Review – ‘A War’ – Lincoln Film Society

November 11th – A War

This weeks film from Lincoln Film Society on Friday November 11th was ‘A War’.  I guess the clue for the subject is in the title, although I don’t know whether the film was scheduled on purpose on this day of remembrance …

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I’d had some bad news the day before watching this film so already feeling emotional, this film really brought home to me the atrocities of war, and how making a split second decision can make so much difference to an outcome.

The film stars Pilou Asbæk, Tuva Novotny and Søren Malling and was Directed by Tobias Lindholm.  It was nominated for 1 Oscar and had another 6 wins & 22 award nominations

Without including too many spoilers, all I will say is that the film was set in Afghanistan, and is about a Danish Army Commander (in Danish with English Sub-Titles).

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IMDB Storyline:

Company commander Claus M. Pedersen (Pilou Asbæk) and his men are stationed in an Afghan province. Meanwhile back in Denmark Claus’ wife Maria (Tuva Novotny) is trying to hold everyday life together with a husband at war and three children missing their father. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him, and his family back home.

The first thing to say is that I hadn’t even considered that the Danish Army were also playing such an important part in the war in Afghanistan and it made me wonder that whatever the country, whatever the war, are soldiers doing everything in their power to always do the right thing? It’s got to be tough, especially in the circumstances highlighted in this film; I still can’t decide what would have been the right thing to do here!

One of the outstanding features of this film for me was the  sound, or lack of it in this case. There is very little background score which is really effective when it comes to drama, it really gave the viewer time to think and contemplate; I wish more filmmakers would do this.

In my local theatre company, we’ve recently been asked to look in more depth at silence and stillness in a way of adding power to a performance;  Ben Poole, our Director, said:

Stillness is a powerful ingredient in great acting. Stillness, a lack of action, is visual silence. Stillness and silence work together. They are often more affecting to an audience than actions and words.

The use of silence in the score, and visual emptiness, followed by loud and dramatic gunfire and chaos really gave the important scenes the significant impact they deserved.

A review on IMDb by sheddenmatthew, said:

“Having some time to reflect has lead me to conclude that this is one of the best and truest dramas I have seen in a long time.”

I have to agree; not knowing much about this particular war, this film really shows how emotionally involved the soldiers become, whilst trying to put on the brave face for their colleagues, and constantly providing support for their families left at home.

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The whole film still has me thinking and contemplating, and it will take a long time before I can truthfully say what I would do if faced with the same situation, either of Commander Claus Pedersen or his wife… it’s a real moral dilemma and one which I hope I never have to face!

The outstanding image of a child’s foot, visible from under the bedcovers will stay with me for a long time…

NEXT WEEK – 18th November 2016:

Tangerine (USA 2015 Cert 15)

Lincoln Film Society says about this film:

“This zero-budget feature concerning two transgender prostitutes Sin-Dee and Alexandra bursts upon the screen in all its garish glory! It has achieved a certain renown for having been shot on an i-Phone. This achievement, though remarkable, should not overshadow the considerable merits of the film itself. With restless energy Sin-Dee and Alexandra launch themselves on to the mean streets of down-town LA, the former in the hope of settling her boyfriend problems, the latter in search of her dream of becoming a singer. What we witness is hilarious, touching, shocking – but never patronising. Lent an authentic urgency by the method of its filming, “Tangerine” is truly an event in the annals of the cinema. (Strong language throughout).”

Looks like it’s going to be another interesting one!

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Lincoln Film Society

 

My husband, Danny and I joined Lincoln Film Society earlier in the year.  It’s a registered charity (No 1156478) with the Patron being  Lincolnshire’s own: Jim Broadbent.

To find out more about the society, visit their website, Lincoln Film Society or like their Facebook Page.  There’s only a limited period of time each calendar year when you can join the society, which show films throughout the year on a Friday evening, at The Venue which is part of the Bishop Grosseteste University who have their own film showings regularly open to the public.

Although the Lincoln Film Society is for members only, non-members are admitted to most screenings, usually 10 minutes before the film commences, non-members are given access to any vacant seats, for a charge. Whenever there is a ‘members only’ event, the programme or website will make it clear.

The Venue has a capacity for approximately 230, in tiered seating which provides excellent visability, there’s also a licensed bar where you can meet friends and enjoy a drink before, during and after each film;  a great place to sit and discuss the film!

At the end of each showing feedback slips are provided where members can rate the film as:

5 = Excellent (100); 4 = Good (75); 3 = Average (50); 2 = Disappointing (25); 1 = Poor (0)

The average score is then calculated and put on the website and Facebook page so members can see how the film was rated overall.  Interestingly, so far this year out of the 5 films we’ve seen, we’ve rated 2 films exactly the same but have had very different opinions of the other 3 films – so each film selected definitely will appeal to a varying audience, which makes each week so interesting!

Although I won’t go back and review the films we’ve seen so far this year, I’ll give you a few brief notes:

September 2016
16th – The Brand New Testament  – Danny and I had completely differing opinions of this film… I have to say I found it very strange and although I did enjoy it, the surrealness of the whole experience overshadowed my ability to enjoy it as much as he did.

23rd – Mustang – I thoroughly enjoyed Mustang although Danny wasn’t so keen;  I learnt a great deal about a different culture and gained a greater understanding of how other people live.  The depth which the film went into about other societies was enlightening.

October
14th – Rams – This was another thought provoking film that we both agreed on.  The way the film and the relationships within it were portrayed were brilliant, with so few characters.  Undoubtedly, the underlying feeling was that of how powerful love is…  I’m still torn even today, about the ending and what actually happened…….

21st – The Lobster – Danny didn’t enjoy this;  although I enjoyed the experience, it was another very different film and although it seemed to have a great start, it did get a bit lost and for me, lost its direction a bit towards the end…

28th – Sherpa – I think so far, this was our favourite film;  we make a pact that we don’t read any reviews or synopsis prior to watching, although Danny had an idea he thought he knew what the film was about (which turned out not to be the case!).  The cinematography and scenery was spectacular, although being a true, documentary style film, immersed us all into the events portrayed which in places was harrowing.

November
4th – Our Little Sister – Unfortunately we couldn’t attend this screening.

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(all other reviews will be on separate pages)