A painter struggling for inspiration finds an unexpected muse after he accepts a teaching position in a small town and becomes the caregiver to Eddie, a seemingly docile art student with a rare sleepwalking condition.
In a Copenhagen hotel, disparate lives intersect through accident or fate: A stewardess desperate for intimacy. An immigrant obsessed with revenge. A hotel manager lost in despair. A wife ... See full summary »
A drama interweaving the lives of several characters in a contemporary urban setting over five days. All the characters live untenable existences of quiet desperation. It is only by letting... See full summary »
Charles De Bromhead
Rebecca Daly's first feature film The Other Side of Sleep is the haunting journey of Arlene (Antonia Campell Hughes). Arlene is a ghost in her own life. She lives in a small town in the ... See full summary »
In Manhattan, film-maker Erik bonds with closeted lawyer Paul after a fling. As their relationship becomes one fueled by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries while being true to himself.
Former Danish servicemen Lars and Jimmy are thrown together while training in a neo-Nazi group. Moving from hostility through to friendship and finally passion, events take a darker turn when it's discovered.
Robert (22), a former driver in illegal races, returns to his hometown after a long period of absence. He is determined to put his past behind him and starts an apprenticeship in a repair ... See full summary »
David, a recently fired scrapyard worker and Marie, a prostitute, both about 20 years old, meet on New Year's Eve in Berlin and decide to run away together. As David's arm is plastered from... See full summary »
This review was writing following a screening at and for Cambridge Film Festival (UK) in September 2012: * Contains spoilers * Last year's festival screened Abgebrannt (2011, known as Burnout), which, too, featured a holiday, but the place where the holiday happened, although regimented, did not have a character (in the way that Island (2011) worked hard to give the Isle of Mull one (other than its obvious beauty)).
In Formentera (2012), which is likewise a German-language feature (with pretty good subtitles), the place and the action seem inseparable, seem first to last unavoidably intertwined as to cause and effect, chicken and egg. It may once have been just a holiday in The Balearic Isles, but it is more than that, and we are with Nina (Sabine Timoteo) all the way, as, in a medium shot of them both on the ferry to Formentera, Ben whispers into her ear Ich liebe dich (I love you), but one will look in them in vain for that as they disembark, not holding hands, and with Ben seemingly content for her to carry a cylinder-bag that seems heavier than what is on his shoulder.
They then take a scooter to where the community, the female of one pair of which has invited them, they will be staying: Nina does not clutch, does not ever clutch, Ben's chest just because she has to, but, in return, Ben takes her somewhere to stay that will feel exposed, invasive and downright nosy, probably partly in a way indicative of their not having much money as a family (Nina's mother is looking after their three-year-old daughter, but it's not as if the people with whom they have to rub along give them much peace or privacy.
The strength of Timoteo's acting, and her primacy in the story, is clear when around the table for the first night: Ben has opened her up to something, and then does too little and too late to protect her from the comments and attitudes of those known to him, but not to her. Resembling a little Boris Becker (I am unsure about the gap in the teeth), her partner does not accord her needs the attention that he gives to his own about being in Berlin.
Nina is played with superb expression and appropriate inwardness, for she has really been taken for granted, not however much, but just because, Ben understands part of her motivation and some of her ways: as she says to him, he cannot want something for her.
Not in a chilling way, but this film's impulses and atmosphere will haunt me for a while, in particular the awkward scenes on Ibiza that typify and symbolize Nina's isolation, but also her profound strength as a person: she cannot but be affected by her experiences, but she is a fighter, and she is an encouragement to us all, not least as she shows signs of having to keep in check negative impulses.
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