Nov 20, 2011

Izlet, 2011 (A trip)

Izlet, 2011 (A trip)
Director: Nejc Gazvoda
Cast: Luka Cimprič, Jure Henigman, Nina Rakovec

Stage: Kino Šiška, Liffe. After the superb Listy do M.

Izlet in short: Ziva, Andrej and Gregor are best friends since high school. Gregor is a soldier who is about to embark on a mission to Afghanistan and Ziva is going to study abroad. Andrej is their gay friend who hates everything, himself included. They decide to go to a road trip to the seaside like they did when they were in high school. When they arrive, they get drunk and Ziva and Gregor kiss each other, what brings tension to their relationship, while Andrej doesn't know anything and just makes fun of everything, mostly of Gregor and his army ideals. The conflict erupts when Ziva, in a fit of rage, destroys their tent and tells a secret that enrages Andrej. Only then the true problem is revealed - Ziva is not going to study abroad, she was lying because she didn't want to pity her.

Preps: the slovene movie on Liffe. A must see, I don't care about the plot, the actors, anything. A slovene movie is something we need to support, at least on this international festival. Plus, the brother of one of my friends plays a gay figure in the movie. A must see definitely. Naturally I am curious about it.

Reality: The movie I saw before this piece makes me a bit late. Not a lot, but still I miss the intro and enter the movie as the young people on the scene are pissing from a highway bridge to the cars that pass by. Obviously something you could only do when provoked if being young enough to think it's cool. Cleary the symbol of what the movie is going to talk about - freedom of youth and the everlasting feeling that you can rule the world if you want - the feeling only young people have before the system crashes them down and makes them slaves to the system (we call it responsible adults, but it's the period before you enter family life, careers, pushing for credits, etc. The time you can get drunk in the middle of the week and survive with distinction. The time you aren't tired to death of everything you NEED to do instead doing something you DESIRE.) Clear difference in the mindset, this is what I am going to get.
The movie is a bit pale at its beginning. Static up to a point. Ok, they go to a trip. Stop for two dark scenes; First: Stopping in the shadows to have a break, chatting about life. Andrej expressing his impatience with many things: Germans, Scottish, Spanish people, RTV Slovenia, dogs, dog owners, gypsies, gays. In my opinion, one of the most adorable and funny scenes in the complete piece. The three end up with expressing their inner fears and hatred with demolishing an abandoned car. I hate my father because he doesn't realize who I really am. I hate my mother because she never lets me do anything. Some of the words of young people when kicking the car and making it a wreck.
The other point of depression is running over a cat and giving it a funeral. The girl obviously makes the guys "do the right thing". Touching scene - however contradictory to the messages the guys give. Andrej wearing a shirt (I eat pussies - contradictory to the funeral and the fact he's gay). Gregor, the soldier, only indulging to the girl he hopes to get laid with.

After a non promising start, the movie starts to escalate with depth it tries to make with analysis of friendship of the three. Being at the seaside, the three relax, get drunk, party in the near by city and are depicting every aspect of being young and careless. Something we all strive for from time to time or miss as we were once also like this. On the other side, you can smell something isn't quite right and that they all have their own drama that is being delivered in their heads. Some traumas from childhood you can only imagine, as you smell it from their comments and fun they make out of each other.
As the movie seems light at the beginning, it starts to get its dramatic moment as traumas try to escape their heads and convert a "fun trip" into a revealing activity where the friendship is at stake and they more than once, fall apart and return to one another. Do the bonds from their childhood make them return or the fact that a lot of time has passed and they feel more mature about this. Something they need to leave behind, yet haunts them from the past.
Why doesn't Živa want to get close to Gregor, is a riddle to the viewer. What happened in the wardrobe when some so called schoolfriends stripped Andrej, remains mistery. Why does Gregor act like a jerk towards Andrej, when it's obvious he loves him as a friend. Mistery reveals one by another and we see the depth in which one must seize to reveal it and deal with it. The hurt it brings upfront and how it conflicts with the initial idea to have fun while being on a simple trip.

On one hand, you have the platonic friendship, taking its debt when the deeper secrets sneak out in the open. On the other side, you have deep connections that make friendship last despite these horrible deeds these friends did one to another and survive all the quarrels and doubts. It is obvious that people that are together (or are together on a holiday) for more than one day, quarrel. Or get on each other's nerves. However this was only the trigger in this case to make these young people face their problems.
Is it important to have friends as we depict them in our imagination, or should we take people that love us as they are and make it count every second we are spending with them? In some sense, mainaining a platonic friendship is really trivial. However, if the connections exceed the platonic level, you need to nurture them. Are you a friend if you lie to your friend or someone you are close to? How about if you do it to spare your close ones to pity you? Or to save yourself before anti-gay campaigns? Or just doing it to create a fence, noone gets by so they don't have the chance to hurt you?

A lot of philosophy in this piece, neatly assembled in culmination of events that drive three friends to even deeper level of friendship. Filmed with a digital camera/very moveable camera which made some of the scenes hard to watch. Sometimes you cannot hear Andrej speak, even though you want to know what he said. English subtitles might be in order here. Slovene movies should cross borders. Scenes carefully chosen. And I absolutely adore recognizing the scenery. Ending predictable and finally.. the audience was held until its end and made a good applause. I could also do it. I loved it.

Some words from the director, Nejc Gazvoda: “In filmmaking I am not interested in the stories of common people, as common people do not exist – there exist only people worth telling about and the three characters in A Trip are like that. Although seemingly problematic, bored youths, they are really persons with real-life problems, a lost generation of the 1980s that distrustful of everything occupies its own frolicking world and fosters the illusion that it would always stay young and untouchable.”

My personal rate: 9,0 (a good piece, worth seeing and worth of an applause. A good act, true energy between the main actors and a good point to take home with you.

Izlet on IMDB

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