My ballot for the Super Champion Film Zone's Best 21st Century Films List.
Fuck the BBC.
The British cinema is…
A look inside an offbeat boarding school for young girls.
A whole infinite universe of possible interpretations, perspectives, even personal feelings can circle around the concept of “innocence”, which we most often associate to purity, naïveté towards evil, ingenuousness towards sexuality, a lack of ability to measure personal acts, peaceful or violent. An Eden can come to mind, illustrated or not, real or theoretical. This place must be untouched by neoliberalism, industrialization, consumerism trends, or complex socioeconomic or political structures. Innocence entails a perception of safety, maybe even Nature in its least contaminated form. Now, can innocence be so pure that the possibility of it being destroyed by external forces opposite to its nature exists, or is purity a transcendent idea which ideological form shall prevail, allowing no extermination or…
I didn't realize Montessori schools were this weird.
This is, most of all, incredibly atmospheric. Enchanting, nearly. After a while I stopped feeling like I was watching a film; I was simply there, inside the woods with the children. It's strange, the tone and especially the setting made me think something horrible could happen at any moment yet I couldn't (or didn't want to) stop watching. The story is about a group of girls growing up in a boarding school, and there isn't really much else to it, plot-wise. Even though this may sound slightly dull, I wasn't bored for a single moment. It is slow paced, certainly, but I felt very close to the characters and was completely immersed in the short period I got to see of their lives.
Innocence actually sadly earned a spot at Gunaxin.com's list of 100 most disturbing movies. Not that I don't see why, but Innocence is, unlike most movies at that list, disturbing in a way most people should experience it. Hopefully you won't be scared away, for Hadzihalilovic's movie is truly a hidden gem of great cinematic value.
In some ways the experience of Innocence is like the most beautiful doomsday you can imagine. While being uncomfortable to deal with, you just can't take your eyes away. It's slow paced and deliberate in its ways, it's hauntingly beautiful, it's demanding and it's most definitely not everybody's cup of tea. However, the reward for people who actually enjoys this kind of tea is magnificent.
Innocence is a movie-experience unlike anything else I've ever seen, and its originality, cinematography and soundtrack adds up to a modern hidden gem of thought-provoking magnitude you shouldn't overlook.
The girls are shown in light and then dark and then light and then dark, their lives intertwined due to a shared meditative state of carelessness. Innocence is what life is about but it becomes horrifying because Hadzihalilovic sees shadows in daytime rather than light at nighttime (and these shadows are what she explores with her almost-entirely-static camera).
Innocence opens and closes with a shot of flowing water. Like the rest of this unique, and often strange full length debut by Lucile Hadžihalilović, it's not a randomly chosen image, but just another piece in what is a highly symbolic film. Water, and particularly the flowing water of the fountain and the waterfall that we see, to me indicates constant and neverending movement and change, the flow of life. Not unrelated to that are numerous references to animal life cycles, such as the metamorphosis of a butterfly, or of a moulting of a snake. All of this forms a backdrop to the story of the film itself, which is about a different kind of "transformation" - that of a…
An intriguing film that was full of metaphors. No, it wasn't about pedophilia.
Weird and unsettling; Picnic at Hanging Rock might be a lazy comparison but it's the only other film can think of that subverts such a superficial idyllic atmosphere and setting so foreboding though little more than mood. Like the Peter Weir film a huge part of the power comes from how little is explained, leading to scenes like Alice strolling through the night time forest seemingly oblivious to the sound of dogs and guns.
This is for Isa's original listIsa's challenge.
Task #8: a movie about or featuring ballet
Caveat: "saw" this at TIFF when it premiered, dozed thru it (don't judge, TIFF gets exhausting) & as expected, everything I remembered about it was from the first 15 minutes. So I'm calling this a first viewing :)
This is so mysterious and beautiful and controlled ('controlled' isn't right, 'confident'?). The feminine perspective is explicit & does feel like Hadzihalilovic is approaching this as an experiment or corrective, what might truly feminine/female authorship look like? There are so many breathtaking images and true moments. Loved every moment.
This was a beautifully shot film. While a number of enigmas are presented - where do these girls come from, arriving in a coffin as they do? Where does Bianca go at night? What is the purpose of this boarding house? - because so much of it revolves around unknowing and naive child actors, one is left wondering how dark it can really get.
Indeed the revelation of what Bianca gets up to at night feels like a joke, the lessons they receive in class from Mademoiselle Edith and Eva about caterpillars and butterflies thinly veiled metaphors.
The claustrophobic underwater shots of bubbles hissing under the surface conveys the tension rippling under the surface of this sexually uncomfortable coming of age film.
More of a mood piece, with an effectively creepy atmosphere. I needed more character work and more of an exploration of the world for it to fully grip me.
Enjoyably mysterious story about the transition during the early school years, ending with puberty. Lucile Hadzihalilovic has a nice way of translating the limited understanding and perspective of children to slightly unsettling, almost frightening, elements. This is much more like a fairy tale universe than than the horror setting of the later Evolution though. Does that mean she has a more optimistic view of girls than boys, or is it just the difference of a decade between the movies?
Rather than just getting at the bewilderment and dread of the unknown, Innocence shows off more diverse sensations. While some kids are afraid to leave their comfort zone, others are filled with curiosity and can't wait to move to the next stage without understanding what it is. It's simple and raw when it's about these little kids, but certainly relevant for everybody.
35mm at 5th Ave w Jonathon
hmmm hm hmm mm
lovely beginning, bold color palette,
doesn't go many places, but I don't think it intends to
on paper this is something i'd expect to hate, but because it was so beautiful and loving when it could have easily been cruel for shock value, it hooked me. it's bizarre and pretty bleak but not totally cynical, just a genuine expression of complicated emotions. simultaneously the best and worst movie to watch when your daughter is about to finish 4th grade and you're feeling very heavy about it.
with sean, christof, mitchell and ashley at 5th ave on 35. one of those movies that belongs on film.
best shot is in the forest, a long tracking shot shows the girls playing or practicing, and then ascends up a tree. the camera moves like a bubble, like the girls' lives are contained.
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…