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Reviews of the Lab Young Critics

The Talent Village - Short Movies selection

The Talent Village is a section of the Industry Village of Les Arcs Film Festival with the goal of promoting up-and-coming European directors. The initiative offers a 3-day workshop with industry professionals and the screening of their short movies.

The 2022 selection screening happened in a tiny, intimate projection room at Le Hameau des Oursons in Les Arcs 1950. Eight refreshing and powerful short movies were shown to a few professionals.

We were stunned by the masterful direction of these young artists and we noticed a red thread of loss, nostalgia and sadness. From queer love to family trauma, from gentrification to illness, from harassment to leaping to adult life, all eight short movies deal in different ways with absence, suffering, longing and grief.

LIQUID BREAD (Chlieb nás kazdodenný) - Alica Bednáriková - 2022 - Slovakia

A family drama with a touch of comedy that through engaging editing and nostalgic cinematography takes us on a journey into the genealogy tree of a Slovak family. The main character Zoja (Patricia Bajalová) tells her story through memories, family portraits and impressions of a wounded household, wittily and smoothly breaking the fourth wall. Although we see a dysfunctional family marked by tragedy and loss, we are able to find the actual backbone of the family and plot: Ilma (Emilia Zimková), the grandmother, a woman who holds the household's emotional weight and is troubled by her decisions in life.


A MEMORI - Job Antoni - 2019 - Germany

Unable to grasp onto his memories, a man (Max Thommes) deals with forgetting main aspects of his life due to illness. His caring partner tries to help him remain in the present in any possible way. A confusing and unsettling narrative conveyed through coherent editing makes us connect with his story and the grief that comes with loss.



SONGS OF A CARETAKER (Auf Platte) - Pascal Schuh - 2021 - Germany

Inspired by The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this musical movie presents the life and connection between two outsiders: Hugo (Benjamin Kramme) the caretaker and Johanna (Hanh Mai Thi Tran), a young Asian woman who lives in a van outside Hugo’s building. Through episodes of discrimination and harassment, the music composed by Bertold Pohl connects the two characters and enhances the emotional impact of the movie. Hugo and Johanna both lead an unusual life but are able to feel at home until gentrification, hate and discrimination get in the way. The warmth and tranquility of their friendship get turned into a dangerous situation, giving the movie a bittersweet tone marked by frightening and lovely aspects at the same time.


EURIDICE, EURIDICE - Laura Mure-Ravaud - 2022 - Switzerland, France

Set in Italy, this short movie tells a love story between Ondina (Ondina Quadri) and Alexia (Alexia Sarantopoulou) through metaphorical and mythological narration. Thanks to natural and realistically portrayed intimacy we can see what will later be lost and what Ondina will long for. The narration is subtle and leaves room for the viewer’s imagination while stunning cinematography accompanies Ondina's recovery from her loss. Facing the problem and the absence of a loved one is what this deep short movie is about.


NESTING (Haikara) - Siiri Halko - 2021 - Finland

The thrilling beginning of this short movie sets an interesting opening that intrigues the viewer: a baby is stuck on a crane. However, the film goes in another direction and deals with Veikka’s (Mikko Kauppila) coming of age as he moves to Helsinki. The fascinating atmosphere and fantastic cinematography are in some ways the main points of the movie, which touches on metaphors about life and choosing new paths.



CATCAVE HYSTERIA (Tjejtoan 4-ever) - Angelika Abramovitch - 2021 - Sweden

An original opening scene introduces us to a strongly feminine space and perspective. The movie is set in the bathroom of a club which becomes the location of three intertwisted stories about girlhood. This real and relatable narration presents troubles between two sisters (Dilan Apak and Asta August), a girl (Klara Hodell Risberg) who accidentally hears her friends gossiping about her and a story of unrequited love (between Camila Bejarano Wahlgren and Doreen Ndagire). The staging shows excellent cinematography and editing that connects the stories and mixes them in a masterful and extremely smooth way. The result is a refreshing perspective that reflects on contemporary womanhood.


PÆIN - Ghiath Mhithawi - 2021 - Germany

In an apartment room a couple – Eva and Lena (Runa Wehrli and Viktoria Schreiber) – wakes up like every morning, but on this occasion they have to face the tension building up between them as one of them is keeping a secret. The intimate atmosphere and mystery around the conversation invite us to wait for a huge dispute, or even a plot twist. The result is a very simple story of two women that are not meant to be together and whose needs are incompatible.



THE OTHER END OF THE STREET (Az utca másik vége) - Kalman Nagy - 2022 - Austria

From the intention of a father (Zsolt Nagy) to help his kid (Ágoston Sáfrány) resolve a conflict with one of his peers (Milán Zikkert), the situation degenerates. Harassment, violence and abuse quickly spread going beyond child bullying. The parents involved are not able to set a healthy example for their sons, which obviously has an impact on the kids and violence is transmitted like a disease.




By Marta Mangas and Tecla Trupia (MIOB Journalism Lab)


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