Imagine (2012) Poster

(II) (2012)

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Something magical
peterkowalski10 December 2013
Somewhere in the beautiful, sunny Portugal is a house where the visionless learn how to cope with their disability, guided by a man who has mastered the art of living without using your eyes. For you, as a viewer, it's an interesting venture into the world unknown to you, if only a testimony to what you are taking for granted on a daily basis, and therefore, missing.

Jakimowski has a vision, one he stays to throughout the entire movie, without making it seem stale or boring. There's magic here, and a lesson to be learned. It's a movie with a mission, and whatever that mission could be, it's accomplished; it compels you to listen and open your eyes.

Set in the world of the blind, Imagine is the movie the world of the sighted needs to see.
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A way to see the world
innis131114 October 2013
I saw this film thinking that i was going to see a typical drama movie, but instead i found a heart-warming lesson of life.

He's a teacher who shows to the blind kids how to use their senses instead of their cane, and the funny thing is that he also is blind. He teaches the children to use their imagination to "see" the things around them, to sense with every part of their body without missing the things we usually overlooked because we are just looking not seeing. He later gets into some trouble for his particular way of teaching.

I know this movie isn't gonna like to everybody, but you must give it a chance not just to see it but for the beautiful message in it.
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Fantastic, simply.
marcus-lyra25 May 2014
Again, out of nothing I chose to watch to this movie that ended up being a fantastic immersion into a slow pace sensible reality.

The technical features of the film, as intentional creations, say, the increased sounds of the environment are perfect; they invite you to be paying attention to details, no hurry, just feel.

The script though is very simple and with no highly complex layers overlapping, a directional plot being unleashed to the end in a good rhythm.

For these reasons, an 8 could be enough for rating, but I feel that for the urge for more sensible movies such as that, I can give it a 9.

We are all looking at things, and never seeing nothing. ;)
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Slightly flawed, but overall a decent watch
Horst_In_Translation4 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
"Imagine" took a while to make it here. The film already premiered in 2012 in the director's country and by now it has already reached the rest of the world. It's Andrzej Jakimowski's third movie, ten years after his first and five years after his second. We follow the paths of a blind man and woman. On a side-note is there anything worse than not being able to see the gorgeous Alexandra Maria Lara!? The most memorable thing about the movie, to me, (besides the occasionally stunning cinematography and landscapes) were the sound effects, which stood out a lot and made it easy even for people in the audience who are able to see to take a dive into the life of blind people. Our acoustic sense is emphasized a lot here and we can feel the different noises almost as vividly as the two main characters. The other besides Lara (probably the one being even more in the center) is played by Edward Hogg: Ian is a blind man teaching the blind with unorthodox methods that always seem to walk the fine line between greatness and danger, sometimes even cross it. Early on he says something like that his old boss really was in favor of his methods, but the new one did not approve at all. It's a nice summary. There's not really the option of indifference when it comes to his teaching style. It's either love or hate in a similar sense of Hugh Laurie's House M.D. His colleagues who are able to see tend to struggle occasionally as well with his mannerisms. Why is he not using a cane? He is blind, so he has to right? One of my favorite scenes even if it was s sad one was where he downright begs for his job and you can easily see that it's more for him than just a profession: it's his dedication. Alexandra Maria Lara gives a decent performance, which serves more as a love interest to the main character than as a showy character with extraordinary depth herself, but that's perfectly fine. I'm a bit uncertain about Melchior Derouet's Serrano though. To me he didn't do much and I have doubts about whether I just did not like the character (which would not be too bad) or did not like the way the actor played the character. In any case I probably could have done without his storyline. To me, he just felt rushed in so that there is a character who's different than all the other students and who is not too impressed by his teacher unlike all the others. It felt a bit just for the sake of it. The scene near the end with the giant ship was one of the weakest of the film in my opinion and this is where it gets a bit lost.

About the end, there is as in so many cases no black and white, but something in between and everybody needs to decide for himself if it's a happy ending or not. A final approval goes to the children who played the blind characters. And did a very credible job doing so. I'm not sure if they were blind themselves or not, but in any case you could make a point for them delivering credible and convincing performances which probably weren't easy to come up with at all. Well done to the child actors.
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I wonder what a blind person would think about this film
Rox7326 October 2013
I don't know anyone who is blind and I have never interacted with blind people. Edward Hogg was a very convincing blind person (as far as my limited knowledge of blindness goes). Great actor with a lot of charisma. "They look but they don't see" - yes, that should be written on the foreheads of most of us who aren't blind. I think I will appreciate the sounds and scents of life a little bit more from now on after seeing this excellent film - a subject not many have covered in show business. What I would want to know though, is it possible for a blind person to fine tune their other senses so much that they don't need a cane or a dog?
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Challenges viewers to use all of their sense perception
howard.schumann10 August 2014
French Novelist Marcel Proust said, "The real voyage of discovery lies in not seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes." Polish Director Andrzej Jakimowski's Imagine, a film about the world of the visually impaired, takes us beyond sight to look at the world through different eyes, that of the totality of our senses. Winner of the 2014 Audience Award and Best Director at the Warsaw Film Festival, Imagine is set in Lisbon, Portugal at an institute for the blind where children are taught to live with their disability, to not take risks, and to be comfortable at all times. When Ian (Edward Hogg) a non-conformist teacher who is also visually impaired is hired at the school, however, the safety of their world is shaken.

