films seen
average score
Alive and kicking



2012 / 82m - Argentina
Drama, Mystery
Lions poster

A very nice and intriguing little mood piece. It's pretty interesting to see an established horror cliché adapted as a more arthouse-leaning film, I suspect genre fans will have less trouble deciphering the mystery here. That said, the film is more about atmosphere and the emotional state of the protagonists than it is about figuring out the plot.

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Five kids are away for the weekend. They've organized a little trip through nature in search of a remote house. They seem to be going in circles, and a recording on their phone appears to suggest they've undertaken this trip before. With no way to contact the outside world, they have no choice but to continue on.

The camera work is very floaty and dreamy, whereas the music is mostly moody soundscapes. Performances are solid, the characters are likeable, and the pacing is appropriately slow. The only thing missing for me was an even stronger focus on the styling, which could've elevated the film even more. But this was a really pleasant discovery from Argentina.

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.