Mittwoch, 13. Februar 2013
Berlinale: Ayer no termina nunca (Yesterday Never Ends) / Pardé (Closed Curtain)
It's a chore to sit through Spanish director Isabel Coixet's "Ayer no termina nunca (Yesterday Never Ends)", a feature film constructed almost entirely upon dialogue between two grieving parents on the anniversary of their son's death. Even though the two main characters are constantly talking, the confinement of space and monotony of their interaction lend it the air of a piece of silent performance art that's delicate but quietly oppressing. Both Javier Cámara and Candela Peña are fully committed to their roles and in the few scenes where the camera wanders off their faces to observe bright open sky or dreary rainwater trails, the work of a great cinematographer is on ample display, but as a whole, this movie tests the patience of the audience much more than it rewards them with anything substantial.
Iranian competition entry "Pardé (Closed Curtain)" has an intriguing premise, using a secluded house as stage, pitting a writer of his own story against mysterious intruders who may or may not be figments of his imagination. When the director Jafar Panahi himself drops in, boundaries between fictional film and documentary, reality and projection get all but obliterated. This potentially explosive idea sadly didn't get the treatment it deserves, the script feels hollow despite all the tricks on perception it plays and the direction too slack. In the end, this movie remains mostly a rigorous formal exercise without real impact, intellectual or emotional.