A minor-key film with standout visuals: our hero is a mysterious, reticent photographer who, though he might not look 50, nevertheless betrays his real age. Preferring to leave the spotlight to others, this “man devoid of standout qualities” would rather fade into anonymity.
A number of questions remained unanswered in this film, which presents every episode from the life of a wedding photographer in artistic, tableau-like shots. A confident film of few words that portrays the mid-life crisis of an everyday individual, in the process taking the viewer on a relentless journey through the visual layers that constitute both the emptiness and idiosyncrasies of the protagonist’s existence. His most meaningful moments aren’t those which occur to a majestic city panorama backdrop, neither those accompanied by eye-catching bunker sculptures, fire and snow, paper-white surroundings or a giant climbing wall. Instead it is interpersonal encounters that see him in his element, be that when making space in the back of a car for a spot of lovemaking or transforming his father’s wheelchair into a swing. A meta-film comparable to a modern-day “Blow-Up”, with the world an admixture of surfaces and layers, basements and subterranean garages; in short, black level.
Valentyn Vasyanovich’s latest work is this year’s Ukrainian nomination for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. BW
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Valentyn Vasyanovich - born in 1971 in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. He studied documentary filmmaking and cinematography. He first gained fame as a documentary filmmaker, his films winning several international prizes. He was the DOP for the feature PLEMYA (2012) – the biggest international success of a Ukrainian film.
PROTI SONTSIYA (2004, doc)
ZVICHAYNA SPRAVA (2012)
PLEMIYA (2014, as DOP)
PRYSMERK (2015, doc)