Ellie Lumme and Princess of France
Thursday 9th October, 1.15pm – BFI Southbank
Friday 10th October, 9pm – Rich Mix
These two short-length features shown one after the other are different but not quite equal in quality. Director Matías Piñeiro’s spin on Love’s Labour’s Lost is a Spanish flurry of romance, while Ignatiy Vishnevetsky presents a sinister subject portrayed with sarcasm and sincerity.
First up is Ellie Lumme; the plot centres on the eponymous 22-year-old (Alison Torem), her apartment, life and ordeal with Ned (Stephen Cone), a direct and intrusive man. Meeting at a party, Ellie flirts a little with Ned who very quickly after begins to inundate her with text messages before giving a gushing speech about how they should be a couple. After firmly turning him down, Ellie’s life begins to be invaded by insulting and threatening phone messages. Depressed by his own life with wife and newborn child, Ned seeks to manipulate and plant fear in Ellie’s mind to assert his power begins to stalk her.
It’s so refreshing to see a story of the nature told with truth to the reality of a young 20-something female’s life. The coarsely edged rapport between Ellie and her flatmate shows a relatively realistic account of regular women living independently. Vishnevetsky articulates the vulnerability and potential isolation of the seemingly confident modern women when subjected to invasive behaviour from malicious men.
Princess of France is a snake’s wedding of love affairs and entanglements of a group of Spanish thespians. Themes in their Shakespearian play of betrayal and disloyalty are echoed and played out in the melodrama of the two stud boys Victor and Guillermo and the many women. With repetitions, re-imaginings and dream scenes the plot is a challenge to decipher and with subtitles it is a bit of a sprint to read the fast-paced dialogue while catching the very natural performances. It doesn’t live up to the authenticity of Ellie Lumme.
See Ellie Lumme for 40 minutes of contemporary cinema with up-to-the-minute-issues, and try to bear with the speedy dialogue of Princess of France.
Ellie Lumme and Princess of France are both released in the UK on 9th October 2014.
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