Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fallen (Falling)

Interesting movie by so-called gifted writer and director Barbara Albert claimed to be helping heat up the Austrian film scene. The movie tells the story of five thirty something years old women that meet at an old teacher’s funeral, haven’t seen each other since their school days. This is a reluctant meeting were each is carefully analyzing each other and you the viewer slowly will learn some bits about their past and their present. But, mainly with their attitudes and their expressions you will be able to learn a lot more about each of the characaters.

Not an easy movie to watch as it starts in a funeral, moves to a wedding, goes to a disco, continues in the open field after a sleepless night, goes to a Burger King, then to one of the women’s place to finally sleep. All this happens with the characters wearing black outfits as just in case you forgot, they started in a funeral. This fact plus the characters personalities and the little narrative that places many questions about life, gives an aura of existentialism to the film.

But I believe that the movie is a dissection of different women lives and how ordinary their lives became after all the exciting hopes and dreams they had when they where young. But this is done by giving form to the most abstract philosophical concerns while using the simplest materials.

Interesting is the use of still images that while they’re in the screen English songs are chanted –I knew many- with some stills giving away what comes next and others complementing what you will see next.

The female ensemble cast performs well and seems that, according to what I read, all actresses belong to who’s who of contemporary Austria actors. Nina Proll plays Nina, Gabriela Hegedüs plays Nicole, Ursula Strauss plays Alex, Birgit Minichmayr plays Brigitte and Kathrin Resetarits plays Carmen. As a matter of fact, Albert wrote Fallen for her five stars and claims that it is a truly love letter to these fine actors.

The movie was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 2006 Venice Film Festival and also was nominated for the Max Ophuls Award, with Gabriela Hegedus winning the Best Young Actress award in the same awards.

Not for all audiences, have to like art and European cinema to enjoy this interesting all female leads movie.

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