What To Watch Thursday: Después de Lucía and Spirited Away

What To Watch Thursday: Después de Lucía and Spirited Away

Jun 6, 2013 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
Born and raised in this amazing city, Steven (25) remembers quite vividly the first film that as a young boy got him addicted to cinema: The Neverending Story. And it really is a never-ending story, his grand film study has gone on ever since. Since then his taste has extended beyond such a fantasy coming-of-age film and will now guide you to what to see and what to skip.

What To Watch Thursday is Overdose’s weekly film concept: every Thursday – which traditionally is Premiere night in the cinemas across Amsterdam – we will review at least two films that are definitely worth your while. Our main goal is to shield you from horrible films and wasting your precious time. In the process we will try and give you as much in-depth background, without spoiling anything!

Después de Lucía

Anticipation: This second feature by Mexican director Michel Franco was last year’s winner of the prestigious Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival. So one would expect a huge buzz way ahead of this film, but the topic definitely makes it a hard sell and not an easy one to watch. Perhaps that explains the lack of exposure it has received until recently. The storyline picks up a few months after Roberto (Hernán Mendoza) and his daughter Alejandra (Tessa Ia) relocate from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City, to mourn their recently deceased wife and mother. Roberto is struggling tremendously with his grief, but Abe, however, seems to cope with it much better and settles in great at her new school. Until an unexpected turn of events results in Abe becoming the number one pariah of the school and immense bullying falls upon her…

Appreciation: This film is a powerful blow to the head, it’s brutal, honest and unsettling. Since it’s film about bullying some scenes are almost impossible to watch, and the vibe of this film is at times similar to Michael Haneke’s incredible Funny Games. Franco definitely draws from great European directors likes Von Trier and Haneke, but he maintains his own style for sure. The result is the product of a director who really knows how to deliver, but never quite exploits his script for cheap thrills. Combined with an impressive performance by the young Tessa Ia this is one of the most impressive films I’ve seen recently.

Length: 90 min.

Verdict: 4/5 – Cruel and unsettling, a brilliant film.

Where to see: Watch this film in Cineville’s Kriterion.

Spirited Away

Anticipation: Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese animé by the renowned veteran film maker Hayao Miyazaki and the all-time high-grossing film in his country. Much like Después de Lucia, this is another film about a sullen young girl who’s thrown into a difficult situation; when 10-year-old Chihiro’s family decides to move to the suburbs it’s not quite what one would expect. Chihiro stumbles into a magical world, ruled by witches, giant babies and many weird creatures.

Appreciation: Miyazaki’s wildly imaginative fantasy masterpiece is a very impressive animation film, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. This film can be watched over and over again, there is so much to discover and it seems the most rewarding of Miyazaki’s films. What I found to be amazing was the way Miyazaki can switch between utter cuteness and nightmarish moments. Spirited Away is incredibly well done on almost every level. It remains one of the greatest animation films to date, and if you haven’t seen it be sure to catch the screening tomorrow!

Length: 125 min.

Verdict: 5/5 – Absolutely mind-blowing animation: a beautiful work of art.

Where to see: Watch this film Friday June 7th, 19.00 in Cineville’s Rialto.

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