Sunday, April 12, 2009

De Ofivrigilla (Involuntary)

One of the best collection of short films that I have seen lately as Ruben Östlund not only decided to tell each story interlaced but did it with very interesting yet unconventional camera angles and framing that create a very exceptional cinematic experience. Definitively a very creative, engaging and attention grabber way to showcase short films that many filmmakers should emulate.

There are five stories with one theme, those not unusual involuntary acts that require people to react and while some do react others chose to stay silent. But mainly is a compelling mosaic of human behavior, some told with very amusing style.

There is the birthday party where an accident with fireworks happens and Villmar chooses to do not much to continue partying and not ruin the night for everyone. Two beautiful teenagers taking pictures together, going out to fool around until one passes out from drinking. A group of young married male adults together for a men-only weekend where in drunken state they play again “gay” games that them used to play 10 years ago. A schoolteacher teaches her students what “peer pressure” is and after witnessing another teacher beating a student, she confronts other teachers. And the last about a bus with riders that won’t reach their destination until someone comes forward and tells who pull off the toilet window curtain. Simple stories that until you see the movie you have no idea how can they be showcased to become one memorable cinematic experience that could left you thinking about those little uncomfortable and embarrassing acts you do.

Performances mainly by non-actors, but also by little known and one Swedish star are truly fabulous and I have to commend the two young actresses that played the teenagers as what they do in the screen could have been really sleazy, but thanks to their natural performances was not at all. The narrative alone will grab your attention, but the visual narrative will blow your mind with the many unconventional camera angles and framing with the mood set since the opening scene that starts when the opening credits are rolling against a black screen and you hear people talking, cut to a shot focusing only on people’s feet and calves as guests arrive at the birthday party. Great!

The film has been collecting numerous honors allover the world since it was premiered at the Un Certain Regard of the 2008 Cannes and to check the awards and nominations please browse the blog.

Not for all audiences because the visual style, but perhaps some of you are willing to give it a try because the stories told are not only amusing but also compelling. A must be seen for those that enjoy great serious cinema and especially by filmmakers that work with omnibus films.


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