Monday, 23 June 2008

Jealousy and obsession rule

There was a definite theme among the films I saw on Sunday here in Edinburgh, as people were consumed with jealousy and obsession. In The Kreutzer Sonata, Danny Huston (pictured with costar Elizabeth Rohm) plays a husband convinced that his wife has bene unfaithful with a violinist (Matthew Yang King) while playing Beethoven's infamous chamber piece. Based on the Tolstoy story, this is a clear companion piece to Huston's Ivansxtc, also directed by Bernard Rose. It's earthy and gripping, filmed in a guerrilla style and relentlessly disturbing. And it includes a terrific scene with Danny and sister Angelica. Huston, Rose, Rohm and King were att at the screening for a very lively Q&A afterwards.

No one was in attendance for Elegy, although director Isabel Coixet had been here a few days back. It's a twisted drama about a professor (Ben Kingsley) who has an obsessive relationship with a student (Penelope Cruz). Jealousy infuses the relationship, from various angles. And while the performances are terrific (including wonderful turns from Dennis Hopper and Patricia Clarkson), the film feels slightly uneven and downbeat, mainly due to Kingsley's slight miscasting. He just never generates any badly needed emotion or sympathy.

Tonight I'll watch Warsaw Dark, directed by famed cinematographer Christopher Doyle. It's been called hypnotic and dreamlike, which could be a good thing. Or not. I'll let you know tomorrow.

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