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cacb3995's Movie Reviews (39)

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November (2017) 
Estonian Dark Fantasy
3/4 stars

“November” is a 2017 very atmospheric estonian film set in a medieval world full of strange creatures and unusual occurrences. Shot in gorgeous black and white cinematography and playing out like some sort of twisted fairy tale, director Rainer Sarnet shows his visual mastery and capacity to make such an unusual world come to life. A film that went on quiet last year, picking a few awards at festivals and with the local academy, but in spite of being selected as Estonia’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Picture Oscar, it went unnoticed by academy members. Nevertheless, for its aesthetic prowess and its fantastical inventiveness “November” is one movie that is very well seeking out. It seems to be influenced by the likes of Bergman, Tarr, Haneke and Vláčil, and if you’re familiar with the works of such directors you know you’re in for a crazy and existential ride.

The setting is a small rural village in which all sorts of fantastical elements come into play: the spirits of the dead come back to the world to pay visit to their loved ones, the black plague comes in various guises to exact its judgement (and yet, it can surprisingly be reasoned with), a girl seems to have a unusual symbiotic relationship with a wolf (is she herself the wolf? does she command the wolf? can she feel and experience everything the wolf does?), and the devil rumages around the woods making deals with the villagers to bring their “kratts” to life, which are basically inanimate objects fashioned in some practical sense and given life to serve as helpers of their masters. While all of this is going on, the main story concerns Liina (Rea Lest), who is in love with Hans (Jörgen Liik), who in turn is smithen as soon as he sees the daughter of the Baron (Jette Loona Hermanis) for the first time. In order to turn their unrequitted love into what they desire, both of them recur to magical means to make their loved ones fall for them, but the consequences are not what they expected.

https://breakingthefourthwallsite.wordpress.com/2018/08/18/november-estonian-dark-fantasy/


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