Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Miss Violence


Theatre clwyd  Cinema Trip MISS VIOLENCE

Miss Violence starts with a birthday party in a neat and clinically austere Greek apartment. A family are celebrating the birthday of an eleven year old girl. There is cake and dancing and music, yet the whole scene doesn't feel quiet right, a sense of unreality which is repeated in the family's reaction when the birthday girl leaps to her death from the living room balcony.
This is obviously a dysfunctional family, and from the very start of Alexander Avranas's film, the audience is never quite sure just how each character is related . All we do know is that the grandfather ( Thermis Panou) rules the household with with a quiet and increasingly cruel control.
Very, very slowly we start to see the extent of his abuse as the two other adults in the  apartment ( his wife and elder daughter) are helpless , if not implicit , in his subsequent abuse of the younger children.
It's a difficult and malevolent film, filmed almost secretly and in a dull olive hue through doors and corridors of a horridly  faceless apartment.And not since Sergi Lopez's monster soldier Vidal in Pan's Labyrinth have I seen such loathsome character as Panou's grandfather. I really wanted to strangle the bastard every time he appeared on screen.
The film is coldly powerful and not an easy watch as Ayrana injects very little hope into the narrative. and I don't think it was a coincidence that the main character is a victim of the particularly drastic Greek recession..... The subtext of damage inflicted to the dysfunctional by austerity is loud and unfortunately all too clear.........

As I drove home..... I suddenly wished I had gone to see Helen Mirren in The 100 Foot Journey....sometimes being a fan of foreign movies does mean that you miss the froth and comfort of mainstream pap........hey ho

36 comments:

  1. the hundred foot journey is a beautiful film, pretty well divorced from the average pap!

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    1. did that sound argumentative? it wasnt, just a recommendation. i loved that film

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    2. Yes.. I think it did.......and I suspect it is pap but nice, warm,sweet natured pap.......
      I know I would love 100 foot journey ....but it is what it is.......lightweight fun.... Incidentally did you know Helen a Mirren fought Disney very hard to have the whole film shot in French.........
      They wouldn't have it

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    3. I loved it too. Great entertainment that makes you leave the theatre with a smile on your face.

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    4. And hungry. Those close up shots of the food preparation and then oh so elegantly plated left us both starving for a good meal.

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    5. after looking up the definition of pap, i guess it is pretty lightweight

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  2. John, have you seen the 2004 Swedish film "Let the Right One In"? For some reason that came to me while reading your post.
    I need to watch Pan's Labyrinth - it's on my list.

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    1. Oops the film was 2008 - the book (which I didn't read) was 2004.

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    2. Carol..... I loved that film...the review will be somewhere in the archives too!
      Please try to see PAN's LABYRINTH it's a truly beautiful film

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. I meant to say "I knew you would!
      I'll search your blog.
      I'll look for Pan's Labyrinth now - thanks John! xox

      ...I need a good cry....

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    5. Pan's Labyrinth is one of my favourite films, I liked Let the Right One in as well. I love your reviews John, we seem to like the same films.

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  3. Very good review. I look forward to that Helen Mirren film. The first sounds quite frightening. The stuff of which nightmares are made.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie
      You are right... Don't bother with the Greek movie.....

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  4. I'm not sure I could "enjoy" that film but it is one that needs showing. The public face many families show so belies what goes on behind closed doors.

    Thanks goodness my family was/is dysfunctional in more enjoyable ways like hunting for rocks obsessively and saving every scrap of every thing in case we might need it someday.

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    1. Gail .. I sort of agree
      I think it needs showing because it provokes discussion and thought
      But most of me , tonight, wants froth.....nice sweet froth

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  5. I shall not watch it, takes too much out of me. But thanks for the review. I think most should watch this, it'll give them a appreciation for what life is like for some.
    I've just seen enough of it, I know it exists.
    Cheers

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  6. John, you write so descriptively, I am in envy. I've just checked to verify that The 100 Foot Journey is an American film, so technically foreign--even if we did have to import the acting talent from your side of the pond!

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  7. The Greek film will probably never show on any of our channels. I don't think I would care for it.
    Not sure about the 100 Foot Journey, I like Helen Mirren, but I have seen the ads - all that food...

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  8. I love foreign films with subtitles, but I think I'll pass on the MV one. Did you ever see EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED? I just loved that film on many levels.

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  9. I also love foreign movies, but that one seems very heavy and not one that would put a lift in my step. The 100 Foot Journey was a sweet, feel-good movie, but also not really memorable. It was dessert without the cream.

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  10. I recall the reviews of this, which were generally positive, but don't think it came to this locality, at least not at a time that its probable single screening would have fitted with me. Sounds like the sort of thing that would be just up my street - unlike '100 Foot', but you already know what I think of that. We'd most likely part company on both films.

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  11. I don't think I could have sat through that. it would have been an emotional leech on me.

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  12. I think I'll avoid this one...

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  13. I don't think being poor has anything to do with being an evil coward who abuses women and children. You're either a monster or you're not, no matter what end of society you come from. I think we all need a bit of 'pap' now and again in this increasingly dangerous world we now find ourselves living in. Nothing wrong with that.

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  14. It sounds bleak but interesting. I'd go see it, except that my movie-going has dwindled so severely in the last year or two. I just keep thinking that theaters are SO expensive and why not wait and rent it? And then, of course, I forget about it.

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    1. Shame on you Steve...get back on the horse and go see something

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  15. I think I fancy the Helen Mirren movie, I'll give the Greek one a miss !

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  16. This sounds very dark.

    Hope this makes you laugh... I giggled my head off !

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=208728115975710&set=vb.100005155690229&type=2&theater

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    1. That's made my very rainy day

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  17. I'm waiting for the Helen Mirren movie to show here....have never seen her in a bad movie.

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  18. John, you should consider doing movie reviews - really. You have a way with words.

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  19. This film is a must skip for me. There is more than enough violence in the news each day! 100 Foot Journey is on my to watch list, and also Chef.

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