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March 23, 2009

Russian Critics on the Cinema of Glasnost, edited by Michael Brashinsky and Andrew Horton

cinema_glasnost.gifRussian Critics on the Cinema of Glasnost, edited by Michael Brashinsky and Andrew Horton, is a book in two parts: the first, Films in a Shifting Landscape, is a series of essays analyzing the historical and cultural legacy that shaped three generations of Soviet film criticism; the second, Glasnost's Top Ten, is a compilation of articles by prominent Russian critics (collectively representing these generations) covering a selection of glasnost-era cinema - followed by editorial commentaries that interweave ideas developed in the first section - that, in their diverse arguments, reflect the sociopolitical turmoil as insightfully as (if not more articulately than) the films themselves. Noting the difference between Soviet film criticism and "traditional" film criticism in the absence of film art discussion, Brashinsky and Horton propose that the divergence is traceable from its origins in early nineteenth century Russian critical tradition (embodied by such literary figures as Alexander Pushkin and Vissarion Belinsky) that sought to transform society through cultural engagement: "To sketch it roughly: It occupies a middle distance between what in the United States is seen as pop journalistic film reviewing and highbrow theoretical academic analysis. Soviet criticism covers a much more spacious area, one that spreads far beyond film, art, and even culture onto life itself."

In the essay, Cinema Without Cinema, Mikhael Yampolsky further expounds on this tendency towards ideas over images by proposing that the evolution of Soviet cinema itself is essentially logocentric, an outgrowth of a film industry that is neither driven by commercial nor artistic value. It is interesting to note that while Yampolsky does not explicitly refer to propaganda in the notion of industrial film as a precursor to contemporary cinema, his argument that the technological lag between the Soviet film industry and its Western contemporaries has led to a certain heavy-handedness also supports the idea that contemporary cinema is still influenced by its propagandistic past. To this end, Yampolsky cites Roman Balayan's The Kiss in which the over-amplified sound of buzzing mosquitoes is used to convey summer heat, and Andrei Tarkovsky in his tendency to layer prose over already self-expressive imagery.

Alexander Timofeevsky's essay, The Last Romantics traces the evolution of Soviet filmmaking (and by extension, criticism) through generational paradigm shifts between the Joseph Stalin-era ritualization that engendered the creation of classicist, heroic images of messianic struggle (that, in turn, reinforced Stalin's cult of personality); to the sixtiesniks movement under Nikita Khrushchev's thaw that ushered a period of reform, cultural exchange outside the Soviet sphere of influence, and de-Stalinization; to a protracted stagnation under Leonid Brezhnev that resulted in a thematic movement towards the creation of self-utopias - as exemplified by Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror and Vladimir Menshov's Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears - in the wake of an ideological impasse between individualism and collectivism. This cultural shift away from the state towards the individual is subsequently examined in Marina Drozdova's essay, Midseasonal Anarchists: Youth Consciousness and Youth Culture in the Cinema of Perestroika in which untraditional images - such as Georgy Gavrilov's documentary, Confession: The Chronicle of Alienation on drug addiction - help to redefine the notion of cinematic truth and identification.

For the second part of the book, the editors begin with a consideration of Tengiz Abuladze's Repentence, considered to be the first perestroika film, by opposing critics, Tatyana Khloplyankina and Igor Aleinikov. Khloplyankina's essay, On the Road that Leads to the Truth follows in the vein of Soviet film criticism's sociocultural role in the way generalized references to elements in the film are incorporated within an overarching philosophical argument, in this case, the allegorical subtext as an encounter with buried transgressions (especially under Stalin) and a dismantling of the Soviet social experiment. On the other hand, Aleinikov's essay, Between the Circus and the Zoo, is sarcastic and provocative, arguing that the film is too saturated with ideas to the point of dilution, and the symbolism too facile to be considered groundbreaking. In a sense, Aleinikov's strategy to open his essay with a false scene reflects the structure of his exposition as well, regarding the film as a missed opportunity in confronting the past:

