Despite Ellie Lumme’s very low budget – just under $5000 – it is very complex and intrinsically detailed tale. ‘A realistic idea fuelled by supernatural fiction’, film writer Ignatiy Vishnevetsky’s (currently The AV Club and Notebook) short is so packed and visually intriguing that will have many wishing it were feature length instead of running at 43 minutes long.
Ellie (Allison Torem) and Ned (Stephen Cone) are two opposite personalities – she’s talkative, he’s intense – but their mutual negativity leads her to believe that they should be friends. How soon she regrets this. Ned can only be described as an energy vampire whose emotionless black eyes hide the truth: he is sadistic, intense and an extremely difficult person who feeds off Ellie’s unease. The closer she gets to breaking point the more he stalks her, calls her, and quietly lurks in the shadows.
It is a haunting film that lives up to the description of ‘a ghost story without a ghost’ and Ned’s darkness contrasts perfectly against the colorful pallet of Ellie and her flat mate Molly’s world of tarot cards, multi-colored nail varnish, quirky furniture and 1970s dresses. As these disparate worlds collide each and every element contributes into making this a very chilling, and indeed believable, tale of psychological torment.
From the hauntingly engaging Ellie Lumme to Princess of France, an often confusing Buenos Aires-set sexual tale based on director Matías Piñeiro’s series of odes to Shakespeare – this being his version of ‘Love’s Labours Lost’ – that will be better understood to those who have seen the other works in the director’s series. If not be warned: it is about to get very confusing.
Princess of France’s opening aerial shot of a beautifully choreographed football game on a street in Argentina, musically scored to a rousing overture, is the best thing in this film and soon everything becomes garbled and confused. As friends/lovers/and ex’s reunite in a theatre we are treated to their confusing romantic history amidst flashbacks, repeated scenes, Shakespearean readings and rapid conversations the romantic entanglements becomes incomprehensible. Who is the lover? Who is the girlfriend? Who is the partner? And by the end of it do we even care?