Day 2 at the Rotterdam Film Festival

I’m finding it easier to navigate now and the city is slightly less big and scary, meaning that I can use my time more efficiently and feel less rushed. It also means that I am more aware of setting myself targets for writing reviews, when there are clear limitations such as availability of internet and time between screenings.  I almost feel as though if I were seeing two films per day instead of three I would have more time to ponder each… There are so many ideas and clips and quotes I’m trying to hold on to that they might just fall out of my head and I won’t be able to express how they made me feel or all the moments that were so perfect that they would make people want to see the films. It is only day 2 but the films  have been so interesting I feel like I won’t be able to do them justice and I’ll just skip over them like any other part of my day; and then I had lunch and then I saw a film and then I bought some shampoo. Hopefully my note taking will trigger the memories.  Except last night I didn’t take notes because the film finished at midnight (long question and answer session) and I was  a bit tired.

Les Signes Vitaux (Vital Signs) was a sensitive portrail of the relationship between the dying and those who care for them. It managed to convey a fragility and a vulnerability in all the characters; the sick and the well, while proving a beauty in the precious moments where life is most finite. The main care giver, an unprofessional actress, was previously a dancer, and this adds to the softness and grace of her performance. The way she touches the lives of the elderly patients in the hospital brings a glow to their diminishing faith in the value of life and pleas for euthanasia.  The music (Tibetan horns which were recorded in the shell of an iron cargo boat) compliments the delicacy of the scenes and creates a very moving overall aesthetic. Running out of internet eek…

– Flossie Topping


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