Thursday, January 17, 2008

Visions of Europe (Various 2004)

Visions of Europe (Various 2004)
Rating: 5.2

25 5 minute shorts from each of the 25 states of the European Union, dealing with political and social issues. Unfortunately most of the shorts are duds, although it's interesting to see films from some of the smaller, lesser known countries.

Fatih Akin (Germany segment "Die alten bösen Lieder")
Barbara Albert (Austria segment "Mars")

Sharunas Bartas (Lithuania segment "Children Lose Nothing")
This was by far my favorite. The cinematography and general feel for it reminded me of Tarkovsky's films. Maybe I'm just a sucker for children and woodland environments.

Andy Bausch (Luxemburg segment "The Language School")
Decent comedy about a pimp taking his prostitutes to language classes.

Christoffer Boe (Denmark segment "Europe Does Not Exist")
Francesca Comencini (Italy segment "Anna Lives in Marghera")
Stijn Coninx (Belgium segment "Self Portrait")
Tony Gatlif (France segment "Paris by Night")
One of several shorts dealing with refugees and aliens.

Sasa Gedeon (Czech Republic segment "Unisono")
Christos Georgiou (Cyprus segment "My Life on Tape")
Touching story about two men who were forced out of their home, but get a chance to return to visit.
Constantine Giannaris (Greece segment "Room for All")
Theo van Gogh (Netherlands segment "Euroquiz")
This was a very funny short, about a woman on a quiz show who begins revealing her alcoholism in the pregame interview and how it caused a car accident that killed her husband and child.

Peter Greenaway (United Kingdom segment "European Showerbath")

Miguel Hermoso (Spain segment "Our Kids")
Arvo Iho (Estonia segment "Euroflot")
Aki Kaurismäki (Finland segment "Bico")
Damjan Kozole (Slovenia segment "Europa")
Laila Pakalnina (Latvia segment "It'll Be Fine")
Kenneth Scicluna (Malta segment "The Isle")
Martin Sulík (Slovak Republic segment "The Miracle")

Malgorzata Szumowska (Poland segment "Crossroad")
My second favorite film of the bunch follows the adventures of a statue of jesus and the people who pass by it, including a man who pisses on a tree, a couple having sex in a nearby car, and 2 teenage boys who replace it with a cheerier more colorful statue, using a power drill rather than rusty nails.

Béla Tarr (Hungary segment "Prologue")
A continuous pan through a long line of haggard faces as they wait for food rations.

Jan Troell (Sweden segment "The Yellow Tag")
Teresa Villaverde (Portugal segment "Cold Wa(te)r")

Aisling Walsh (Ireland segment "Invisible State")
A Powerful monologue on the forgotten human cargo, refugees, aliens, slaves, etc. juxtaposed with moving imagery.

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