Yella/ Barbara

Christian Petzold is one of the most original German directors of the post-reunification period, directing films that are often character as well as social studies. He is considered as one of the key directors of the Berlin School. As Tschiedert notes the films by this movement aim to represent the mundane life without twaddle (2014) and Fisher remarks how “contemporary economy and its remaking of people at the most intimate levels is the focus of many Berlin School films” (Fisher,…

Read more...

The Past

Asghar Farhadi is a director par excellence when it comes to representing family dynamics from various characters’ different, subjective viewpoints. His critically acclaimed films About Elly (2009) and A Separation (2011) focused on complicated family relations and choices that were shadowed by lies and miscommunication. While these stories were much about Iran through specific thematic concerns at the same time they were extensively universal given their emotional impact, moral questions and easiness to identify with the characters despite any possible…

Read more...

Caramel

Film is an effective way to tackle and to illustrate socio-cultural issues both explicitly as well as implicitly. They may enable to talk about subjects that would not necessarily be brought into public discussion, especially in terms of domestic, private issues. This can be seen in the national context, however, through these representations they also mould the image of a country outside its borders. This then leads to a question of the meaning and intention of a representation. In relation…

Read more...

Requiem

This article looks at the representations of a deterioration of a person in Hans Christian Schmid’s Requiem (2006). As the film tackles contrasting rationales of the main character Michaela’s condition, that are seen either spiritual or medical, this article centres on the juxtaposition of these and their effect on the main character on a psychosomatic level. Consequently, the main focus of this article is the representation of the socio-familial dynamics and the environment and how these can are marked on…

Read more...

About Elly

About Elly (2009) circles around a group of old university friends in their thirties who go to spend a long weekend together by the Caspian Sea with three young children. Three couples are accompanied by two singles, Ahmad and Elly. While Ahmad has recently returned to Tehran from Germany as his marriage ended, Elly has been invited to join by Sepideh, a mother of one of Elly’s pupils. It becomes clear that Sepideh’s intention is to pair Ahmad and Elly. However,…

Read more...

La teta asustada

This article looks at the representations of memory and trauma represented through a female body in Claudia Llosa second film, La Teta asustada (2009). The film addresses the fear and trauma that the conflict years of Peru imprinted on female bodies. The conflict itself and its bodily mistreatments are not visually present in the film but can be seen as echoing in the present day and felt through the characters. The film highlights the position of a woman in a…

Read more...

La piel que habito

Bodily transformations, body beyond the symbolic and the abject body have been the key themes in Pedro Almodóvar’s oeuvre. Ever since his early steps during the Spanish transition, Almodóvar has provoked audiences by transgressing the whole, unified body and binary sexes in his films. In his latest film to date, La piel que habito, however, he goes even further by linking the body with the connotations of body horror and the monstrous body. The story of La piel que habito…

Read more...

The Man Without a Past

While watching a film it is often forgotten that everything in front of the camera is there for a reason. Lefebvre reminds how the setting should not be taken as merely given (2006b, p.21 ), echoing Lamster who points out that everything depicted on screen “have been carefully chosen, vetted, and choreographed” (2000, p.5). The setting tells its own story and in a sense can be seen as another character. Apposite design colours the film and enriches the story through…

Read more...

De tu ventana a la mía

Camera lingers on a surface of quasi-transparent poppies in such an extreme close-up that the tiny cells and filaments are visible, almost tangible. They evoke the cell-like structure of a skin. Like the skin, these delicate poppies are fragile and sensuous. They are easily destroyable but they always revive and breathe into life. The background noise of a woman’s humming accentuates the ethereal, fleeting quality. The camera moves into a bird-view shot of a bathtub with a dressed woman there….

Read more...