A Danish student film concerning some friends of the director, a couple in a long-term but stagnant/sporadic relationship. The couple identifies notable moments from their time together, each telling their own side, then watches these moments re-enacted by actors playing them (cast gender-blind based on the kinship they feel to each scene from their own relationships). I thought the couple would stay together and in that context didn’t think the scenes they chose were especially impactful, but in the end that’s the point, that they keep staying together in a noncommittal way because he wants to avoid direct conflict. One of the actors finally gets it after performing a scene, says he realizes he has to go home and break up with his girlfriend, which is what our two stars (Malik & Laura) also do after these performative therapy sessions.
Zoé Samudzi for Film Comment:
Eventually — so named, the director said, for the rock band Tame Impala’s elegiac breakup song from their 2015 album Currents — made its international debut at the festival … In the Q&A, Nørgaard revealed each person’s reasons for participating in the project: Laura, always the more invested of the pair, needed closure, and Malik, whose subsequent relationships fell into the same pattern, needed something of an intervention. As the two of them try to articulate what their love actually means, Eventually reminds us that love is not just a sensation or a noun but an active verb, requiring introspection and movement.
Nazarbazi (Maryam Tafakory)
Wow, opening short played clips from Iranian films over 40 years. Onscreen poetry from different sources, showing artistic strategies around the political repression which forbade human touch in film. Before the short, Zap Tura played solo bedroom pop on vox, keyboard and tapes.
Timid Sasha gets up, runs through a brutal hierarchy of shithead children, through all the mirrors and reflections on water that young Tarkovsky can muster, attends a disappointing violin lesson, then things are looking up when he befriends a steamroller driver from the courtyard.
I figure the kid’s gonna get beaten up at some point, and he does, so the real tension is from wondering what will happen to the violin. Will it survive, will the shithead kids destroy or deface it, or will they break Sasha’s spirit so he destroys it himself, a la young Jodorowsky in Endless Poetry? Well it’s the first one, but there’s a scene when he’s run off to watch buildings get demolished with his steamrolling buddy and the shitheads find the violin left behind, then it’s untouched when Sasha returns, so I’d like to think there’s more to that story and it got cut for time. Remarkable little movie, with beautiful color on the blu-ray.
“As an aphrodisiast, Dr. Stringfellow proposes the use of synthetic aphrodisiac drugs to assist those who wish to attain a fully three-dimensional sexuality.”
I rented this on VHS from Movies Worth Seeing (RIP) back in 2000-2002, watched and hated it. Now it’s in lovely high-def on my Scanners blu-ray, and I am older and more tolerant, so time to give it another shot. And I still hate it, but the visuals are extremely sharp and it has interesting resonance with Scanners.
The story, or perhaps the backstory, is told via narrator, with total silence at all other times (so no sync sound on the action). Eight subjects underwent brain surgery to extend the natural electrochemical network of the human brain to provide telepathic capabilities. So far so Scanners, but there’s more. The psychics are said to have strange reactions when in the same room as each other, and one “pierced his skull with an electric drill, an act of considerable symbolic significance.”
It’s set at a sanatorium in the woods, which I admit is wonderfully well photographed, as are the actors. The guy who we’ll call the star wears a cape with a giant amulet and carries a cane. I wish I could get away with this look, but I can’t – and neither can he. He appears at all times to be a pretentious film student, which would sink the movie if it didn’t sink itself in other ways, by being dull at all times, by depriving us of sound except for the posh intellectual narration, by having the psychics suck on pacifiers. He even uses slow-mo at times, as if the movie wasn’t already slow enough. In recent interviews, Cronenberg says it works better if you’re stoned. Four of the seven actors were also in Crimes of the Future, which I was going to double-feature with this but chickened out, and one actor got as far as The Dead Zone 13 years later.