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HomeReview‘Kyuka Before Summer’s End’: Cannes Review

‘Kyuka Before Summer’s End’: Cannes Review

Dir/scr: Kostas Charamountanis. Greece/North Macedonia. 2024. 105mins

A summer season vacation unfolds in fragments as emotional storm clouds collect in Kostas Charamountanis’ function debut, which gathers tempo because it turns into more and more experimental. The self-taught Greek director has no lack of ambition, having stated he views Kyuka (which implies ‘holidays’ in Japanese) as a part of a trilogy that started together with his 2018 quick Kioku Earlier than Summer time Comes, a house video collage of teenagehood – elements of that are integrated inside this function.

Charamountanis leans into experimentation as issues come to a head

That ambition can also be evident in Charamountanis’ playful and unconventional perspective in the direction of storytelling. It usually rests on his sharp slicing, in collaboration with co-editor Lambis Haralambidis, to generate both comedic juxtaposition or emotional affect. This energetic method has gained the movie the opening slot within the ACID sidebar at Cannes, and is probably going to assist it catch the attention of festivals additional afield.

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Single dad Babis (Simeon Tsakiris) has taken his college-age twins Konstantinos and Elsa (Konstantinos Georgopoulos and Elsa Lekakou, each of whom additionally featured in Kioku) on a boating vacation. Moored off the island of Poros, dad plans to fish – an exercise which turns into one in all Kyuka’s ongoing themes – whereas Elsa and Konstantinos have the kind of relationship that alternates between sparring and being supportive of one another. A dialog we see Babis having with Anna (Elena Topalidou), an initially mysterious girl from his previous, signifies there may be extra to his plan than merely stress-free with the children.

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Charamountanis’ uneven method takes a little bit of getting used to. The disjointed, episodic nature of his story could be aiming for deliberate discomfort however it additionally proves alienating to start with, making it exhausting to get a deal with on how the household ticks. The author/director is interested by shared moments of understanding or battle, utilizing the edit for emphasis as we progressively see the dynamic between the daddy and his kids take form. The squared off 1.33:1 facet ratio additionally underscores the strain. He’s helped by sturdy chemistry between Georgopoulos and Lekakou, whose sparky however caring sibling dynamic speaks to years of shared secrets and techniques and squabbles.

Elsa and Konstantinos have an opportunity encounter with slightly lady, Ioli (Ioli Kalaitzi), who has strayed away from her household, and the pair kind a friendship with Ioli’s older sister Artemis (Afroditi Kapokaki) because of this. In an indicator of Charamountanis’ capability to subtly point out the undercurrents of household pressures, a day of nail polish utility between the 4 of them presents each a supply of pleasure and a bone of rivalry.

The narrative turns into more and more elliptical as the varied encounters pile up, a lot much less by probability than they may first seem. Babis could vent his frustrations with fish that refuse to be caught, however these slippery prospects are emblematic of a complete lot extra. Along with his dad-knows-best perspective struggling to chop it together with his kids, he edges additional in the direction of breaking level after an surprising encounter with the equally aged Dmitris (Stathis Apostolou). 

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Charamountanis leans into experimentation as issues come to a head at a night gathering. Whereas a sequence that performs out in reverse provides little to the texture past deliberate oddness, it speaks to the director’s willingness to take possibilities – and he hits paydirt in fast cuts between two fishy anecdotes in order that they change into a battle of poisonous masculinity. Abandoning simple scripting, he opts as a substitute to deal with moments of interplay; typically in freeze body, typically via the act of repetition and typically with the sound eliminated. This lends them the air of being recalled after the occasion, as if taking part in over in one of many characters’ minds simply as vacation pictures are scrutinised for element.

Matching the turbulent nature of the movie’s numerous moods, the rating can also be a patchwork affair, mixing classical music together with Tchaikovsy’s ’Waltz Of The Flowers’ with snatches of summer-related Sixties hits together with ’The Summer time’ by Silva Grissi and a model of ’Sealed With A Kiss’ together with scoring from Charamountanis himself – which, whereas maybe not his strongest swimsuit, is redolent of the kind of ersatz straightforward listening you get in vacation lodges over breakfast.

The unruly nature of Charamountanis’ method means not all of his concepts work all the time. However this can be a filmmaker with religion in his personal rhythms and a muscular sufficient plan of assault to encourage us to fall in keeping with this household summer season, which performs out on the assembly level of nostalgia and one thing new.

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Manufacturing corporations: Heretic

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Worldwide gross sales: Heretic data@heretic.gr

Producers: Danae Spathara, Giorgos Karnavas, Konstantinos Kontovrakis

Cinematography: Konstantinos Koukoulios

Manufacturing design: Vassilina Kouliou

Modifying: Kostis Charamountanis, Lambis Haralambidis

Music: Kostis Charamountanis

Important solid: Simeon Tsakiris, Elsa Lekakou, Konstantinos Georgopoulos, Elena Topalidou, Afroditi Kapokaki, Stathis Apostolou, Ioli Kalaitzi

 

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