By Roger Costa
THE BAY OF SILENCE
Prolific Dutch director Paula van der Oest (from the Oscar nominated film “Zus & Zo”) crafts an intriguing puzzle about male domination, child abuse and psychological traumas, filling in the right tones with the Gothic-infused style.
It revolves around the idyllic but tempestuous marriage of Will and Rosalind, an artist suffering from schizophrenia after giving birth to her third child. When she disappears with her twin daughters and newborn boy, Will starts an inner investigation to find her location, and accidentally discloses unsolved mysteries connected to her childhood.
As she delves into madness, depression and faded memory, Will endangers his own life, and his kids’ while trying to figure out the reasons for her emotional despair.
International stars Claes Bang and Olga Kurylenko deliver fine, complex performances as the couple in trouble, as well as the always reliable Brian Cox, in another pitch perfect role.
The remote, cold and wet landscape increases the suspense in the narrative, creating a creepy, vulnerable atmosphere. The same occurs with the interior shots, as cinematographer Guido van Gennep captures fascinating distorted angles.
A mind bending experience, erotic and gripping, this European thriller is an elegant, meticulously conceived with both delicacy and accuracy. It would’ve made Hitchcock very proud.
(Vertical Entertainment. 8/14. Virtual Cinemas and VOD.)
THE LAST OUT
Winner of the Special Jury Mention Documentary Award at this year’s virtual Tribeca Film Festival, directors Michael Gassert and Sami Khan’s compelling and adventurous film follow three young Cuban baseball players, as they leave their families and risk exile to train in Central America and chase their dreams of playing in the Major Leagues.
Filmed over more than four years, the film paints an absorbing and realistic portrait of men pursuing their dreams for stardom, for a better life and for surviving. Backed up by an athlete smuggler, who works under illegal conditions, bringing future players to America, the three men must sacrifice and endure hard obstacles.
Courageous and intimate, it travels around Central America, making stops at Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras and finally Texas, addressing their constant attempts to score a league contract, through intense training and perseverance. It also collects crucial revelations from these talented guys, their personality and ambition, but mostly their family values and responsibility in supporting those left behind.
(Screening 8/14 at Queens Drive-In Event promoted by Museum of the Moving Image and Rooftop Films. Go to http://www.movingimage.us/programs/2020/08/13/detail/queens-drive-in/ for details and tickets.)