Today, on July 17, International Competition program demonstrated the spectator “Three and A half” by Gaikalova and “PITY” by Babis Markidis. The Festival of Festivals presented Cédric Kahn’s picture ”The prayer”. Within the framework of Gala Premier section, the audience had an opportunity to watch the film “Everybody Knows” by Asghar Farhadi, where Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are main characters.

“Three and A Half”, Daria Gaikalova, India-Ukraine, International Competition

Четвертий конкурсний день: «Три з половиною», «Жаль», «Молитва»

Shot from the film “Three and A Half”

There is a house and there are people who live there or visit it. 50 years ago it was divided into a school and a tiny dwelling where a teenager who unfortunately was born on February 29th and his paralyzed grandpa are living in one room. The same building for 20 years has become a brothel, where the prostitute that pretends to be a beginner, works with a naive client. In a while, an impeccable bourgeois couple appeared within these walls. Despite their old age, they are still in love with each other. The first part is called “God of the death“, the second is “God of the dance“, and the third is “God of love“. The epilogue, where construction workers are once again rebuilding the house for new stories to host is called “The demigod”.

   Daria Gaikalova is a new name for Ukrainian cinema. After receiving a master’s degree in philosophy at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, she moved to Indian Mumbai, where she was teaching scriptwriting, shooting commercials and short films. It’s hard to believe that “Three and a half“ is a full-length debut. Acting, dialogues, the development of the plot they are completely mature. Indeed we live through a life cycle in a fascinatingly built rhythm, with heroes that are interesting to look at. It seems that in our (we hope that in our) cinema we have a new director-star.

You can watch this film at 18.30 at the Festival Palace.

“PITY”, Babis Markidis, Greece-Poland, 2018

 «Жаль», Бабіс Маркідіс

Shot from the film “PITY”

You can find relief in compassion, the main character of the film is convinced in it. He is a 40-year-old man whose wife for a long time has been in a coma. Not everyone can cope with such challenges. However, the protagonist can’t cope with the loss of victim status when his wife recovers and they just need to live. Positive emotions very soon are replaced with the fear of accepting the fact that now it is necessary to make efforts to be recognized. The good news brings a real panic and inadequate behavior to the protagonist. He tries to add to his life as much sorrow as it’s possible.  Doesn’t it remind you nothing?

The film took part in the main competition of the following film festivals, Sundance and Rotterdam.

You will be able to watch it at the Festival Palace at 21.30

“The prayer”, Cédric Kahn, France, 2018

 «Жаль», Бабіс Маркідіс

Shot from the film “The prayer”

In the non-competition program called “Festival of Festivals”, “The prayer” by Cédric Kahn, France was shown.

We know nothing about the protagonist of “The prayer”, except that his name is Thomas, he’s 22 and that he is a drug addict. The story begins with the fact that he arrives at a mountain shelter, where a community of former addicts lives. In fact, they exist according to the principles of a Catholic monastery.  It may seem that there is nothing new: There are many rehab dramas with a similar story. However, Cédric Kahn is a director with a calm, transparent, realistic thinking in the spirit of André Téchiné or Robert Bresson. He doesn’t seek to deploy in front of us merry-go-round with social dirt or arrange fireworks of passion. “The prayer” is mostly a quiet, restrained cinema, which concentrates exclusively on the evolution of the protagonist. Anthony Bajon’s (Thomas) talent really impresses you. Eventually, he was awarded “Silver Bear“ as the best actor at Berlinale-2018. Without excessive effort, without the extra interference of make-up artists, without even hint on overacting, he embodies the whole range of emotions and reactions that may be inside of a young person in such a situation. Fascinating mountain scenery, painted by the artistic skill of the operator Yves Cape, becomes a worthy background for this monodrama. Kahn shows the salvation of one soul only. However, it’s enough to regain faith, even if not in the higher power, but in humanity for sure: we are not completely lost cause.

”Gogol Doc”, Alisa Pavlovskaya, Ukraine, National Competition, 2018

«Gogol Doc», Аліса Павловська

Shot from the film “Gogol Doc”

Yesterday, July 16, in the framework of the National Competition program, there was an opportunity to see “Gogol Doc” by Alisa Pavlovskaya, Ukraine.

Alisa Pavlovskaya is not a beginner in a cinema; Recently, her full-length film ”Fifth Therapy” came out. For its part, “Gogol Doc” is a documentary portrait-film of the festival GOGOLFEST that since 2007 took place in Ukraine. Its founder is Ukrainian director, scriptwriter, actor, and head of the theater “Dakh” Vlad Troitsky.

Trinity is the main hero here, but not the most important one. Pavlovskaya lets him express himself completely. She shows him at work, at press conferences, and even announces his bitter ”this story has run out in me”. However, the most interesting thing is happening in the intervals between the monologues of the protagonist. Before our eyes, the complex mechanism of the festival assembles. We see how this wonderful mixture unfolds, we’re eager to watch grumpy ”electrician/artist” Eugene, forever anxious and active manager on the bike, actors, and actresses who do strange things. The moments of work and art alternate each other in a right rhythm. Generally speaking, editing is the strongest component of the film. And in the finale, the director manages to convey her message: no matter what are the disadvantages of GOGOLFEST, its probable loss will be unrepairable damage to our cultural landscape.

“Radiance”, Naomi Kawase, Japan-France, 2017

Четвертий конкурсний день: «Три з половиною», «Жаль», «Молитва»

Shot from the film “Radiance”

Also if you’re cinema lover it’s definitely worth seeing the film “Radiance” by Naomi Kawase, Japan-France, 2017, it will be shown within the framework of the retrospective program.

Young and attractive Misako is the author of adapted films’ versions for visually impaired people. For instance, her task is to transfer the film so skillfully that blind people could imagine each shot. During one of the test shows, she meets Nakamori, the photographer, older than her, who almost lost his sight. Their relations become a mutual challenge and they change both of them.

Kawase remains loyal to her style of “quite cinema”. Omits passions and excessive acting. In fact, there is only one conflict: Misako can’t find the right words that would inspire the imagination of her future listeners-viewers. A large part of the film is underlined shot in the close-ups. Thus she depicts the optics of close-looking eyes in the face that is a characteristic of a dying eye.

Another visual motive of the picture is gorgeous scenery of Japanese nature. In general, is a great mistress of their depiction. Those landscape luxuries are the best scenery for what’s happening to heroes. The essence of events is not new: you can lose your sight, but the main thing is not to lose each other, to find the connection through which, no longer you’ll feel abandoned.

So the Ecumenical Jury Prize of the Cannes Film Festival was well deserved.

Text by Kostyantyn Levin and Svitlana Bondar

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