Friday, September 23, 2011

International: The Arbor, Le Quattro Volte, Poetry

Here's a triple-feature of recent international films that were successful on the international festival circuit over the past year.

The Arbor (Clio Barnard, UK, 2010, 94 minutes)
Netflix: In this experimental look at the life and work of British playwright Andrea Dunbar, director Clio Barnard asks her actors to lip-synch to an audio "screenplay" she created using interviews conducted with members of the Dunbar family. Netflix link.

Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy, 2010, 87 minutes)
Netflix: This visual poem brings to life Pythagoras's theory that the soul moves from human to animal to vegetable to mineral in its evolutionary journey. Wordlessly, the film follows an elderly Italian goat herder as he makes the remarkable transition. Director Michelangelo Frammartino captures the essence of everyday life in the Italian countryside as the man transforms into a baby goat, a giant tree and a lump of coal. Netflix link.

Poetry (Chang-dong Lee, South Korea, 2010, 139 minutes)
Netflix: A poetry-writing class inspires serenely self-possessed grandmother Mija (Jeong-hie Yun) to open her senses to her suburban surroundings, but in rushes an array of unsettling discoveries in this lyrical South Korean melodrama. Along with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease comes information that Mija's teenage grandson was party to a horrific incident, and it is left to Mija to compose order from the untidy emotional consequences.  Netflix link.

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