VIFF 09: Day 9 10/10/2009
Directed by Maren Ade
Everyone Else is the sophomore effort from German filmmaker Maren Ade, who may be one of the more exciting female talents of the art form. The film, for the most part, focuses on two characters. Gitti and Chris are a couple on vacation, trying to get away from at all. This proves unsuccessful, as Chris is a struggling genius architect whose designs are too complex for their own good. His inability to have finished a project looms over his conscience. Making matters worse is his neighbour Hans, an extremely successful architect with a high-and-mighty attitude. Hans is vacationing with his wife, Sana. Hans and Sana represent a successful and functional couple. Their presence begins to deteriorate the love between Gitti and Chris. Throughout the film their insecurities boil over and what they lack in common becomes ever more prominent. Everyone Else is film about a crumbling relationship that refuses to descend into melodrama. It is a impressive work of art that is strengthened through two remarkable lead performances.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Many have hoped that Tetro would be Coppola, the man behind The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, back in top form. Unfortunately the film is closer to what I had expected. Vincent Gallo aptly plays the title role, an unpublished writer who has shunned his entire family. Alden Ehrenreich plays a young man, Bennie, who is the real protagonist. His performance is splendidly naive, and reminiscent of early Dicaprio. My favourite performer, however, is Maribel Verdu (Pan's Labyrinth). The film is conceptually sound but may be too personal for its own good. Coppola still seems unable to relate to his audience properly. Luckily, there are some very inspired touches, such as moments containing a subtle surrealism. The usage of a light bulb and a moth fluttering against it, as well as an otherworldly glacier, both being objects that Tetro stares at, are very potent cinematic images. The film is masterfully lit, and for the most part gorgeous, but it seems hindered by being shot on digital. Overall, Tetro is nowhere near the greatness of Coppola's 70s work, but a step above what he has been doing in the past 30 years. There are hints of his skill as an artist within the film, and I remain hopeful that he can make another masterpiece. However, I remain unsure of whether or not he is even capable of doing so.
posted by adam cook