On the second day of my adventure as an International Student Jury member I experienced forbidden love, boredom and Instagram filters. Following the example of the first day’s schedule, we met up at the cinema around 11:30, where we gathered for a second workshop, again by Gerlinda Heywegen. The subject of this workshop was “forbidden love”, as was the theme of this year’s festival. We discussed famous examples, from Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” to Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday”.
After our workshop, we watched two films, one that was profoundly boring and one that was very interesting…
// Nahid (2015)
The first film of Day 2 was quite a disappointment. I did not know what to expect, but I did not anticipate complete and utter boredom. “Nahid” could not grab me, somehow. At first, the story interested me. I respected Nahid, a young divorced woman living in Iran, because she wants to be independent and take care of her son, without needing the help of a man. But as the story continued, we learned that Nahid struggled to take care of her son and of herself, and she made some stupid decisions along the way in an attempt to solve her problems. At a point, it really started to annoy me that Nahid kept making stupid decisions and I wanted to shout at the screen: “Woman! Stop what you’re doing! Please!”.
Apart from the fact that I was immensely annoyed with the main character, I could not find anything interesting about the film. There was nothing unusual or intriguing about the camera work or the look of the film and the performances were not very convincing to me. At a certain point, I became restless of boredom. “Nahid” simply failed to catch my attention.
// Mar (2014)
In contrary to “Nahid”, I did enjoy “Mar”, an Argentinian film about Martin, who goes on a holiday with his girlfriend. Their relationship is slowly but steadily dying, as Martin’s girlfriend is ready for the next step in their relationship and have children (or a kitten, for that matter), but he is not yet ready for this. When Martin’s problematic, and slightly alcoholic, mother arrives, tension rises between the two former lovers.
What I really liked about “Mar” were the images. They had a very contemporary feel, because they were shot from very unusual angles. Despite the camera’s awkwardness, the images were still beautiful – in a way one would photograph and post on Instagram, for example. To me, it was as if the filmmakers had put a filter over the film, just like one uses a filter to enhance one’s Instagram photos. The effect of this was a contemporary and young feel.