The Last Session- film review by Andrea Borović

HRVATSKI

As a part of the STIFF’s  educational program Dean Durić held a workshop on  film review & criticism for 10 selected students. Throughout this week some of the best student film reviews will be published on our web.

“Love! Freedom! Feelings! Peculiarity! Strange situations! Reality (as much as love allows us to be realistic)! Art that binds us together! Mild humor derived from shyness! Life and its unpredictability! Music! Crying, tears, laughter! Little things! Small tokens! Moments such as bringing coffee to someone and asking, ‘How are you?’…”

written by Andrea Borović

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“The Last Session”, directed by Natxo Fuentes, Spain

Love! Freedom! Feelings! Peculiarity! Strange situations! Reality (as much as love allows us to be realistic)! Art that binds us together! Mild humor derived from shyness! Life and its unpredictability! Music! Crying, tears, laughter! Little things! Small tokens! Such as bringing coffee to someone and asking, ‘How are you?’…

These words best describe this beautiful, magical, gentle movie that captured life’s fullness in only fourteen minutes. Two couples. One is elderly and the other is at the very beginning of life. All they have in common is love; they encounter in the very center of the universe – an old theater on the very last night before it closes.

The movie was edited in a very creative way. The two couples are not contrasted because of their age but, better yet, they are mutually connected through their similar fates. The young couple evokes memories of the old couple’s life and love while the old couple remembers their youth and tender moments they spent together. Their feelings are conveyed towards the young couple making the two couples identify with each other. This identification is best seen in the scenes where the dialogue of the younger couple is interlaced with voices spoken by the older couple a very long time ago. This is typical for classic melodramas.

In the background of these two love stories another strong subtheme is present. The last movie session that will be shown before the theater closes- for good-  is a symbol of the end as well as of the beginning of a new era.

The motif of the movie theater house shutting down – suggests a new direction of socio-economic change in Western society. This social change is directed towards an individual who is represented as a consumer, unaware of the capitalist system that is strongly dependent on the same individual. The consumer capitalism is a symbol of new culture dependent on desires and wishes of a society in need of more things to consume. Here we have the concept of disappearing. Old values, traditions and interests are disappearing. No one goes to old, dilapidated theaters when newer, bigger and more complex theaters with a variety of different movies are at our disposal. Quality dissolved under quantity – society values spectacles and nothing else. The young and the old couple are defying these values. They demonstrate their unwillingness to comply with this new culture. They continue to live and feel within a place everyone else forgot. The image of an old theater, rows of seats, the register, tickets, the sounds of old movies, the feeling of belonging to this small cosmos where everyone knows you because you’ve been coming here since you were a child… these symbols tend to shade the story in the sentimental tones, but the very end turns away from nostalgia facing towards hope. Everything that is beautiful is fleeting, but there is no time for sorrow. Life and all that inspires it carries on from the very same spot where it once ended.

 

 

 

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