After all, Repentance satisfies the current social order to a considerable extent, for the film is spectacular and politically sharp. Moreover, the movie reflects on the condition of that social order, the level of our present social consciousness, the erosion of criteria in this consciousness, which is so confused that it reminds one of the bright colors that, once mixed on an artist's palette, became a gray paste. It is necessary to distinguish those colors by separating the functions of art from those of journalism, political science, and politics.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Aleksandr Sokurov's The Days of Eclipse has generated a wide range of critical response among the featured glasnost-era films. Of particular note is Mikhail Yampolsky's brief, but illuminating deconstructive essay entitled The World as a Mirror for the Other World that proposes another layer to the film's dense, seemingly mystical iconography:

Disintegration of both time and causal relations is clearly connected with the symbol of the eclipse. This universal drama is exposed in advance; it penetrates the life of the leading character by mysterious and unintelligible omens. Every now and again, strange animals show up in the doctor's house, for no apparent reason. By mail, he receives a gigantic lobster, frozen in jelly (a hint as to his own case). Then his sister appears out of nowhere with a live hare in a shopping bag. Finally, a huge python sneaks into his room, supposedly an escapee from the neighbors. These animals symbolize constellations: cancer (lobster), hare, and serpent. A serpent directly relates to the idea of a cycle, revival and death, the symbol of the eclipse. It also belongs to the realm of shadows. A cancer is linked to the shadows of the dead and is considered a moon animal, as is the hare.

...The universal scale in The Days of Eclipse substantiates Sokurov's perspective. What seems weird, fantastic, and excessive to both characters and the audience may in fact be the key to existence in Sokurov's world, the core to those causal relations that are placed vertically (between the lines) instead of horizontally (in line).

Posted by acquarello on Mar 23, 2009 | | Comments (2) | Filed under 2009, Film Related Reading

March 15, 2009

Bellamy, 2009

bellamy.gifIn hindsight, the establishing shot of Claude Chabrol's Bellamy showing a relaxed Paul Bellamy (Gérard Depardieu) trying to solve a crossword puzzle while on vacation at a well appointed country estate in Nîmes - an apparent compromise in destination from his wife, Françoise's (Marie Bunel) suggestions to take a more exotic trip - serves as both hint and a ruse to the renowned police inspector's ever-analytical personality. Struggling to cope with the unexpected arrival of his troublesome, ne'er-do-well, younger brother Jacques (Clovis Cornillac) and visited by a stranger, Noël Gentil (Jacques Gamblin) who may have been involved in the unsolved disappearance of an industrialist named Emile Leullet, Bellamy is gradually pulled away from his seeming hibernation, seduced by the stranger's tale of double lives, insurance fraud, a beautiful, young mistress (Vahina Giocante), a grieving, persecuted wife (Marie Matheron), and face-altering cosmetic surgery that seem worlds apart from his comfortable, settled life. Similar to Chabrol's previous film, A Girl Cut in Two, the psychology of the pursuer not only shapes the narrative trajectory of the film, but also continually redefines his ambiguous motivation: an unmade bed opens up the possibility of an affair, a missing gun corroborates a theoretical pattern of self-destruction, an all-too-forthcoming suspect that suggests hidden, ulterior motives. Bookending with a shot of a motorist's violent death on a desolate beach, the image suggests both a tragic conclusion and the ingredients of a new mystery - a paradoxical reflection of Bellamy's own self-perpetuating puzzle quest.

Posted by acquarello on Mar 15, 2009 | | Filed under 2009, Rendez-vous with French Cinema

Eden Is West, 2009

eden_west.gifThe quixotic search for a better life in the West collides with the reality of immigration raids, exploitation, and poverty in Costa-Gavras's picaresque, if insubstantial and ultimately unremarkable film, Eden Is West. Embodying the prototypical image of the naïve, wide-eyed immigrant is Elias (Riccardo Scamarcio) who, as the film begins, has paid smugglers a substantial fee for the privilege of staking a spot in the overcrowded hull of a ship bound for the French coast. Fearing immediate deportation after a coast guard vessel announces its intention to board the ship for inspection, Elias and his friend (Odysseas Papaspiliopoulos) - alomg with a handful of other desperate voyagers - jump overboard and head toward the lights of a nearby shore, landing on the clothes-optional beach on the foothills of a luxury resort appropriately called Eden. However, even the seeming paradise of all-you-can-eat buffets and wealthy, attractive patrons (in particular, a German woman named Christina [Juliane Köhler] who embarks on an affair with the handsome Elias) still has its drawbacks - a clogged toilet that needs immediate clearing, the continued presence of police searching for illegal immigrants who may have reached the shore, a resort manager (Eric Caravaca) who uses his position of authority to proposition a subordinate - that would invariably send Elias away in search of greener pastures, spurred in part by the invitation of a traveling magician, Nick Nickelby (Ulrich Tukur) to visit him in his hometown of Paris. Part whimsical comedy that conveys an immigrant's sense of wonder and part social realism that illustrates the plight of undocumented workers, the idiosyncratic fusion results in a film that is neither satirical enough to expose underlying social absurdities nor illuminating in its cursory and generalized observations of complex issues.

