My Accomplice is a will-they/won’t-they drama with funny bits in it about two people falling in love who are scared. Frank is scared because he’s never let himself fall in love before, and Ilse is scared because she has. But they both have a sense that falling in love is the part that’s easy – it’s what comes afterwards that’s hard. The idiots’ dance of love they perform, although choreographed to their own uniquely mal-coordinated steps, should therefore still be resonant to anyone who’s ever met someone they like and proceeded unerringly, albeit in a bewildered crab-like fashion, towards whatever intimate form of disaster fate has devised for them.
It’s also a film about life in Brighton – a happy-go-lucky seaside city that hides it’s insecurities via an enforced devotion to its abundance of pubs – featuring songs and live performances from local bands Transformer, Bob Wants His Head Back and The Mountain Firework Company, an ill-starred search for the village of Wivelsfield, the personal politics of perestroika in the wider context of David Hasselhoff, apricot flapjacks, abruptly unpredictable weather, accumulating evidence of a seagull conspiracy, and a small cast of everyday eccentrics that usually don’t make it into films: Bulgarians, adults with learning disabilities, very tall women and elective mutes. In a city of this many vulnerable adults, Frank and Ilse might never have met . . .
Dir: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Country: Brazil (2013)
Former film critic Kleber Mendonça Filho’s paranoid drama follows the events which take place in an affluent street in Recife, northern Brazil after a private security firm is employed following a spate of car-stereo thefts.
Some great cinematography, an interesting concept and the odd moment of humour can’t save the fact that it’s very difficult to emotionally engage with the characters, which are either underdeveloped or uninteresting. Various strands of plot go nowhere, and “tension” is repeatedly employed using a typical trope which normally occurs in the opening reel of a horror film; rumbling sound-design builds to a sudden cut to a more brightly-lit scene — in which nothing happens. It is clear that this is intended as a comment on the paranoia endemic in middle-class Brazil — but it doesn’t translate into a compelling experience for the viewer — more an exercise in ennui.
A frustrated single mothers attempts to silence a neighbours barking dog (valium, high-frequency speakers etc) provide some humour, but ultimately this film is boring and self-indulgent. A seemingly endless catalogue of anticlimaxes and non-events lead to a final “twist” — which occurs off-screen. Some scenes seem to have been thrown in with little or no clear reason, such as a visit to a ruined cinema in the country, in which João, the closest thing the film has to a protagonist, mimes out a scene from a vintage movie with his new lover. Maybe I missed the reference, but it felt like Mendonça bunged it in because he liked the building.
It’s a crying shame — with better pacing, plot and character development, Neighbouring Sounds could have been a great film. As it stands, this is the most soporific work I’ve sat through since Gus Van Sant’s Last Days. At least I had the brains to walk out of that…
Aldo Tambellini was pretty much to first person to create abstract video and television-based art with a hefty message of protest. Interference, upset valves, TV news broadcasts and poetry from his peers on New York’s Lower East Side form the body of his early works.
Getting ready with Henry Butcher for a collaborative screening of video art and the moving image in the buzzing city of La Coruña in Galicia! Thanks to José Luis Ducid (one half of Galicieiras) — performer, poet, writer, musician, filmmaker and artist — for setting it up with endless enthusiasm and verve. Click flyer below for enlarged details…
Total Genius. Whilst continuing the research drive for the forthcoming Nollywood Death Trip project I stumbled upon this gem on Youtube…