Through such films as The Kindergarten Teacher and the Golden Bear-winning Synonyms, Nadav Lapid has earned a reputation for thematically and formally challenging work. For his latest effort Ahed’s Knee, the Israeli filmmaker continues in the same vein, with a drama that takes its cues from real world events to make a bold cinematic statement. The result is a typically eccentric rumination on Israeli art, politics and society.
If you watched Maria Schrader’s I’m Your Man with no prior knowledge of its premise, you’d probably be blindsided by its stereotypical setup. A woman meets a man at lively nighttime establishment where they are greeted by a hostess before partaking in food, drinks and dancing. On the surface, it seems like any other first date in a romantic comedy or drama. But quickly, you realize that something’s different in this unconventional love story.
With some experimental visual concepts and philosophical themes, Soul marks a welcome departure for Pixar into more ambitious, mature work.
Though its heady nature sacrifices some of their trademark emotional power, this is truly accomplished and elegant filmmaking otherwise. Wondrous animation, lovely music and thought-provoking script.
Powerful stuff thanks largely to the subject, but also Jasmila Žbanić's strong storytelling. It really digs into the nitty-gritty procedural details of war, building a tense atmosphere of dread. Would make an interesting, albeit depressing double feature with "Dear Comrades", another woman-centric account of a historical armed conflict.