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Nina review – deeply silly softcore lesbian drama

Olga Chajdas’s story of a couple seducing a surrogate is a preposterous exercise in erotic intensity

First-time Polish film-maker Olga Chajdas gives us a movie acted and shot with confidence. But no amount of confidence can disguise how deeply silly this adventure in softcore lesbian sexiness is in terms of credible drama and human motivation – a silliness that escalates into something a little crass.

Nina (Julia Kijowska) and Wojtek (Andrzej Konopka) are a thirtysomething couple, a schoolteacher and a garage owner, who are supposedly desperate for a baby. They’ve tried fertility treatment and surrogacy, and nothing works. Then they come across Magda (Eliza Rycembel), a young gay woman who works in airport security, and who is initially shown having a frisson while frisking a female passenger – because, of course, that obviously happens with gay security officials at airports.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Movie Review – Nina (2018)

Nina, 2018.

Directed by Olga Chajdas.

Starring Julia Kijowska, Eliza Rycembel, Andrzej Konopka, Maria Peszek, Katarzyna Gniewkowska, Tatiana Pauhofová.

Synopsis:

Unable to have children, a teacher and her husband search for a suitable surrogate. Eventually, they meet a young woman who appears to meet their very specific criteria; but feelings soon arise that might complicate matters.

There is a sense of unevenness to Olga Chajdas’ debut feature about surrogacy and sexual liberation that is altogether unshakeable.

From the get-go, Nina – an arthouse-flavoured Polish language film that premiered at 2018’s Rotterdam Festival – feels unassured in the story it wishes to tell. Despite its title, the film’s opening exchanges oddly take place in the absence of the titular teacher, but instead focus on Magda (Rycembel): a free-spirited young lesbian whose relationship with airline stewardess Ada (Pauhofová) is punctuated by sexual encounters with numerous other women. We soon meet Nina who, by contrast,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Exclusive First Look at Trailer for Road Movie ‘Via Carpatia’

  • Variety
Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for “Via Carpatia,” the feature debut from Student Oscar medalist Klara Kochańska and her directing partner Kasper Bajon. The movie premieres Saturday in the East of the West Competition section of the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival.

The film centers on a middle-class couple from Poland, Piotr and Julia, who have been planning their holiday for months. Their plans are ruined by Piotr’s mother, who wants them to travel to a refugee camp on the Macedonian-Greek border and bring Piotr’s father home.

The film stars Julia Kijowska, who appeared in Agnieszka Holland’s “In Darkness” and Tomasz Wasilewski’s “United States of Love,” and Piotr Borowski, who starred in “Quo Vadis.”

It is produced by MD4’s Agnieszka Kurzydło, whose credits include Małgośka Szumowska’s “In the Name Of,” winner of the Berlinale’s Teddy Award. International sales are
See full article at Variety »

'The Nile Hilton Incident' beats 'The Square' at Sweden’s Guldbagge Awards

Sami Blood, Borg McEnroe also scoop prizes.

At an awards ceremony held in Swedish capital Stockholm last night (Jan 22), The Nile Hilton Incident was the surprise big winner of the 2018 edition of the Guldbagge Awards, Sweden’s primary film awards ceremony.

Source: Strand Releasing / Curzon

The Nile Hilton Incident / The Square

Kristina Åberg’s crime drama, which premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, triumphed over Ruben Ostlund’s The Square, the 2017 Palme d’Or winner at Cannes.

Ostlund did take home best director from the ceremony, and his film also picked up the best cinematography prize for Fredrik Wenzel.

The Nile Hilton Incident won five prizes overall, scooping best actor for Fares Fares, best costume design for Louize Nissen, best sound design for Fredrik Jonsäter, and best set design for Roger Rosenberg.

