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In the Mirror (Spogulis)

Director - Laila Pakalnina - 2020

"Greasy movie"
Completely bonkers Latvian movie is entirely filmed from the selfie perspective - bizarre movie experiment premieres at Raindance

Never before in the history of cinema has the fourth wall been broken so often within the space of just 90 minutes. Well, in reality these characters are not talking to the audience. They are talking to themselves while they look at the camera. Or to the people next to them. These people don’t like making eye contact. Welcome to the extremely distorted and sinister world of selfie cinema!

The camera constantly pans, spins and swivels, and so do the characters in front of it, in a frenzied cinematic ballet. To minimalistic and electronic beats (it sounds a lot like the music from Swedish act The Knife). Oh, and the photography is entirely in crisp black and white. The outcome is both eerie and groovy. Definitely not a film you see everyday.

This equally wacky and audacious film has no real narrative. There are constant references to Snow White (such as the titular mirror and a poisoned apple), abundant sequences in the gym (where young and muscular Latvians show off their muscles), numerous cyclists, a woman counting from one to one million, a murderous bear-clad person in the forest, a taxi driver with his dashcam pointing inside his vehicle and much more. I’m just not entirely sure how all of these elements connect to each other.

Characters speak in robotic fashion to the camera. They are invariably cocky and vain. They love showing off their chiselled bodies and their duck face expression. Symptomatic of a twisted new world order where our actions are shaped and defined by the electronic mirror in our hand. Creepy and absurd but also good fun to watch.

In The Mirror premiered at the 24th Tallinn International Film Festival, when this piece was originally written. It will see its UK premiere in October, as part of the Raindance Film Festival.



"Greasy movie"

By Victor Fraga - 22-11-2020

By Victor Fraga - 22-11-2020

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 years ...

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