Four children try to hold things together and play a family in their isolated prefab house after the death of their parents. As they begin to deteriorate mentally, they hide their mom's festering corpse in a makeshift concrete sarcophagus.
Martijn is obsessed with his younger sister Daantje and visits her to make a documentary about her. He manages to invade Daantje's life with his video camera, but soon unresolved issues from a distant past come to the surface.
After not having seen each other in five years, Chris Terry goes to visit his younger sister Noelle Terry in Montréal. Their lives, both together and apart, have been turbulent ones with ... See full summary »
Guilherme and Sofia, brother and sister, grow up sharing experiences and slowly discovering their sexuality. The thing that Sofia doesn't know is how far Guilherme will go to keep her inside his own perverse, dark and perfect circle.
Joana de Verona,
A man comes home to meet his mother and sister after many years away. He finds his mother living with a new boyfriend, and his sister to be grown-up. He begins to settle down in this new ... See full summary »
Two people are caught up in an all-consuming and forbidden love in this drama. Christine is married to Mario, a successful businessman, and is the mother of two children. However, she has a... See full summary »
Two siblings and an illegitimate love. A father who's a doctor and several accusations. A family in which no one ever drew a line between what's moral and what's legal. Not even when it comes to abortion.
After the death of her husband, the mother of Julie, Jack, Sue and Tom begins to suffer from a mysterious illness. Aware that she is going to have to go into hospital she opens a bank account for the children, so that they can be financially self-sufficient and will be able to avoid being taken into care by the authorities. Unfortunately she also dies and Julie and Jack (the older, teenage children) decide to hide her body in the basement so that they can have free reign of their household. Soon Tom has taken to dressing as a girl whilst Sue has become increasingly reticent, confiding only to her diary, meanwhile Jack and Julie sense an attraction developing for each other. However Julie's new beau, Derek, threatens to unearth the many dark secrets within this family as he becomes increasingly suspicious of Jack.Written by
Although she played a teenager, Charlotte Gainsbourg was 21 years old when this film was shot. Her age is not mentioned in the film, but the character is 17 in the book. Andrew Robertson was 18 playing a 14/15 years old. See more »
When the mom is being lifted from the bed to the floor, it's very obvious that it's a dummy in place of the mom. See more »
Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots, because it's OK to be a boy, but for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think that being a girl is degrading. But secretly you'd love to know what it's like, wouldn't you? What it feels like for a girl?
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(Dickie Lorraine & Justin Travis) See more »
Fascinating and surreal drama
The Cement Garden is based on a book by Ian McEwan and follows a group of siblings as they try to cope with the loss of their parents. However, there is much more to this film than merely the basic plot outline; through interesting character design, surreal locations and a gentle stream of shocking happenings; writer-director Andrew Birkin has created a truly unique and fascinating piece of cinema. Of all the films I have seen, I can't think of a single one that is really anything like this one. The film takes place in and around an isolated house surrounded by concrete (presumably on the edge of a town). The house is inhabited by two adults and four children; until the father dies of a heart attack, and the mother's health deteriorates until her eventual death shortly thereafter. This then leaves the four children to fend for themselves. The eldest siblings, Julie and Jack, decide to hide the mother's body in the basement rather than allowing themselves to go into care. The event affects each of the children in different ways.
The Cement Garden is characterised by its setting; a large and morose house stands amidst a landscape made purely of concrete. This location serves the story as it creates isolation and separates the central family from the rest of the population. The film's colour scheme is based on grey and the gloominess of it helps to enforce the melancholy nature of the story. The film features plenty of shocks and breaks many taboos; but everything is presented in such a gentle manner that most of things featured actually seem quite normal, and that in turn makes them even more shocking. The film really is quite daring, and even more so for the fact that the central cast is so young. The dialogue can be quite awkward at times but the actors make the best of it. The film does become more surreal as it moves along, and while the ending of the film is not really a surprise; it still does manage to provide a shock. Overall, The Cement Garden is an excellent adaptation and well worth a look.
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