Wednesday, 25 June 2008

EIFF: Left Bank - Review by Becky Bartlett

Director: Pieter Van Hees
Running Time: 102 mins
Fri 27 Jun, 21:45
Filmhouse 2

Combine the general story of Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, the slow tension and gratuitous nudity of Arnold’s Red Road, the budget of Brides of Blood (1968) with a touch of 2001: A Space Odyssey and what do you get? The answer is Left Bank, Belgium’s confused (and confusing) suspense thriller. What starts encouragingly – a panic stricken blonde in a red dress climbing into a black hole in a cellar – degrades into a nonsensical story that gives one a strong feeling of déjà vu. The fact that the audience laughed at a supposedly emotional comment made to lead Marie (Eline Kuppens, possibly the only believable, consistent character) at her mother’s funeral speaks volumes. Many features are either unnecessary or underdeveloped – Marie’s increasingly hairy knee, black sand in knickers, Marie’s mother suddenly becoming psychic – while others are woefully predictable. Finally the plot becomes incomprehensible yet seemingly pointless. Still curious? Go rent the aforementioned films instead.

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