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jan_ulalume

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2 reviews in total 
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Amer (2009)
21 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
Fine ingredients, but the cake is badly baked, 14 February 2011
3/10

Leaving viewers in the dark about the true inclination of a piece is commonplace in Art Cinema. I do agree that most mainstream films now are over explained and blatant with whatever plot device is being utilised. However, while i think it's good for the viewer to give a little of themselves to work at understanding a director's vision this was a little much.

The visuals are beautiful. Some of the little touches exquisite (the way the teenage Ana hypnotically chews on a strand of her hair was simultaneously abhorrent and alluring) I'm sure there is an intricate back-story here with allusions to Sigmund Freud etc (from what i've heard there is a portrait of him in the house, however i didn't see it) but i'm not hugely interested in discovering what it is. A little explanation can make all the difference. Some connection with the audience would have helped this piece along.

In the end, the plot made little difference. Its slightness WAS the film for me. I enjoyed the inspired jump-cuts and the obsession with body hair and sexual gratification. I was amused and disturbed. That's fine. But the film used these devices to the point of saturation. Overkill. Egotism.

I may be missing the point here, so be it. This film stands well as a piece of visual art. The vivid blue Mediterranean, the dark haired women, the gorgeous cinematography in general. But it is missing something as a film and thus with narrative. It would have worked FAR better as a short 15 minute piece.I would like to say i'd re-watch this and get to grips with what the director is trying to say, but that would be a lie. Certainly this film is nothing like the Giallo films of Fulci and Argento that i have seen so far in my admittedly limited viewing.

Dark Enemy (1984)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A roughly hewn low budget British gem, 15 May 2010
7/10

This low budget film is an interesting curio and although i look upon it with a certain sentimentality, i believe it has additional merit. I saw it as a child of around 4 and it left a big impression. Of course, the children (and teenagers) are the focal point of the film and the lead is a doe-eyed waif who gives a very decent, if slightly stilted performance. The acting on the most part is pretty good for a film of this type. The plot is straightforward but a little vague, however, together with the locations and sub story, a great sense of foreboding and isolation is produced and this is what, as a child, i locked unto and now being very much older i can still connect with.

The special effects are pretty bog standard but they frightened me years ago and there is still something stark and primitive about them (as though they knew what they had wasn't up to much so they made their use of it as condensed and pure as possible without unnecessary flair)and the depiction of the films ghouls.

If you can handle the problems associated with a low budget production this film is highly recommended and although i award it 7 out of ten to be pedantic in relation to the nature of this site it's a 10 out of 10 in my heart.