Posted by acquarello on Mar 15, 2009 | | Filed under 2009, Rendez-vous with French Cinema

March 13, 2009

Villa Amalia, 2009

villa_amalia.gifAs in his previous film The Untouchable, Benoît Jacquot's sublime and brooding film Villa Amalia, an adaptation of Pascal Quignard's novel, also explores themes of identity and fugue. This ambiguity is suggested in the film's opening sequence, as a distracted Ann (Isabelle Huppert) - having just witnessed her long-time partner, Thomas (Xavier Beauvois) near the doorway of another woman's home one evening - fails to recognize her childhood friend, Georges (Jean-Hugues Anglade) in the street. In a sense, the juxtaposition of their shared childhood in Brittany (which, in turn, evokes the region's Celtic and French biculturality), and her delayed response to the calling of her birth name (having adopted the surname, Hidden - an Anglicization of Hidewitz - for her professional career as a concert pianist and composer that alludes to her estrangement from her Romanian Jewish father and his ethic roots) is also a reflection of Ann's ambiguity and figurative rejection of her identity. Withdrawing from colleagues, refusing to take on commissioned work, and deciding to sell her shared apartment and all of its contents - including her collection of pianos - Ann gradually begins to divest herself from the life she has known, paying a final visit to her estranged mother, saying goodbye to friends, and asking Georges to keep a remote house that he once inherited for her, before setting off on her own journey to the volcanic island of Ischia on the Italian coast. But the island also proves to have its own entanglements: an Italian woman (Maya Sansa), on the verge of a breakup with her boyfriend, finds kinship with Ann despite the language barrier, a divorced lover's adolescent daughter begins to spend more time with her than with her workaholic father, and a fragile, emotionally abandoned Georges who is facing his own mortality. Jacquot creates a sense of fracture through narrative ellipses, dislocation, truncated conversations, and extended silences (most notably, in Ann's visit to her mother who may be suffering from a degenerative memory disorder) that reinforce her increasing isolation. Set against the idyllic, but weatherworn abandoned hilltop cottage, Villa Amalia becomes an embodiment of Ann's self-imposed exile as well in its haunted history of love and loss, beauty and austerity, celebration and mourning.

Posted by acquarello on Mar 13, 2009 | | Comments (2) | Filed under 2009, Rendez-vous with French Cinema

With a Little Help from Myself, 2008

with_help.gifLike Pierre Schöller's Versailles, François Dupeyron's With a Little Help from Myself similarly presents a portrait of the marginalized in contemporary France, in this case, the plight of immigrants and the elderly. Shot in yellow hues characteristic of African cinema, as well as vibrant, chaotic milieus and canted angles that invite comparison - albeit to the film's detriment - to Spike Lee's seminal film Do the Right Thing (complete with an aggressive, urban soundtrack and repeated shots of people trying to find relief from the blistering summer heat), the film's silver lining is found in actress Félicité Wouassi's charming performance as the indomitable Sonia, a role that runs the gamut from aggrieved wife to self-sacrificing mother to sympathetic companion to seductive enchantress (during the Q&A, Wouassi had commented that her acting experience before the film had been primarily theatrical, and was cast by Dupeyron after appearing as Mrs. Miller in Roman Polanski's stage production of John Patrick Shanley's play, Doubt in Paris). Ironically, in attempting to create a simple tale of working class life, Dupeyron resorts to familiar stereotypes, resulting in an unwieldy, over-contrived structure that paradoxically converges more towards fable than social realism: a sex-crazed best friend, an abusive, gambling husband (Mamadou Dioumé) who suffers a fatal heart attack only a few hours before their daughter's wedding, crotchety employers (with an added dose of racism for good measure), a lonely elderly neighbor (Claude Rich) eager for some excitement in his life, a drug-dealing son (Ralph Amoussou) who is arrested on the day of the wedding, a pregnant teen-aged daughter (Elisabeth Oppong), a self-destructive younger son (Charles-Etienne N'Diaye), a handsome suitor (Jean-Jacques Ido).

