NZFF Day 4

My Love

Wait, so, what? What does the opening have to do with the rest of the film? What does the kid have to do with the rest of the film? Was the kid the mute? Was the mute the same mute? WHAT? How much longer do I have to watch this film?

Coming home, I watched the trailer (above). Yeah, the one that explains a bit of what’s going on. Georgy is on a journey… he gets stuck in a town… they don’t like outsiders… there are flashbacks to just after WWII… yeah.

Look at how it was marketed.

This audacious and impressive feature debut from documentarian Sergei Loznitsa (BlockadeRevue NZIFF08) takes us on a Kafkaesque journey deep into the literal and metaphorical back roads of darkest Russia, complete with several somewhat Buñuelian diversions. Connoisseurs of Russian cinema may well intuit that the title is deeply ironic, and it is. — MM

Audacious and impressive? Is that the same sort of advertising where you say a house is a “doer-upper” and that means it’s falling down?

Yes there were definitely diversions. Kafkaesque? Does that equal confusing and depressing?

My Joy is filmed with a documentary-maker’s eye – it’s based on true stories – but it’s also a horror story of living ghosts, a portrait of the old weird Russia in which bad luck rules and is passed on by stories,

A documentary maker’s eye? Not documentary styles, but lots of steadicam following shots. Horror stories? Yes. True stories? Okay. If that is true, then my conclusion, (and apologies to any Russians I’m about to offend), drawn from this film, is Russia is f*&$ed.

The film’s constantly surprising labyrinthine structure, modelled, according to the director, on the bizarre tree-like structure of the Russian road system… [makes] this a powerfully antirealist film.

An anti-realist film based on true stories? By the way, was that a necrophilia scene? Or was the guy in a coma? What?

WHY was this film not in the Go Slow section of the festival???

I’m not even going to give this film a rating out of 5. I got up and left for 5 minutes to find out how much longer I had to be in the cinema. That’s my rating. Will not see again. Hey, maybe the film would make more sense if you saw the trailer first! Yeah, if you’re going to the screening on Friday, watch the trailer first (and Georgy is the one at the end).

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