Rosy Hunt reviews Roy Andersson’s SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR: an absurdist, artistic treatment of Purgatory which deserves the Jury Prize it won at Cannes.
Known to us as LOSING BALANCE, Felix Fuchssteiner’s DRAUßEN AM SEE translates literally as “out on the lake”. Although the story focusses on Jessika (portrayed by young newcomer and Scarlett Johanssen lookalike Elisa Schlott), her mother and father (Petra Kleinert and Michael Lott) are the heart and soul of the film.
There were no empty seats at the showing of THE THIRD MAN, the highlight of The Spying Game programme. The film is more freckled than it once was, and glitching slightly, but still retains its original guile and vigour.
Polar exploration is a costly business, and it was as much for fiscal reasons as for posterity that Shackleton hired photographer Frank Hurley to accompany him on his trans-antarctic adventure. Hurley was in later years criticised for manipulating his images for dramatic effect, but the grandeur of the Antarctic could never, and need never, be augmented by human imagination.
From the psychedelic pulp publications of the 70s to Devil’s Backbone, Spanish horror is an inimitable combination of passion, style and restraint. Even a lapse into self-parody such as Accion Mutante is worth watching, but this self referential irony is precisely what Nacho Cerdà strives to avoid with his feature film debut THE ABANDONED.