Posted by acquarello on Mar 13, 2009 | | Filed under 2009, Rendez-vous with French Cinema

March 11, 2009

The Beaches of Agnès, 2008

beaches_agnes.gifA clear highlight in an already strong French cinema program this year is Agnès Varda's playful and understated, yet endlessly inventive The Beaches of Agnès. Part autobiographical survey from her childhood in wartime Europe to her lifelong activism (she self-effacingly admits that she missed the events of May 68 because she was living in California at the time, and instead got caught up in the Black Panther and anti-war movements), and part career retrospective of her body of work as photographer, New Wave filmmaker, documentarian, and artist, the film is also an incisive essay on the amorphous nature of memory and representation. This ambiguity is perhaps best illustrated in long-time friend and colleague, Chris Marker's tongue in cheek, pre-scripted Q&A session with Varda on her life and work, using a mediated appearance through his iconic cartoon avatar, Guillaume-en-Egypte - complete with a disembodied MacinTalk™ synthesized voice - to conduct an ironically "personal" interview with the filmmaker. For Varda, reflections on her debut film La Pointe-courte not only revisit historical intersections between real life (her teen-age years spent in the fishing village during the war) and fiction (alternating segments between the lovers and village life), but also reveal the fissures between past and present, as many of the villagers appearing in the film have since died (including a poignant episode involving a stand-in actor whose son, born after his death, would commemorate his legacy by accompanying a projection cart that is screening the film through town), their children now elderly, and the lead actor, Philippe Noiret, appearing in his first film, would succumb to cancer in 2006. Inasmuch as Varda remarks that the trajectory of her life may be traced through the physical and metaphoric geography of beaches - from family summer vacations in Calais on the coast of her native Belgium, to a life of exile in La Pointe Courte in Languedoc-Roussillon on the southeast coast of France, to Venice Beach in California where the family had settled after her husband, filmmaker Jacques Demy was invited to work in Hollywood - her legacy is also appropriately found in the transformation of the ephemeral to the physical: a convergence that is prefigured in the opening sequence of Varda experimenting with mirror angles that alternately recasts the film crew as both documenters and subjects in the film, and culminates with the ingenious shot of a prismatic tent composed of unspooled reels from Varda's commercially unsuccessful film The Creatures. The image - and implicitly, the past - once again becomes tangible and relevant, re-animated by the curious and impassioned eye of an ageless spirit.

Posted by acquarello on Mar 11, 2009 | | Filed under 2009, Rendez-vous with French Cinema

Change of Plans, 2009

change_plan.gifFrom the opening images of Change of Plans, Danièle Thompson illustrates the intersection between personal and public spaces, initially, in the title sequence shot of a flamenco class in which a distracted, rhythm-challenged attorney, Marie-Laurence (Karin Viard) tries to keep up with - and out of the way of - other people, and subsequently, a gynecologist, Mélanie (Marina Foïs) examining a patient before being interrupted by a phone call from her lover. Having learned from her stay-at-home husband, Piotr (Dany Boon) of an added guest - her recently jilted lover, Jean-Louis (Laurent Stocker) - Marie-Laurence impulsively decides to invite her dance instructor Manuela (Blanca Li) in order to maintain the balance of men and women at the table, despite not having prepared enough food for the added guests. With the building access code having been changed earlier in the day, Marie-Laurence's estranged father, Henri (Pierre Arditi) unexpectedly coming for a visit, traffic coming to a virtual standstill with the advent of a music festival street fair, and friends Mélanie and her oncologist husband Alain (Patrick Bruel) uncommitted about coming to the dinner party (Mélanie having decided to reveal her affair with a jockey and ask for a divorce that evening), the occasion invariably turns from carefully planned event to barely controlled chaos, with Marie-Laurence's younger sister, Juliette (Marina Hands) deciding to drop in for a visit with fellow actor, Erwann (Patrick Chesnais) in tow, and divorce attorney, Lucas (Christopher Thompson) dragging along his neurotic wife Sarah (Emmanuelle Seigner) on the pretext of the dinner in an attempt to woo Marie-Laurence into his practice with the tantalizing offer of assigned parking space. As in her earlier films, Thompson returns to her recurring theme of shared spaces as intersectional précis for the banalities and transformative junctures of everyday life. Less cohesive than Orchestra Seats, the organic, decentralized framework of Change of Plans becomes an implicit inversion on the myth of bourgeois complacency, where the notion of settled lives at forty-something collides with the reality of life-altering changes, mortality, new love, and self-discovery.

