Category Archives: Mysteries

Lapsus

How freaking cool is this poster??

How freaking cool is this poster??

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?? What the heck did I just watch? This was like watching Inception all over again (except I never did quite entirely figure that one out so if anyone cares to explain it, I’m all ears! Well, the end of it I mean. With that spinny thing. Wth?). Instead of dreams, however, we have fantasies (QUITE different – yes they are, E! :-p); fiction and the truth. It makes for a heady combination.

In case you’re wondering, the title comes from an unknown phenomenon that literature considers a Lapsus memoriae or a slip of memory. And the unfortunate memory slip here happens in a laundromat. When I was a poor college student, I was actually rather fond of laundromats – one could get up to all sorts of shenanigans there – but after Lapsus, I believe I have a new phobia. The laundromat plays the central character here, bringing the handful of other characters together and keeping them together. Imagine being enclosed in a very tiny space with 4 strangers – 3 of whom are definitely dangerous and 1 of whom is most likely psychotic. Fun, eh?

All right, all right, all right...

All right, all right, all right…

So we’ve got Jackson. He’s just hanging out, waiting on his laundry and “reading” Playboy. Suddenly Rose walks in, strips down to her skivvies so she can wash the clothes she was wearing, chill as can be. And then come the three amigos – Terry, Martin and Lewis. These guys are the bad news. What follows is a fairly normal “hostage in the laundromat” situation…but then…well, let’s just say nothing is ever quite like it seems.

Love, love, love Sophie Meister as Rose. She’s cunning, manipulative, terrified and stone cold. Her performance is absolutely stunning to behold – with her, it’s all in the eyes. And Arben Bajraktaraj as Terry? Never do I want to be locked in a room with that man. Nope. His character seems to take a certain glee in his sadism and it’s so hard to look away.

Playboy?? *gasps* How dare you, Jackson??

Playboy?? *gasps* How dare you, Jackson??

 Another thing I loved was the cinematography. It was quick and bold and made you feel as if you were standing RIGHT there with bated breath. Major props to writer, Julien Diris and writer/director, Karim Ouaret on their screenplay. It’s intelligent, thoughtful and leaves one with a knot in their stomach, wondering what will happen next. It’s brilliant.

Fantasy or reality? You decide.

Fantasy or reality? You decide.

Guys, you MUST watch this. Now. Check them at their site for a making of and other goodies and find them on Facebook to say hello!

 

The Girl in the Woods

The Girl In The Woods

Now THIS was a short film I liked. Intriguing, compelling, mysterious with just an edge of chilling, “The Girl in the Woods” hit all my sweet spots. I’m fairly certain this was my first Turkish film experience and it definitely made a good impression. I’m interested to see more of what Turkey and writer/director, Tofiq Rzayev, have to offer.

The story is simple (and yet complex – multi-layered if you will). Ceren’s fiance is missing after a huge fight. They’ve been having some issues for awhile with him not wanting to settle on a wedding date but him just vanishing takes the cake. Except…did he vanish of his own free will? The only clue Ceren and their good friend, Mert, have to go on is a text that Mert received reading “Find me”. Hmmm…my, but that’s rather cryptic, eh? So what gives? Mert heads out to see if he can find Mr. Fiance but after several days all he’s managed to find is a mystery girl in the woods. He grows rather fond of talking and hanging out with her (cause ya know, you can always trust those mystery forest girls!…), which is cool because Girl in the Woods (no name cause that’s how she rolls) is kind of lonely and she’s had some major heartbreak and wants to be alone. But not alone (see?? What did I say about trusting those girls in the woods?? That is NOT normal behaviour!). However, what happens next causes a downward spiral that changes all of their lives in different ways.

First off, I liked the characters. They were well fleshed out for such a short film and believable. Ceren was ready to equally kill AND hug to death her fiance when he came back and the way she said that was so real. I found myself just as engaged with the actors (Deniz Aslim – Mert; Gizem Aybike Shahin – Ceren; Mehmet Samer – Cem; and Cevahir Cashgir as The Girl in the Woods). The story started as a “slice of life” mini-mystery but quickly became a beautiful and insightful look at mankind’s push and pull towards one another, so absolutely no complaints there. And Azerbaijan, the location where this was filmed, is absolutely lovely.

Really, the only complaint I had was that in some places the picture was a little fuzzy, if you know what I mean. Not so that you couldn’t see what was going on but just not very sharp in the way that home videos look fuzzy compared to movies in the cinema. Not a huge thing, just noticeable.

This is on my “Highly Recommended” list. There’s nothing better than a great short and nothing beats a fabulous foreign film (well, to me anyway!) so combining the two equals pure magic. Want to see why I think YOU should see it? You can get more reviews and info on IMDB. Hurry, go! There’s probably some mysterious girl waiting for you…