O.P.E.N. Films #2. 

(I think the volunteers at The Projector are starting to recognise me. I am wondering if they are wondering why I am there almost every night.)

  • Johanna by Kornél Mundruczó

A slightly absurdist, baroque style play in a context of a crumbling Budapest hospital – rusty sinks and the sun never shines in. 

The opera was a pleasant surprise (for me because I do not really study the films before I watch them) and I enjoyed the quality of it, especially when juxtaposed with relatively naturalistic style of acting. 

There were many poetic lines, especially in the singing and the ideas presented were unconventional but beautiful in a sick and grotesque way. 

“Be like oxygen.”


Following the journey of the main character (mortician) was a joy, because of how quirky, or rather, socially awkward he is. 

With a love affair unfolding with his neighbour, a cabaret dancer, while Chile dives into chaos following Pinochet’s 1973 coup, it is a film with a slow burn. 

The true beauty of this film is in the subtleties and treatment of them. Towards the end, the conflict arises and the words as well as actions show the true intentions of them as people. 

There was always a conflict – be it internal or external – and the struggle is worth watching. 

  • The Tribe by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy

So far, out of all five films I have watched and experienced, this is my favourite by far. 

Teenage gangs, crime and prostituition, the deaf students studying at a rundown school in Kiev would find none of those surprising. After all, those fill up their lives more so than books and academia ever will. 

Thoroughly silent besides ambient sounds, audience members sit through conversations in sign and body language with no subtitles whatsoever. 

But I never felt lost. 

This film made me realise how much can be said with the physical alone, and how reliant we are on our speech and that might actually impede us. 

How we tend to view deafness as a handicap but watching them feel empowered by it, even to the point of abusing it, was fascinating. 

Absolutely stunning. It was a piece of art and I would gladly watch it again, despite its length. 


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