Posted by acquarello on Mar 11, 2009 | | Filed under 2009, Rendez-vous with French Cinema

March 9, 2009

Versailles, 2008

versailles.gifThe woods surrounding the Palace of Versailles serves as a real-life metaphor for the stark disparity between wealth and poverty, privilege and exclusion in Pierre Schöller's sobering and unsentimental tale of two cities, Versailles. At the heart of Schöller's social interrogation is the plight of a young homeless boy, Enzo (Max Baissette de Malglaive) who, as the film begins, is wandering through back streets and dark alleys with his mother Nina (Judith Chemla) in a seemingly familiar routine of searching for suitable places to pass the night. Approached one evening by patrolling social workers with an offer of a warm place to sleep, Nina and Enzo are soon scuttled to Versailles under the pretext of filling out requisite forms to help them obtain public assistance: a process that will invariably send the mother away for vocational training as part of the prescribed workforce re-introduction program, while the child is processed into the foster care system. Refusing to provide their real names for fear of being separated by the state, the two instead cross into the woods in an attempt to reach the train station, and stumbles into the makeshift home of Damien (Guillaume Depardieu). Finding a kindred spirit and unlikely protector for her son in the brooding recovering addict and ex-convict, Nina, leaves Enzo in Damien's care and, armed with a newspaper article on unemployment featuring business woman and social activist, Mme. Herchel (Brigitte Sy), forges to find her way back into "productive society". Schöller incisively illustrates the parallel, surrogate relationships formed among the marginalized - the poor, homeless, and elderly - that redefine the notion of family and community. By chronicling elliptical, transitory moments in the lives of people living under the shadows of a gleaming Versailles, Schöller not only reflects the transient nature of their threadbare existence, but also confronts the eroded revolutionary ideals of an inclusive, egalitarian society that these unregistered, shadow communities represent.

Posted by acquarello on Mar 09, 2009 | | Filed under 2009, Rendez-vous with French Cinema

The Girl from Monaco, 2008

girl_monaco.gifThe prevailing stereotype of Monaco as exotic, laid back resort destination and land of fairytale - perpetuated in part by the public's enduring affection for the principality's most famous transplant, Grace Kelly - provides the surreal atmosphere for conscientious, Parisian attorney and self-styled ladies man, Bertrand's (Fabrice Luchini) inopportune case of tropical fever in Anne Fontaine's wry and breezy, The Girl from Monaco. Hired to defend a local socialite, Édith Lassalle (Stephane Audran) who is accused of killing a known gigolo with reputed ties to the Russian mafia, Bertrand's attempt to embrace the town's more unstructured lifestyle is soon quashed by the appearance of personal bodyguard, Christophe (Roschdy Zem) who has been hired by Lassalle's son (Gilles Cohen) as a precaution against possible retaliation by the mob. But Christophe's intractable sense of duty to constantly secure his client's "perimeter" also proves to have its advantages, managing to send away the inconvenient Hélène (Jeanne Balibar) who has decided to leave her husband (and life) in Paris and impulsively follow Bertrand to Monaco in order to pursue a relationship, and introducing him to a former lover, sexy, singing weather girl and aspiring starlet, Audrey (Louise Bourgoin). But as Bertrand's continues to fall under the spell of the interminably perky siren (a swooning that crystallizes in his truncated attempt to follow Audrey into the sea for a swim that is visually connected to a subsequent shot of him falling into a swimming pool before Audrey's camera), he becomes increasingly conscious of his own faltering objectivity and enlists the task-oriented Christophe with helping him maintain focus on the high profile trial. Returning to the moral ambiguity and sexual politics of her earlier films - in particular, Dry Cleaning in its themes of dangerous attraction and latent sexual awakening - Fontaine's seemingly idiosyncratic juxtaposition of idyllic setting and psychological portrait astutely reflects Bertrand's increasingly out-of-control obsession that, framed within the context of Audrey's fascination with iconic princesses Grace and Diana, reinforces the dark side of the fairytale.