Among the other big winners on the night was Amanda Kernell’s 2016 Venice premiere Sami Blood, which took best actress
See full article at ScreenDaily »

United States of Love review – liberation is desperation in a sick new world

Four women living in Poland as the Soviet empire falls are oppressed by joyless sex and yearning in Tomasz Wasilewski’s unnervingly sad and icy film

Tomasz Wasilewski brings an icy compositional control to this piercingly sad, strange and unnerving film, about a quartet of lives immersed in toxic obsession and thwarted erotic yearning. It concludes on a stab of what I can only describe as horror and despair. This film is not here to make you feel good. But it has a soap-operatic watchability. Poland in 1990 is the setting, just as the Soviet empire is collapsing. But so far from experiencing a liberation, the characters are only further oppressed by inner desperation, and the title is not entirely ironic. They are in fact “united” by very similar symptoms. There is a kind of eroticised sickness in the air, a compulsive, joyless need for sex. Agata (Julia Kijowska) has a
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

United States of Love | 2016 Berlin Intl. Film Festival Review

Certain Women: Wasilewski Explores Enlightenment and Despair

It was 1990, and the climate was changing. Or so begins Polish director Tomas Wasilewski’s third feature, United States of Love, which chooses to focus on four somewhat related women from the same apartment complex during significant political changes during the dissolution of the Soviet bloc. Accompanying their growing sense of freedom is a nagging element of dissatisfaction as they attempt to pursue fantasies and desires, often resulting in a disquieting mix of euphoria and despair. Arrestingly photographed in flat, sterile palettes with intermittent splotches of vibrant color, theirs is a universe just experiencing the tingle of life following deadening paralysis, with emotions like reawakened limbs still struggling to obtain an originally appointed purpose. Coldly observational, the film is sometimes curiously unsympathetic in its depiction of women experiencing glancing notions of freedom but hopelessly realized they’re still chained to incredibly limiting options.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

[Berlin Review] United States of Love

It’s the dawn of a new era in ’90s Poland. The Wall is no more; ideas, news, and commodities from the West are coming in hard and fast, along with messages from family members working in West Germany, taped-over pornos on VHS. Yet those vague promises of freedom also reveal a disquieting undercurrent and the sense that, whatever the future may bring, there’s a harsh present that still needs to be reckoned with.

This is especially apparent in the isolated town that Tomasz Wasilewski picks as the setting of his austerely accomplished third feature United States of Love — removed from the city and shot grey-on-grey against miles of wintry landscapes, these apartment complexes feel like a world of their own. A world that those seeking change, consciously or otherwise, will also find capable of oppressively folding onto itself.

Perfectly summed up by the local priest (“Lord, I bring to you my narrow borders.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Berlinale ’16: United States Of Love review

United States Of Love review: Tomasz Wasilewski’s film is a revealing, intimate and compelling study of four women struggling.

United States Of Love review by Paul Heath, Berlin Film Festival, 2016. United States Of Love, or Zjednoczone Stany Milosci to give it its Polish title, is one of the last films to premiere at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

The picture is set in 1990, which is immediately obvious from seeing the haircuts and clothes and hearing the Whitney Houston soundtrack. The film tells the story of four very different women who live on the same estate. Obviously taking place shortly after communist rule, Tomasz Wasilewski‘s latest examines these four tortured soles, each of whom are suffering emotional pain. There is Agata (Julia Kijowska), mother of one, who although married, pines for the local vicar, secretly following him and lusting after him. Then there’s Iza (Magdalena Cielecka), a
See full article at The Hollywood News »

New Films From Mia Hansen-Løve, Thomas Vinterberg, Lav Diaz, and More Will Premiere at Berlin 2016

As if new films from the Coens and Jeff Nichols weren’t enough, the 2016 Berlin Film Festival has further expanded their line-up, adding some of our most-anticipated films of the year. Mia Hansen-Løve, following up her incredible, sadly overlooked drama Eden, will premiere the Isabelle Huppert-led Things to Come, while Thomas Vinterberg, Lav Diaz, André Téchiné, and many more will stop by with their new features. Check out the new additions below, followed by some previously announced films, notably John Michael McDonagh‘s War on Everyone.

Competition

Cartas da guerra (Letters from War)

Portugal

By Ivo M. Ferreira (Na Escama do Dragão)

With Miguel Nunes, Margarida Vila-Nova

World premiere

Ejhdeha Vared Mishavad! (A Dragon Arrives!)

