Reviewed by Elyssa Crutchfield. Viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2024.

Everybody has to find their place in the world, but who says there’s any “right” time to do so? The unusual story of friendship across generations, Solitude (2023), is an Icelandic, French, and Slovakian-produced film directed by Ninna Pálmadóttir. Rúnar Rúnarsson’s screenplay encompassed common themes and characters explored by Pálmadóttir in the past and instantly caught her attention when she read it. Paperboy, the winner of the 2020 Edda Award for best short film, is about a young boy who delivers newspapers, and Old Dogs Die is about a solitary farmer. Pálmadóttir received an MFA in film from NYU Tisch and has worked on numerous productions, but as an Icelandic filmmaker, Solitude apparently resonated with her, allowing her to bring the two characters and their relationship to life. 

When Gunnar, who has up until this point lived comfortably alone on his vast farmlands in northern Iceland, inherited from his father and

Posted at 11pm on 03/03/24 | no comments | Filed Under: Films read on

The Vourdalak (Adrien Beau, 2023): France

Reviewed by Elyssa Crutchfield. Viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2024

 The 91-minute folk-horror film The Vourdalak (2023) is the debut feature film of French writer/director Adrien Beau. Beau has previously directed two other horror short films, La Petite Sirene (2011) and Les Condiments Irreguliers (2011). In making The Vourdalak, Beau integrates his artistic abilities developed during these previous productions as well as his 10-year career in fashion design, working for fashion world icons such as John Galliano, Dior, and Agnes B. Shot on Super 16 and largely utilizing practical effects, Beau expertly immerses his audience in rural Eastern Europe. The Vourdalak is adapted from Russian author Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy’s 1841 vampire novella, La Famille du Vourdalak, leaning into Eastern European folkloric vampires predating Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the rise of popular portrayals of vampires in horror. 

When Marquis Jacques Antoine Saturnin d’Urfe (Kacey Mottet Klein), envoy of the King of France, gets ambushed and lost in the woods, he seeks shelter with

Posted at 11pm on 03/03/24 | no comments | Filed Under: Films read on

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Film Review Club: Reviews of current film releases, DVDs, and revivals by student members of the SBCC Film Review Club.

Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: 10-days or 5-days (2 or 3 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films. Fee required.

Contact: Prof. Nico Maestu ([email protected])

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