Posted by acquarello on Mar 09, 2009 | | Filed under 2009, Rendez-vous with French Cinema

March 3, 2009

Demon Lover Diary, 1980

demonlover_diary.gifInasmuch as Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines collaborative documentary, Seventeen provides an intimate and compassionate portrait of teenaged life in middle America, DeMott's earlier film, Demon Lover Diary - a diary of Kreines's reluctant involvement with the shooting of a schlock horror film called Demon Lover in suburban Michigan - proves to be its antithesis in its grotesque and increasingly surreal first-hand account of a no-budget, DIY film production gone awry. Invited to work as a technical director and cameraman, Kreines' working relationship with the film's producers becomes strained from the onset when he unexpectedly arrives - complete with girlfriend DeMott and a production crew friend in tow - several days later than planned, and is berated by factory workers turned aspiring movie moguls, Don Jackson and his friend, Jerry on the added personal and professional toll that his late arrival has taken on their already tight shooting schedule (with Jerry alluding to having cut off his finger at work in order to collect insurance money to finance the film, and Don having apparently mortgaged his house and taken an indeterminate sick leave from his job in order to work on the film [and now risks being fired if he continues to extend his absence]). The logistics of the production also proves to be more complicated than Kreines had expected. Don's arranged accommodations for the shoot turns out to be a guest room in his parents' house, and because of Mrs. Johnson's religious convictions, DeMott and Kreines must not only pose as a married couple, but also refrain from discussing the actual content of the film in her presence. The working script is virtually non-existent, and consists solely of Don's personal journal outlining the story (with Kreines oddly left without access to the material). And despite dispensing with any trace of realism in their over-the-top gothic sets, piecemeal costumes, and amateurish performances, Don and Jerry insist on using real weapons borrowed from Ted Nugent's private collection in order to film a crucial scene (complete with product demonstrations from an eager Nugent himself) - a bizarre encounter that grows even more absurd when Kreines attempts to pin down his role in the production by approaching the producers with a contract. In its idiosyncratic combination of documentary and real-life human comedy, Demon Lover Diary may be seen as an integral link, not only in the development of the mockumentary genre, but also in the thematic development of films that transect the bounds between real-life and performance (particularly, in the construction of metafilms) - a convergence between truth and staging that is perhaps best illustrated in DeMott's attempts to goad her friend into arranging a romantic encounter with the film's lead actress during a production break.

Posted by acquarello on Mar 03, 2009 | | Filed under 2009, Film Comment Selects

March 2, 2009

Seventeen, 1983

seventeen.gifOne of the highlights from Film Comment Selects this year was the screening of Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines's underseen cinéma vérité film, Seventeen, a reverent and candid cross-cultural portrait of working class high school students from Muncie, Indiana that was once deemed objectionable for broadcast on PBS (the film had been commissioned as part of a documentary series on middle America) for confronting such (still) relevant social issues as race relations, drug use, unplanned pregnancy, underaged drinking, and dying young. Loosely centered on a headstrong girl named Lynn and her circle of friends, the film opens to the shot of Lynn and her classmates half-heartedly following the teacher's baking instructions, instead, using the hour to socialize with friends. In a way, the cooking lesson serves as a metaphor for the students' casual preparation for their transition into adulthood as well, having been filmed over the course of a year (the span of time subtly framed between varsity season and the senior prom). In one episode, news of Lynn's flirtation with an African American student named John sends the campus gossip mill abuzz, inciting the burning of a cross in her parents' yard and repeated telephone harassment by a young woman who may be one of John's acquaintances. In another episode, fellow cooking student, Robert confirms to the teacher that he is father of a pregnant student's baby, despite having ended the relationship with the girl earlier, and is unjudgingly counseled by the well-intentioned teacher on parental responsibilities. In still another episode, an alcohol-fueled party at Lynn's house becomes a sobering reminder of mortality when a mutual friend is gravely injured after a car accident. DeMott and Kreines insightfully frame the students within the context of home economics and sociology classes that serve to reflect the teenagers' interpersonal relationships, further reinforcing the integral role of the school experience as both a microcosm of an individual's domestic and social environments, and a real-life civics lesson on the importance of contributing to society.

Posted by acquarello on Mar 02, 2009 | | Filed under 2009, Film Comment Selects