A famous writer announces that she intends to end her life and male writers may compete to become executor of her estate. Men drive up the mountain and are challenged intellectually and erotically, until one discovers Maya's end game.
At an age when everyone around them is settling down and finding love, Beck and Liam are self-proclaimed loners. After bonding over their mutual disinterest in relationships, they decide to... See full summary »
Renée Felice Smith
Renée Felice Smith,
An internationally lauded poet/novelist announces that she is going to end her life and that young male writers may compete to become executor of her estate. The man who wins will inherit her home, land, books, unpublished manuscripts, and be expected to protect and promote her posthumous reputation.
Maya Dardel (A Critically Endangered Species) is directed and written by Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak. The film's protagonist is played by Lena Olin. Lena Olin, film veteran who was discovered by Ingmar Bergman, proved that she is still capable of captivating the audience with a brilliant lead performance. She plays the protagonist who is an aging poetess and the film's success owes her a great deal. Patrick Scola's lens exquisitely depicts her living in California's mountains among beautiful misty landscapes, in a house surrounded by half-withered plants. All this creates a special atmosphere in the film.
Maya Dardel is a rather original picture because it explores another side of sexual relationships – usually men are described as dominant and the role of prostitutes is relegated to women. However in this film, the authors show how young and promising poets can easily become involved in a kind of prostitution hoping to get this woman's inheritance. Their intentions are more clear than Maya's; we can only guess whether she is going through a crisis, is really desperate because she is lonely or maybe is just testing how low young men can fall in their pursuit of money. We see how corrupt are these people who are supposed to be be spiritual and above simple earthly pursuits. In this sense Maya Dardel perfectly reflects the soullessness of our materialistic society.
Interestingly enough, that one of the directors, Zachary Cotler, is an award winning poet himself and has also composed the minimalistic piano driven musical score of the film. Maya Dardel combines elements of drama, comedy, satire and even romantic comedy. The film is not for every taste as it's contemplative pace may put some viewers off who are used to more conventional movies. However, it is a bold, inventive film featuring a great performance of Lena Olin and is among the finest American independent pictures of today.
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