7:30 PM, 23rd May, 2014
‘When you’re in the middle of a story, it isn’t a story at all but rather a confusion, a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood, like a house in a whirlwind or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard are powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all, when you’re telling it to yourself or someone else.’
This key quote from the movie pretty much encapsulates what it is all about. It starts out as a trip through director Sarah Polley’s childhood, focusing particularly on her mother, via interviews and archival footage, but soon turns into something else entirely (which I’m not going to spoil for you here).
Stories We Tell has won a slew of Best Documentary awards and nominations over the past few months, mainly due to the unorthodox way it tells the story. It’s essentially an exposé of truth, and the flexibility it can have depending on what people interpret from their experiences and memories.
The director of Away From Her and Take This Waltz has once again shown her talent at creating an intriguing and thought-provoking piece of cinema.
9:29 PM, 23rd May, 2014
In an alpine resort in Switzerland, Simon (Klein) a 12-year-old from the valley, steals ski gear from the rich to sell on the black market. He lives with his big sister and guardian Louise (Seydoux), who is unable to hold down a steady job. When he forms closer relationships with both a mountain-top restaurant worker (Compston) and a holidaying ski mother (Anderson), he glimpses another world from the grimy survival one he lives in.
A winner of a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, and Switzerland’s official entry for last year’s Academy Awards, this film juxtaposes the worlds of the rich and the struggling with aplomb. It’s also a film about character and relationships, and many scenes will stay with you after the credits roll. The only recognisable face here is Anderson’s (although you would have become more familiar with Seydoux if you’ve watched our screening of Blue Is The Warmest Colour), but praise must be directed to the young protagonist. It’s also a film that has a strong sense of place, with the Swiss Alps location adding much to the film, both metaphorically and visually.
If touching, meaningful, relationship-driven cinema is what you enjoy, then make sure you are here for Sister.