THE MORNING LIST
Cinema outings this week are akin to a concert of solitude, where a bunch of lost souls warm up to each other before the holidays. Like the rigid teacher and the neglected student in Winter Break , by Alexander Payne, condemned to spend the holidays together. The Georgian grocer and hard-core spinster in Blackbird, Blackberry , by Elene Naveriani, who discovers sexuality shortly before age 50. Or the two Portuguese housewives from Légua , Filipa Reis and Joao Miller Guerra, the last to keep the old noble residence they maintain, in a village in the Douro valley.
Do not miss
“Winter Break”: glued for winter
This is a delicate, subtle, intelligent, funny and very consoling work. The author of this little grace is called Alexander Payne, he is 62 years old, and has eight feature films under his belt since Citizen Ruth , made in 1996. Today, Payne takes us back to the seventies of the last century. Or a posh New England college. Christmas is approaching, everyone leaves, except Paul Hunnam (Paul Giamatti), an old-style and pedantic ancient history teacher, who each year bears the burden of supervising the students forced, for reasons X or Y, to take the end of year celebrations at college. Opposite him is Angus (Dominic Sessa), a gifted but fragile teenager, whose parents have clearly sacrificed them to their neurosis. But also Mary, the cook (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), single mother of a young soldier who has just been killed in Vietnam.
These three solitudes will circle each other for a while. And the film moves towards these too heavy hearts which are bursting, these wounded areas which are softening, these secrets which are bursting from being contained. J.Ma.
“Blackbird, Blackberry”: forbidden fruit
On the eve of her 50th birthday, a woman makes love for the first time with a man, begins an affair with him, and her sensitive experience is then not reversed, but modified (the nuance is important ). This could be a summary summary of the third feature film by Elene Naveriani, a non-binary filmmaker and eccentric figure of the young Georgian scene, operating from Switzerland.
The tone is set from the opening scene where the natural setting adds a dose of dreaminess. In a little corner of nature away from the village, Ethéro is tasting blackberries , her guilty pleasure, when the untimely flight of a blackbird almost causes her to fall down the hillside. Recovered, she glances down to see – dizzyingly – her own corpse lying in the Rioni River. Blackbird, Blackberry thus adopts a risky register, because it is undecidable: the unusual, laconic poetry of beings and things “displaced” – and strong in being so. Throughout, the film stays on the fine line between reality and imagination. Ma. Mt.
You have 85% of this article left to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.