Two films that are currently being shown at the Visions du Réel film festival are completely opposite in terms of length and location. Up or Out is 46 minutes long and is set in the heart of Amsterdam in an area called the Golden Bend, one of the most prestigious parts of the city, the other film, Alptraum is 88 minutes long and is set thousands of metres up a Swiss mountain. Yet both films superbly capture the emotions of two men in vastly different surroundings and situations, and are well worth watching.
Photo above – Up or Out – courtesy Visions du Réel
Up or Out is a business story. Two brothers have founded a financial start up around a software programme that they have designed that is supposed to take the emotion out of buying stocks and shares. The camera focuses on the brothers as one of them pitches for investment, the other buys and sells. In their smart blue suits, open necked shirts we seem them in meetings discussing strategy and discussing the monthly results in their grand, elegant office. Apart from the opening and closing shots of the canal outside the company’s windows, the camera never ventures outside, it focusses purely on the trading room, the computer screens and the board room. In this limited setting the director Jona Honer director captures an entire world of emotion in the every nuance of the two brothers, the panic when stocks they have bought start to drop in price, the euphoria when they rise.
One of the brothers casually pushes his expensive watch out from under his cuff for the camera to see it more clearly and it doing so, it speaks volumes. The brothers and the software developer eat a simple lunch of plastic wrapped sandwiches around the board table, they discuss the DAX, and their day’s trading. But trouble is brewing. Although trying to appear calm for the camera you sense there is a world of unchecked emotion swirling around in both brothers when the company’s future is discussed. There is a twist in the tale to this film. An unexpected gift for the director which ends the film magnificently. Emotions aren’t supposed to play a part in their financial software programme, but ultimately, the “long and short” of it is, emotions end up playing a large part of the companies future.
Screening Tuesday 19th April at 14:30 at the cinema Capitole Fellini in Nyon – Tickets here Note: this film is screened directly after the previous 29 minute film “I don’t want to sleep with you” (featuring the girls who work in the Kyabakura clubs in Japan). The ticket price covers both films.
Photo above – Alptraum – courtesy Visions du Réel
The film Alptraum also features two men, two childhood friends who decide to spend the summer working high in the Alps herding cows from pasture to even higher pastures. It turns out not to be the idyllic adventure they had imagined, the conditions are harsh, the weather is even harsher, they confront the realities of dealing with life and death in nature. But they also have to confront their own emotions. Just like the cows around them who ram their horns in to each other to claim territory, the men begin to mark their own territory and fight to the attention of a neighbouring shepherdess that works in a hut nearby.
Tensions run high, the rain is incessant and the adventure turns sour. As in the previous film there is also a twist to end of this tale, which makes the film even more poignant. An epic, “must see” film showing a side of mountain life that many of us in urban settings don’t often get to observe. Screening Tuesday 19th April at 16:00 at the Théâtre de Marens
Tickets here. Trailer below.