Iran

By Mani Haghighi (Modest Reception, Men at Work)

With Amir Jadidi, Homayoun Ghanizadeh, Ehsan Goudarzi, Kiana Tajammol

International premiere

Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) – documentary

Italy / France

By Gianfranco Rosi (Sacro Gra, El Sicario
See full article at The Film Stage »

Berlin 2016: Vinterberg, Hansen-Løve, Tanović join Competition

  • ScreenDaily
Berlin 2016: Vinterberg, Hansen-Løve, Tanović join Competition
New titles from Thomas Vinterberg, Mia Hansen-Løve, Danis Tanovic, Lav Diaz and Gianfranco Rosi among line-up.Scroll down for full list

Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 11-21) has added nine titles to its Competition line-up, bringing the current total to 14 (the full Competition programme will be announced soon, according to the fest).

The new additions include The Commune, marking the first time Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt, Far From The Madding Crowd) has been in Competition at Berlin since Submarino in 2010. The film centres on a Danish commune in the 1970s and will be released in Denmark this weekend (Jan 14).

French director Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden) has been selected with her drama Things to Come, starring Isabelle Huppert as a woman embarking on a new life after her husband leaves her for another woman. The film will world premiere at Berlin.

Another world premiere will be documentary Fire at Sea, capturing life on
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Review: Emotional Drama Loving Searches For Truth About The Mechanics Of Love

In an impassioned and perceptive manner, Loving (Milosc) breaks down the essence of a marriage on the verge of collapse. The sharply-written script goes beyond the surface in order to expose all the ingredients crucial for the formation and further development of a full-bodied relationship. Basing its premise on the foundation that even the slightest alteration in the trajectory of a seemingly blissful marriage might have catastrophic consequences, the film gives way to a slow-burn examination of the characters' inability to cope with a sudden tragedy that strikes violently like a bolt from the blue.In a small town somewhere in Poland, a couple is expecting their first child. Maria (Julia Kijowska) and Tomek (Marcin Dorocinski) are at that point in their married life where even such common...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Celestial Wives wins at Wroclaw

  • ScreenDaily
Celestial Wives wins at Wroclaw
Rural Russian film takes top prize at Poland’s New Horizons International Film Festival.

Russian director Alexander Fedorchenko’s Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari received the Grand Prix and a €20,000 ($27,000) cash prize at the 13th New Horizons International Film Festival (July 18-28) in Wroclaw.

The decision by the International jury, headed by Hungary’s Bela Tarr and including Polish film-maker Joanna Kos-Krauze and Berlinale Forum director Christoph Terhechte, was announced ahead of the Polish premiere of Malgorzata Szumowska’s In The Name Of on Saturday evening.

Fedorchenko’s film had its world premiere at last year’s Rome Film Festival.

Review: Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari

In June, it won three awards - best script, best cinematography and the Prize of the Russian Guild of Film Scholars and Film Critics - at the Kinotavr “Open Russian” Film Festival in Sochi.

The $2m production by Fedorchenko’s 29 February Film Company explores the myths of the Russian
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Eiff 2013: ‘Traffic Department’ is a rush of bad cops and bad behaviour

Traffic Department

Written and directed by Wojciech Smarzowski

Poland, 2013

The titular police department of Wojtek Smarzowski’s film is made up of such corrupt individuals that any one of them could plausibly be the star of their own Bad Lieutenant. Rampant debauchery is the norm for the Warsaw officers, their vices extending beyond dabbling in simple bribery with those unlucky enough to be stopped or tracked down by them. Heavy substance abuse and fistfights are regular features of the policemen’s lives in the film’s opening hour, as are frequent forays into sex with prostitutes, often on the side of the road during shifts.

Complementing the film’s content excesses is its aesthetic, a mixture of lightning fast editing and varied use of different cameras, from traditional film to CCTV footage, video recordings and footage shot on mobile phones. Regarding the former attribute, the drive of the film’s lightning fast pacing and editing,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

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