Agreein’ to go European
For the movie junkies that were lucky enough to get in on the action, the 2015 Calgary International Film Festival was quite the treat for Cinema lovers everywhere. Over the course of four days between Nov. 12-15, festival goers were treated to 12 of the finest movies Europe had to offer from 12 different countries, all of which had English subtitles for us to keep up with.
Missed out on the action? Well, we’re here to let you in on what you missed. Here’s some of our favourites (and not so favourites) from CEFF 2015.
Liza the Fox-Fairy – Hungary
If you are looking for an amazing, hilarious movie to watch then look no further! “Liza the Fox-Fairy,” a Hungarian film about a 30 year old nurse named Liza whose life has run itself into a rut, should be on everyone’s “to-watch” lists. Liza wants to find love, but her best friend — a dead Japanese pop star that only she can see — has other plans. When he turns her into a fox-fairy, Liza struggles to find that every man who desires her dies a horrible death. This movie is captivating and impossibly unique. Whether you’re a lover of comedy, romance, or fantasy, you will find this nine time award-winning film movie refreshing and funny. The character development is spectacular, and even though you meet so many different people throughout the film it is easy to distinguish between them and to keep track of them all. “Liza the Fox-Fairy” is the best movie I have seen in a long time and I would recommend it to anyone.
Marshland – Spain
For lovers of mystery, crime and thrillers, “Marshland” is a Spanish film that tells the story of two detectives who investigate the homicide of a couple teenage girls. Taking place in a forgotten Spanish town in 1980, the film depicts small town corruption, murder, torture and family turmoil. In order to bring safety back to the town, the two detectives must settle their differences and work together. The detective’s pasts are woven into the film which makes it more complex and adds tension because of their opposing ideological perspectives. At times, the film is disturbing because of the pure brutality. Not only are the teenage girls murdered, they are raped, their nipples and toes are cut off, and they are cut up with a knife, all the while being awake. Though this was not shown graphically in the film, the chilling image resonated with the audience. The colour pallet of “Marshland” was like that of a marshland, bland and brown. Though the colours were fitting to the setting, it was not the most aesthetically pleasing movie and more could have been done artistically. I would recommend this movie to someone looking for a mystery; it is not the most thrilling movie throughout its entirety because of the slower parts, but there are definitely thrilling parts.
More than Honey – Switzerland
Did you know that in a bee’s lifetime, they will only make a teaspoon worth of honey? Imagine how much honey you see in grocery stores and how many bees it would take to make that much honey. So what does the global decline in honey bees mean to the world? The answer to this question lies within the documentary from Switzerland, “More Than Honey.” This film was a fascinating look into beehives in California, Switzerland, China and Australia. The filmmakers talk to beekeepers, scientists, and other people about the dwindling bee population and find a variety of clues as to why this may be happening. If you are curious about why the bee population has been declining, this is the movie for you! I would recommend this movie to anyone who is even the slightest bit interested in bees.
Panama – Serbia
From Serbia, the film “Panama” depicts two young lovers who struggle to have an open relationship. Through the film, both of the main characters deny feelings of love, hide secrets from one another, feel cheated. These concepts could be made into a lovely movie about love, and the struggles that come with it. However, “Panama” was frustrating to the audience because the characters continued to make the same mistakes over and over again. It was clear to the audience that they were in love, yet, they sleep with other people and get jealous of each other. On the bright side, the film does illustrate how lying, digital communication and jealousy get in the way of relationships, but if it were more to the point and less repetitive, it would have made for a way better movie. To make matters worse, the film ended on a note that gave the audience no sense of conclusion. (SPOILER ALERT ) After a romantic night in vacation home, the female lead leaves, and rids of any means of communication with the male lead. After spending about 20 minutes of the audience’s time looking for her, the male lead finds out that she has probably moved to Panama and the movie ends. Other storylines were left open ended and there was not a single ounce of conclusion for any aspect of the story. Overall, “Panama” was on the verge of being pornographic and was simply not worth watching.
If you’re still curious, be sure to check out the festival’s website, as well as the European Cultural Society of Calgary, to learn more about European cinema.
We’ll take these rating out so we can look at them as summaries and not reviews. Just trying to stay objective.
Make it bold and beautiful