ZEITGEIST PROTEST – A new way of making cinema

18th December 2016
 

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I just took a look, again, on the Christophe Karabache’s new movie, in order to develop this review, and the clarity of the first impression came back from nowhere. The ‘minimalist’ style is poignant in this film and works well, which may become in time one of the examples that explains in cinema schools how the method works.
We have here all the principal characteristics of the style – the long and static shots where the focus is left to the actors, the low tone in which the story is told with realist and sincere dialogs, the avoidance of any sophisticated settings or complicated camera work.
But this is not all; the attention of the image director on the visual elements left me without words. We can see there that the red color it’s present like an leitmotif, and the continuous fight of the actors with the feelings they can’t control is the first action line of the movie.
As has already been remarked, the conversation is *boring*, there is no spark of life, of joy, of complicity among these people. But there is something more powerfull: the agony that flows through their body. That kind of agony that makes you search and accept all kinds of human pleasures, in order to extinguish the fire of your pain.

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Beyond all the pleasure, pain and feelings we can see that everything in the plot was organized as a metaphor for the inside world of the actors. The getaway from this world comes to light, at the end of the movie, when the two cousins consume their pain in an sexual act.

 Alexandru Vlad – 12 MFF Roumania

 

Zeitgeist Protest (2016, Christophe Karabache) by BEN RIDER – TMBFA London

There is something quite perverse about Zeitgeist Protest. Bit by bit we explore the mind of a man lost in the past terrors which haunt him. The film feels perhaps a tad exploitative of its topic, or is it perhaps our fascination with the topic which is being exploited? It doesn’t matter.

The issue at hand isn’t a discussion about film ethics really, nor is it a dilemma about the difference of spaces: the film’s space, our space, the space between us and what we are watching. These thoughts are triggered however, and it is all thanks to Christophe Karabache’s film. Here he leans his camera in and out of spaces, moving slowly in, or away. He is a skilled director, one reminiscent to me of Semih Kaplanoğlu, the highly regarded writer/director behind the Yusuf Trilogy.

The film sporadically looks like it might cheer up its topic, but that hope is swiftly turned away by the arrival of even more turbulent times. Sex and violence merge, and a burst of images which appear unfiltered and unadulterated occur. This film isn’t here to flatter upon its topic, but instead set a tone and a mood around the experience which is to be had when living with trauma. It is a skilled film, full of psyche and smartly layered thoughts embedded in a rich variety of locations and a small, but effective, cast.

Had this film been in competition (it was only entered for a review), we would have definitely loved to see where our Jury placed it, and if it would have won any awards. It is at the end of the day a provocative watch.