Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kontroll: sleeper review

This is a classy little sleeper of a directorial debut. If you are into camerawork and cinematography, I highly suggest it. If you are into interesting foreign films, I would suggest it also. [I didn't originally mention, it's a rental -- not in theaters]

The story is about ticket checkers in the underground subways beneath Budapest. But, especially towards the end, you realize it could be a dream, or a bardo. In that regard there are hints of Jacob's Ladder in the movie. There are also some stylistic choices that remind me of Donnie Darko.

The director allows himself so little to work with... simple set of characters, limited range of settings (cinematic though, very cinematic settings), and not much information given to the viewer -- and yet maintains tension and interest throughout the movie. I was impressed by this.

It may knock your socks off (if you are a serious cinephile who counts classiness very high in a movie's favor) but more than likely it would provide an interesting diversion some evening. I give it a B-. Not for everyone, it's very European in that it hints more than explains, which to me can work if done correctly, but some find maddening.

Enjoy your new European directors,


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