twelve more months of cinematic gold, silver and bronzed offal. There will be Supermen, more Hollywood remakes of cult Korean cinema, at least one memorable meltdown and the continuation of Marvel’s epic campaign of terror against bewildered audiences. But amidst the blockbuster A-list and populist spotlight of public consciousness smaller things will be occurring, whirling cogs that are put in motion purely to make sure I get what I want. These are the things we want to see happen in film this year.
A year ago I hoped for five things and got two and a half, with Leo DiCaprio waiting for the last moment to shine as the villainous Calvin Candie in Django Unchained, while Megan Fox disappeared almost completely from our screens during a barren year and Taylor Lautner’s agent earned no calls aside »
- Scott Patterson
7 items from 2013
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