Skip to main content

NOVEMBER Review

November Following films

Werewolves? Check. The plague? Sure. Pagans selling their souls? Absolutely. NOVEMBER is set in an Estonian village where the batshit crazy supernatural leanings of director Rainer Sarnet are allowed to run free. The film is essentially a twisted fairy tale about unrequited love or what a Lars Von Trier romantic comedy might look like.

In NOVEMBER, the villagers' fundamental issue is how to survive the frosty, dull winter. Nothing in this bizarre universe is unthinkable. Individuals take from each other without regard, from their German house rulers, from spirits, from Satan, and Christ himself. The only moral compass is self-interest. A youthful farmgirl Liina (Rea Lest) is miserably infatuated with Hans (JΓΆrgen Liik), a close-by farmhand, whose heart she loses to the little girl of the German estate master. Keeping in mind the end goal to recover his affection, Liina is willing to do whatever it takes, regardless of whether that implies taking advantage of the dark enchantment that is hovering around the town.

The idea that everything has a spirit is the focal subject of the film—offering one's spirit, living without a spirit and aching for a spirit. The story blends Estonian tall tales with Christian folklore. In this story, Estonian fables have been dismantled and recreated so the darker and uglier side of human instinct is uncovered. A long way from being only a parody of materialism, the story touches something significantly more primordial. Using absurdity the film expresses a dark truth about humanity that is depressingly universal. The numb and quiet way that individuals steal without thought.

NOVEMBER, despite its lush black and white photography and the eastern European setting, is not your typical art-house fair. The film's tall tale like dream components are juxtaposed with situations that are perfectly reasonable. This Venn diagram of aesthetic and narrative choices gives the film a striking balance that is both disturbing and insightful.

Below I'm including the director's bio from the films press release

In his forty-eight years of existence, RAINER SARNET has directed five films, lived with three women, accumulated about ten friends, passionately loved Fassbinder and directed theatre plays by Przybyszewski, Gorky, and Jelinek. He mostly writes his own scripts but usually bases them on literary classics. He is captivated by the different facets of the human soul. This was evident in his screen adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s THE IDIOT (2011). Following in Dostoyevsky’s footsteps, Sarnet believes one must focus on that which upholds man and culture so that they do not become devalued and start placing value in the banal.

Dostoevsky, whose best books are not just profound examinations of the human soul etc, but also nasty, violent, ironic, caustic, and (at times) extremely funny. Sarnet is continuing in that tradition with NOVEMBER.

NOVEMBER opens theatrically in New York City on February 23rd, and in Los Angeles on March 2nd.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack?

MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK:

A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

Film Threat Presents launches at Comic Con with The Theta Girl

33 years after its premiere as the rogue, iconoclastic fanzine championing indie film, Film Threat is back. First as a website, FilmThreat.com, relaunched last year, and now as a distribution label, catering to the same demographic that loved the disruptive magazine so much during its print run between 1985 and 1997.

The first release, scheduled for September 18th, is the micro-budget indie horror film THE THETA GIRL.

THE THETA GIRL, a feature film produced by first-time filmmakers David Axe and Christopher Bickel, has been currently ravaging the film festival circuit and building a dedicated fanbase.

"I'm proud to screen for you the trailer for THE THETA GIRL, a film that warped my mind," said Film Threat's Chris Gore at his FUTURE INDIES YOU MUST SEE panel at San Diego Comic-Con. He went on, "This is the first film that we are releasing under our new 'Film Threat Presents' label. I think you can tell from this teaser, it's the type of film you wo…