7.2/10
2,288
24 user 9 critic

Any Way the Wind Blows (2003)

Sort of a low-budget Short Cuts (1993), set in the Flemish port city of Antwerp on a warm day in June. Natalie, her brother Chouki, her boyfriend Walter and his ex Lara, the gallery keeper ... See full summary »

Director:

Tom Barman

Writer:

Tom Barman
Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Vercruyssen ... Walter
Diane De Belder Diane De Belder ... Lara
Eric Kloeck ... Paul Garcin
Natali Broods ... Natalie
Matthias Schoenaerts ... Chouki
Dirk Roofthooft ... Firmin
Jonas Boel ... Frederique
Titus De Voogdt ... Felix
Sam Louwyck Sam Louwyck ... Windman
Annick Christiaens ... Elsie
Cedric Faes Cedric Faes ... Charlie
Ides Meire Ides Meire ... Thomas
Louise Fimmers Louise Fimmers ... Julie
Katelijne Damen Katelijne Damen ... Grootmoeder
Diane Meersman Diane Meersman ... Jessie
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Storyline

Sort of a low-budget Short Cuts (1993), set in the Flemish port city of Antwerp on a warm day in June. Natalie, her brother Chouki, her boyfriend Walter and his ex Lara, the gallery keeper Firmin, unhappily married French language teacher Paul Garcin, a couple of party-loving studs from Ghent (another Flemish city) and the enigmatic Windman, independently go about their lives, which have little in common, yet all end up on the same place for a grand party that evening. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Website

Country:

Belgium

Language:

Flemish | Dutch | English | French

Release Date:

2 October 2003 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Akármerre fúj a szél See more »

Filming Locations:

Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium

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Box Office

Budget:

€1,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Corridor See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the street chase scene around 35' there's a cut back into Walters apartment. The front record on the table is Heute by Zwischenfall. On the floor he digs through The Future 12" by Stratus and Things Have Got To Change by Archie Shepp. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, 'Windman' has to dodge the credits dancing around him. See more »

Soundtracks

Got More Rhymes
Performed By Marvin Young (as Young MC)
See more »

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User Reviews

The problem with success
6 September 2003 | by captain-howdySee all my reviews

Looking at some of the other comments here, I am as ever amazed at how much we Belgians like to keep ourselves down. God forbid a movie made within our borders should have a visual scheme in which the camera actually moves, or a plotline that doesn't wrap everything up neatly in 90 minutes. The plot for Tom Barman's directing debut certainly doesn't do that, it just goes... well... any way the wind blows.

We follow the lives of about ten people in the city of Antwerp over a period of about 36 hours. We follow stories of loves lost, attempts at succes that failed, illusions long gone. All of the people that inhabit this movie seem to be looking for something, anything that would give their lives a sense of direction. If the movie seems aimless or unco-ordinated, that's because their lives are.

Barman made a stilistically marvelous movie here, with an incredible soundtrack (even the film's detractors have to admit that much) and a very energetic visual stile. This is probably the first time that a Flemish movie has used a steadycam so often and to such great effect. Anyone who even remotely knows the city of Antwerp, will understand that AWTWB is first and foremost a loveletter to the city, which is lovingly rendered, not only in the images, but also in the characters, who talk in a way that absolutely rang true to me. Barman also gleefully shows off his knowledge of other movies by working in hommages to filmmakers like Godard, Woody Allen, Brian De Palma et al.

Yes, it's true, the movie is too long by about fifteen minutes and I, too, was looking for a sort of unifying theme that would wrap everything together. But ultimately, who cares? This is a very energetic, lively film that's enormously entertaining and does contain some insightful moments. Look at a scene in which a French teacher reads a piece by Kundera to his bewildered class. One of the kids tells him she didn't understand everything in the piece. "Did you enjoy it?," the teacher asks. She answers yes. "Well, that's fine then." The same holds true for this movie - there may be loose strands, but then there are loose strands in life, and it's not necessary to understand everything in order to enjoy it.

It may be style over substance - it probably is - but at least here's a man who's not afraid to make a stylish movie in the first place. Barman takes some chances here, he's ambitious, he's bold, he's going for a big show that has something for everyone - and even if he doesn't quite have enough to make it all click together perfectly, it's still a remarkable effort, that deserves applause.

I'd much prefer a filmmaker who goes for something extraordinary and scores a very, very near miss, like Barman here, than someone who simply aims for the same stuffy old clichés and the same predictable stilistical tics we've seen countless times before (as in the vastly overrated Pauline & Paulette, a movie that faked its way into convincing its audience it was actually about something).

AWTWB was a very successful movie here in Belgium, and if there's one thing no one will ever forgive you, it's success. As soon as people actually go see a movie and have a good time, apparantly, it can't possibly be any good. When Robert Altman or PT Anderson make movies like this, in which different storylines intersect and sometimes but not always congeal into a coherent whole, everyone applauds the way they break with conventional storytelling. When Barman does it, they look down their noses at it and call it a mess "that's not about anything." True, Barman does not yet have the emotional or narrative punch that these American examples have, but the talent is definitely there, and let's not forget, it is a first movie after all. No, I'm not a dEUS-fan, and AWTWB was really a first proper introduction for me to Tom Barman and his work. Again responding to some of the other comments here, I get the impression a lot of people dislike the director because of what he did in the music business or his supposed arrogance or pretention. I really don't care if he's the most arrogant man who ever lived - he did make a good film.


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