MIFF 2010 review: Bibliotheque pascal.

2 Aug

An oddball Fantasy, from an audacious director. Some have described this as a ‘creative train wreck of epic proportions’, but for me the shambolic and unhinged chaos of Szabolcs Hajdu’s narrative is what made this film work.

It’s an unstable film; principal characters are killed off, convenient liberties are taken by use of  fantastical interventions, and the grimmest of moments are made more unsettling through seemingly incongruous use of accompanying cheerful gypsy music. It’s film in freeform, a gypsy ramble that still manages to hold on to a clear (albeit ambiguously resolved) narrative arc, bringing to mind the work of Greenaway (particularly the tableau of a literary themed brothel) , Juenet (city of lost children) and Kustirica (black cat, white cat). Though it’s likely to divide audiences, this is my pick of the festival (so far). ****1/2 – Ronan MacEwan

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6 Responses to “MIFF 2010 review: Bibliotheque pascal.”

  1. Anna Sutton August 2, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Lou said the art design was visually stunning. I can’t stand Greenway or Jeunet but I’d still like to give this one a go! Funny, I checked out the website when I was choosing my films and thought the trailer made it look like unbearably tedious. There have been many surprises at this year’s MIFF I think.

  2. Mad Wren August 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    I thought I wasn’t going to get film that really excited me this year, and then this film came along. I loved it. So much so I could ignore the pubic hair draped across the projector for the first 10 minutes, and let’s not go into how freakishly super annoying the audience was that night… Stunning and harrowing (the film was). If it was trainwreck, it was one I couldn’t look away from and I still can’t stop thinking about. If it rambled, well, only in the way Lewis Carroll has a tendency to drag things on a bit once we get down the rabbit hole. I don’t mind getting lost in a film, being made to feel a little frightened about where it might taking me and left wondering what the point of it all was. It was a beautiful nightmare.

    I have blog now.
    Just so you know.
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    Just so you know.

  3. Joachim Boaz August 3, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    What’s the film actually about? Looks very intriguing. Well anything compared to Greenaway, Kusturica, and Jeunet in the same sentence has to be somewhat worthwhile 😉

  4. Ronan Macewan August 3, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    Hi Anna – I got a similar feeling from the trailer, glad to have my intuition proved wrong. Better than when it happens the other way around eg love in a puff, city of life and death.

    Jen- very well said. I think it’s a film that if you don’t find its roughshod chaotic and ridiculous approach to film making and narrative endearing early on it will lose you.

    Joachim- it’s about eastern european gypsies, sex trafficking, fantasy, memory and the power of dreams and imagination. it’s also comparable to Russel and Gilliam.

  5. Lou McLaren August 6, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    This is still my favorite film so far. In the first dream sequence I forgot to breathe, my jaw hit my knee and I think I had my first cinematic orgasm

    • Ronan Macewan August 6, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

      Haha, love it. Felt a similar way. It came on suddenly and unexpectedly, much like an acid trip.

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