MIFF 2011 Film review: FINISTERRAE

26 Jul

By 

Finisterrae is the directorial debut of Sergio Caballero and pays homage to the 1972 La Cicatrice Interieure by Philippe Garrel. It follows two ghosts as they try and make their way back to the living world having become tied of being in limbo. After consulting an oracle they follow the wind throughout Northern Spain, along the well-known pilgrim path to Santiago de Compostela. Eventually they are able to find themselves into the human world once more and all seems well.

Yet so much more happens in this film.

After I experienced only a mild moment ‘oh gosh, this is very Klue Klax Klan…awkward!’ I was back with the film. Whilst it is slow throughout, the film slowly builds in pace aided by the beautifully shot wildlife and landscape by famed cinematographer Eduard Grau. It is a largely silent film the soundtrack works well, mixing the sounds of Nico (who stars and sings in Garrel’s feature) with classical movements with nature.

The biggest remembrance of this film however, is the humour seemingly worked into the plot. The ghosts have a sense of deep weariness to them and their droll observations about the events around them allows the film to flow seamlessly. For me, the moment when one of the ghosts discovers a Catalan infomercial from the 1980s playing in a knot in a tree as the other sits in a wheelchair and goes fishing was when the Surreal and the Real fully merged in complete harmony.

Although, I did dislike the end of the film in its predictability, the use of closing credits though, was not. Overall, an interesting piece which combines stark images with unthinkable situations and moments of time.

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