Tuesday, 11 June 2013

My bit overdue review of Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty is another war-related film from the Oscar-celebrated collaboration of Kathryn Bigelow (director) and Mark Boal (writer). Their second film is dedicated to the ten years of secret operation by an elite team whose only mission is to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden.

As in their previous film, The Hurt Locker, Bigelow and Boal present this war topic with great realism and through non-judging position. Like in The Hurt Locker, the film follows the story through the eyes of a lonely main character dedicated to her mission and work - CIA operative Maya (Jessica Chastain). Not only Maya’s obsession of finding al-Qaeda terrorist leader leads the team of what seems like tired and lost team of intelligence, it also drives the whole film. Considering that Jessica Chastain’s character is a woman without secrets, interesting stories or personal problems, it seems at first as an impossible task to get a real hero out of Maya, but Jessica Chastain does it brilliantly with her pure and sincere performance. The actress proves that she is gifted not only in the comedy roles like in The Help or supporting roles like in Lawless and Coriolanus but also as a lead in a serious drama.

Dramatically a lot of focus and attention concentrates on a character who becomes a center of the film, a real person who is the only reason of the story’s existence - the leader of al-Qaeda. He is an invisible villain. A goal of creating drama through fighting an invisible villain is a difficult task in filmmaking and that is where “Zero Dark Thirty” lacks its visual expression.

Zero Dark Thirty does not feel like a long film (despite its 2 hours 37 min) but its broken pace damages everything: years pass by in a repetition very quickly while the raid itself is shot almost in a real-time, minute-by-minute speed.

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal made an important creative decision not to commit to any viewpoint and decided to follow passionate but quite straightforward character. All these decisions left this film emotionally cold and very “as a matter-of-fact”.  

The manhunt for one of the world's most dangerous man is a tremendously important event in the history of the 21st century and no wonder that it attracted one of the best filmmakers of our time. However in the attempt to show a true event without slipping into a melodrama of a patriotic victory and avoiding factual problems, the filmmakers showed an unemotional story of a lonely individual on the edge of the earth trying to achieve her goal for no apparent personal reasons. As a story it is amazing and by no means important in the history of 21st century, but the decisions made in the script almost diminish its value and as a film it fails to impress.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sweetheart is up online

It's been a year and couple of months since we shot short film Sweetheart in West London.

Since then Sweetheart, written by talented Lisa Gifford and produced by super-competent Elisar Cabrera, enjoyed a great festival run with a Premier screening in London at Raindance film festival, screenings at Bragacine Fim Festival in Portugal and two festival in the US: West Chester Film Festival and Fort Lauderdale.

It feels like it's been such a long time ago since we wrapped filming on the day, and to be honest the shoot went so smooth that I was waiting for something to go wrong. Luckily it didn't, thanks to our amazing crew and everyone who helped out it was a very pleasant experience.

Here is a full film online, if you like it, please do share and click on "like" on youtube page.

I hope this is my first amongst many future joint projects with the lovely team behind Sweetheart.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Summer, friends

Summer rainy days.
I am sitting in between.
In the middle of life,
Staring outside
Water falling down.
In the middle of life,
Right here, right now.

I don't want anything.
It's not about basic needs and secret desires or love in general.
Love is about freedom, and I let everyone go.
Some stayed for some time, some didn't.

Some are still here, at the back of my mind and at the reach of a phone button, ready to help, to talk, to laugh or just there.
In them I trust. In their existence.
They do not need to prove themselves every time to me.

I'll even forgive them if they are late.
Although they can't be late.
Because they are never truly gone.