Spanish Film Festival: Flowers
Madeleine Dale | On 09, May 2015
Our look at the Spanish Film Festival continues with Flowers, an intricate and meditative film about loss, love and the power of good cinematography. Released in 2014, the festival marks Flowersâ€™ Australian premiere.
Flowers is widely regarded as one of the best Basque-language films in existence, and it is the first picture shot in Basque to be nominated for Goya awards (Best Film and Best Original Score). Itâ€™s the second collaboration for directors JosÃ© MarÃa Goenaga andÂ Jon GaraÃ±o, and one which has seen a pretty successful tour of the awards circuit (with five wins, thirteen nominations and the above mentioned Goya boon).
The film is first and foremost a work of art, sometimes appearing more like a series of still-lifes strung together than a movie. The eponymous flowers are a sumptuously and lovingly shot motif, and much of the filmâ€™s story relies heavily on the subtly and skill of the visuals. But, like most fine art, Flowers demands more from the viewer than just two hours of complacent staring.
The narrative weaves together (in several sections, over multiple years) the interconnected lives of its various protagonists, leading up to and following a fatal car crash. Their interleafing stories are never separate enough to be fully individual, but they also never quite come together in a revelatory moment of understanding. In fact, perhaps the most interesting thing about the piece is the way in which it seems to draw to its natural conclusion at about the halfway mark. The decision to push on past what appear to be the closing scenes forces the characters (and the viewer) to contemplate life after a death, and life without an inherent Hollywood narrativity.
Flowers is a beautiful and critically acclaimed film, but itâ€™s also not for the easily distracted. It is, at its core, almost two hours of limited dialogue and muted (but superbly composed) scenes. If you want the basic experience and mental exercise of visiting an art gallery, but also donâ€™t want to be on your feet for two hours, then Flowers is the film for you. Youâ€™ll leave the cinema having witnessed something truly impressive, but also having had to work a little for your entertainment.
For full details and session times in Brisbane and Melbourne, check out the Spanish Film Festival website here.
Image Credits: Irusoin