Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Veit Helmer: Absurdistan, Tuvalu

Before focusing on the topic for the day, I just want to bring to your attention that there is now an Android App for the Instant View Film Festival blog, available at the Android Market.  It has been interesting to watch the stats for the app slowly climb over the past week, and I hope that people find it a convenient way to access the mobile version of this blog (which you can also access through your mobile browser, if you prefer).

Available in Android Market

I had a chance to see Veit Helmer's Absurdistan at the 2008 Cucalorus Film Festival and it also played at the 2009 Wisconsin Film Festival.  I mentioned the film in passing back in May, but I noticed on InstantWatcher that it was renewed on Netflix Watch Instantly this past week (and it will be available through 2013).  The film is German filmmaker Veit Helmer's most recent hit on the international film festival circuit, the first being Tuvalu from 1999, which is also available on Netflix Watch Instantly.

A good interview and survey of Helmer's career can be found at the Filmmaker Magazine website, where he talks about the influence of silent cinema on his work, and his status as a "global filmmaker."  Absurdistan and Tuvalu would make an interesting Netflix Watch Instantly double feature.

[Mobile users double click for fullscreen]

Absurdistan (Veit Helmer, Germany/Azerbaijan, 2008, 84 minutes)
Netflix: On the verge of their first intimate encounter together, two teenage sweethearts find their plans thrown into peril. In their village, all the women are preparing to go on a sex strike against the men, who've been too lazy to fix broken water pipes. Starring Max Mauff and Kristyna Malérová, this romantic comedy was inspired by actual events in which women of a Turkish village withheld physical favors from their menfolk.  Netflix link.

Tuvalu (Veit Helmer, Germany, 1999, 87 minutes)
Netflix: This love story requires a willingness to enter into suspended fantasy, but it's well worth the effort. Residents head to a local indoor pool not just for a refreshing dip, but also to submerge into a dream world. Here, a working-class man finds a breathtaking existence and true love. Director Veit Helmer provides a delightful escape with this captivating tale shot in both color and black and white.  
Netflix link.

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