films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


I'm a big fan of anthologies, and this project sounded very promising on paper. Seventy renowned directors give their vision on the future of cinema. With just one minute per short, there isn't much time to make a point, but it's disheartening to see how few of them even managed to stick to the topic.

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The saddest part was that many of the short didn't even deal with the future, but openly referred to or praised the medium's past. There's also a lot of doom and gloom, with some very basic visions of people not caring enough about arthouse cinema, or playing movies on their phones. Your typical old-man-yelling-at-cloud stuff.

There is only a small selection of directors who seem to have understood the brief, and they struggle to make the most of their limited runtime. What remains is a complete mess, with most shorts looking like they were made on people's afternoon off, and hardly anything that stands out. A disappointment.

The Legend of the Holy Drinker

La Leggenda del Santo Bevitore
1988 / 128m - Italy
The Legend of the Holy Drinker poster

I'm quite surprised by the critical acclaim this film received. While watching, it felt like a local production, made for a local audience. I wouldn't have been surprised if this had been a TV production. Winning a Golden Lion is no simple feat though, so some people clearly saw something more than I did.

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A drunk and homeless man bumps into a stranger. He sees potential in the bum, and gives him 200 francs, certain that he'll spend the money well. The drunk is grateful, and the money changes his life, but whenever he tries to make good on his promise to pay the money back, something gets in the way.

Hauer's performance is pretty poor (playing an onscreen drunk rarely goes well), but it's the cheesy, somewhat listless direction that really hampers the film. The cinematography is dull, the soundtrack is horrible, and the drama comes off as overly sentimental. A pretty horrible film.

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

L'Albero degli Zoccoli
1978 / 186m - Italy
The Tree of Wooden Clogs poster

A very typical Palme d'Or winner. Poor farmers going about their business for more than three hours on end. There's no real drama here, no pressing issues, no fancy cinematography, just a slice of life. Italian neo-realism at its best/worst, for me personally it was very much the latter.

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Several families of farmers are living on the land of a rich landowner. They pay him a part of their produce, even so he likes to mingle in the lives of the farmers. When one of the farmer's kids turns out to be highly intelligent, they want to send him to a good school, but those are expensive and they'll need to make many sacrifices to get him there.

A cast of amateur actors does a decent enough job, but I simply don't care for the life of 19th century farmers. It's all very expected, characters are caricatures, their living conditions are dire and the lack of any real drama makes it a real chore to watch. The runtime just makes it twice as bad. Terrible.