Rejecting the use of a cane, Ian teaches the children to achieve spatial orientation by using all of their senses including moving by the resonance of sound vibrations (echolocation), instinct, and the creative use of their imagination. Confident and even slightly over-aggressive, Ian charms the children and gives them a reason to hope, though they are always testing and questioning him to prove that he is one of them and never seem quite convinced of his sincerity. Ian's sessions take place right under the window of Eva (Alexandra Maria Lara), an adult patient who never leaves her room and does not speak to anybody. Surprisingly, she becomes one of his most responsive students and there is even a hint of romance.

Taking the students out into the streets of Lisbon, we see the city in all its light and beauty, but the blind can see none of it. Ian clicks his tongue and snaps his fingers when he walks, using the sound that bounces off objects to create his own space, teaching the students how to visualize with their ears. As Eva wears a pair of high heel shoes for the first time, the two bond as they begin to trust each other. Together they visit a café (where she flirts with a young man), walk along the harbor and cross busy streets without any aids other than their ability to listen for the sounds of vehicles, footsteps, or other obstacles in their path.

With them is Serrano (Melchior Derouet), a young blind boy whom Ian asks to use his imagination to "see" a ship in the harbor. Jakimowski resists the temptation to idealize Ian or portray the disabled as saints. Neither does he take sides when the new teacher is challenged by the school doctor and head teacher of the school (Francis Frappat) who is concerned that he is giving the children the illusion of hope. Convinced of the value of his approach, however, Ian walks a thin line between taking risks and being reckless and crosses the line once too often.

Supported by the authentic performances of Hogg and Lara, Jakimowski, as in his great 2007 film Tricks, creates an atmosphere of poetry and magic that challenges viewers to use all of their sense perception to create the world. According to Jakimowski, "We the sighted perceive the world very similarly to the blind. We also don't see what's important…We're all blind. In a sense we are blinder than they are. Even more, because in their own way they compensate with other senses." In this case, it's the blind leading the blind so that we all can see.
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A movie with a good story, perfect play and tense emotions.
osmangokturk1 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
A must be seen movie. Dramatic, good story, well played drama and thriller movie. Very often You wonder, is it going to be crashed by a car, slip down.

A very good love and emotion movies. Eva is trying to date a non-disabled man. With the tricks by Ian, She is now the master. She play well. But suddenly, all the old men say there is no harbor around. It is a kind of trap by Ian.

Perfect movie to have a good story and tense emotions.
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It is possible to see without looking
Raven-196911 April 2020
Ian, a blind man, can find his way along the streets of Lisbon on his own and without the use of a cane. He listens intently and professes to see more with his imagination than with his eyes. A school for blind children takes Ian on as a teacher, but not without deep misgivings. As Ian takes away the children's canes and leads them into the streets, evidence mounts that Ian's methods are more dangerous than they appear and even that he is a fraud. At the same time a reclusive and wary young woman at the school, Eva, decides to place her trust in Ian. Eva stands to vindicate Ian or be the final nail in his coffin.

Imagine is an unconventional and moving film. It is the kind that renews your faith in the magic of film and stories. Filmed on location in Lisbon, the scenery is a treat for those who can see. So is the story. It kept me guessing until the end. The characters are balanced; all are vulnerable, but not powerless. Despite how good Imagine is, it was not widely released in North America. I wish I knew the reason. Many people make fun of it, but that is the case with all films. Each film appeals to certain people, not everyone. I like this film because I too see more with my imagination than with my eyes, and I try to use all my senses when I take a walk in the city as well as the natural world. Those who don't agree won't like this film. Seen at the Toronto international film festival.
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32th International Istanbul Film Festival
yusufpiskin14 March 2020
A Church supported clinic for blind children in Lisbon, Portugal hires a teacher, blind himself, who has a radically innovative pedagogical method. Instead of teaching these children to get around with canes, he would train them to imagine their environment and navigate with sound echoes (like bats). English actor Edward Hogg is charismatic and totally realistic in the role of the blind teacher; and the child actors are equally authentic. The film achieves much with a remarkable soundtrack of subtle environmental sounds which takes the viewer right into the minds of these blind children and their teacher. I don't think I've ever seen a film portray what blindness involves as well as this film does. It's a true tour de force by an assured filmmaker, which only falls short story wise when it tries to insert a rather pedestrian love story into an otherwise intriguing premise film.
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Imagine if only this would have been a better movie.
bruno-saramago-43-37533616 January 2014
Avoid like the plague.

Just wanted to write a quick warning, so that you won't be deceived by the hype here, so far. On its favour, I can state the sensibility displayed and the noble cause. And, being a Lisboner myself, it is obviously a very beautiful, soulful and picturesque place to film. Nevertheless, the cinematographer Adam Bajerski did a very interesting job.

OK, that's mostly it. The acting is terrifyingly dull. Starting right with the main actor - I mean, this guy couldn't act if his life depended on it. Cringeworthy. Alexandra Lara, while far from a top-class performer, shows more than enough chops when rightly directed (vide the superb Control). Not the case here. Of course the campy, rather pedestrian dialogue never helps. And its delivery feels ever so awkward, not for once natural or credible. People just don't talk like that. I don't even want to dwell much on the script problems, but why the hell would English, french (and even a German ex-pat) blind children be doing on such a far from luxurious institution in Lisbon? Certainly all the sun and light are not the best treatment for the blind-eye - probably explaining the high blindness rates. You'll very often find yourself bumping into a blind person, whilst walking the streets of Lisbon.

To sum things up, in the hands of the right director this could have definitely been something. Keeping the moody slow rhythm and attention to sounds, but being more demanding with the extras and supporting actors. Even Ian's darker side should have been more wisely explored. Instead you are left with a slow movie, going nowhere, with a somewhat ridiculous script and with weakly handled tension scenes. You'd be better off driving that same 28 tram at the end of the movie and visiting a city far more interesting that its all-too-scenic display.
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