Las Acacias marks the debut of Argentine filmmaker, Pablo Giorgelli. It tells the story of a lonely, long-distance truck driver, Rubén, who offers a lift to Jacinta, a young mother carrying her eight-month-old child.
It looks as if it’s going to be a long ride with the grumpy Rubén, but as with so many road movies before it, the gruff driver’s attitude will no doubt thaw. However, I imagine this will be a film filled with long silences, so for those unfamiliar (or with a dislike for) the ‘cinema of slowness’, this will either be an exhilarating new experience or excruciatingly dull.
Surviving Life sees surrealist filmmaker Jan Švankmajer return to directing after a five-year absence. The film is about Eugene, a man who (literally) falls in love with the woman of his dreams. As Eugene grows more concerned about his subconscious he enlists the help of a psychoanalyst to enable him to understand his dream’s significance. But as Eugene progresses he becomes more and more infatuated with the woman, choosing to indulge his subconscious rather than attempting to control it. From all accounts Švankmajer is as playful as ever, Surviving Life features women with chicken heads, portraits of Freud and Jung arguing and his usual idiosyncratic mix of live-action and stop-motion animation.
However, my film of the week goes to this small, French film, by Jean-Pierre Améris. It’s a simple film, with no digital effects and more importantly no 3D. Brilliant! Romantics Anonymous, tells the story of two pathologically, timid people, falling in love.
Jean-René, is the boss of a successful chocolate factory, but his employees think he’s a miserable devil, when in fact he’s just incredibly shy and lacking in self-confidence. Angélique, is a gifted chocolate maker that Jean-René hires to work in his factory. They’re both attracted to each other but they both suffer from similar anxieties, so will either of them be able to overcome their hyper-emotional states and pluck up the courage to express how they feel? If you’re looking for a romantic film this winter’s weekend, then Romantics Anonymous should be your first choice.