DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand

Director - Dimitris Bavellas - 2019

"Greasy movie"
Two Greek friends in search of an elusive porn star from the 1990s embark on a dazzling journey peppered with imagination, allegory and copious filmic ruses - from the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

QUICK SNAP: LIVE FROM THE TALLINN BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL

Antonis (Makis Papadimitrou) and Christos (Michalis Sarantis) share a small flat in Athens, and they also work together as musicians. They are both infatuated with a soft porn star from the 1990s called Laura Durand. They watch her videos repeatedly, until one day a fragment magically appears in the middle of the footage. In it, Laura is desperately crying for help. The two friends immediately embark on an incredible adventure is search of the elusive female.

They follow a number of clues and tips, going from one surprising corner to the next. A very unusual tour of Greece. At first, they interact with a group of hippies. Christos engages with a beautiful woman called “Sunbeam”, the first one he has had sex with in years. Next they visit an old lady in a large house, and then a very peculiar hermit. But are those just red herrings or are they on the right track? Will they encounter and rescue their much beloved muse? Or is she no more a figment of the prolific imagination of two young men obsessed with music and porn?

A different cinematic device is used for each step of their journey, ranging from plush 1970s aesthetics to split screens, black and white, pixelated, fuzzy and grainy images. As in an an old television set. A nostalgic tribute to a bygone era, to experimental film and also to music videos. The sound score is pervasive. Jaunty tunes bolster the narrative throughout, and keep your adrenaline pumping . Think of James Bond meets Boogie Nights (PT Anderson, 1998) and you are halfway there.

Dimitris Bavellas’s second feature film is a feelgood comedy aimed at young adults, particularly males. It’s likely to please teenagers, too. It is, as the film title suggests, a strange movie. It blends so many filmic devices that it becomes a little jumbled up. Sometimes the tricks (such as the constant changes of texture) feel gratuitous. Plus there are some indecipherable intertitles, and I’m not sure of their purpose. There’s also an element of cancer and constant talks of a biopsy, but I could never work out how this ties up to the story, neither narratively nor allegorically. Perhaps a little too ambitious, but still worth a viewing.

In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand has just premiered in Competition at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.



"Greasy movie"

By Victor Fraga - 25-11-2019

By Victor Fraga - 25-11-2019

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years of involvement in the cinema industry and beyond. He is an LGBT writer, and describes himself as a di...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
A small family of four lives in a [Read More...]
Another year has gone by, and DMovies is [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]

Read More

Creature

Asif Kapadia
2023

Chris Simpson - 06-02-2023

Choreographer Akram Khan's wild new creation is elegantly captured by one of Britain's most acclaimed documentarists - Asif Kapadia's new film is in cinemas on Friday, February 24th [Read More...]

Monica

Andrea Pallaoro
2023

John McDonald - 01-02-2023

An estranged daughter returns home in order to assist her ailing mother, in this Intimate exploration of trauma - from the From Venice to London Film Festival (taking place between February 3rd to 6th) [Read More...]

She is Love

Jamie Adams
2023

Chris Simpson - 29-01-2023

A divorced couple are reunited entirely by chance in a country hotel in Cornwall, in this improvisational six-day shot film - in cinemas and also Digital on Friday, February 3rd [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *