Three Windows and a Hanging (2014)
Marshland by Alberto Rodríguez
Saint Laurent (2014)
In Order of Disappearence (2014)
Two Days, One Night (2014)
Black Souls (2014)
Winter Sleep (2014)
previous
next
Choose your language en | es | fr | it

KARLOVY VARY 2011 Competition/Denmark/Croatia

email print share on facebook share on twitter share on google+

Room 304 shows more than it tells

by Vladan Petkovic

11/07/2011

Room 304 shows more than it tells

Entirely filmed in a hotel in Zagreb, Birgitte Stærmose’s first feature, Room 304 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, is a psychological drama that offers little detail on the background of its plot, instead building suspense ahead of the strong ending. The film had its world premiere in the Competition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

“People are close here. Maybe closer than anywhere else.” The film opens with this narration, as we get short glimpses of the main characters – the hotel owner Kasper (Mikkael Birkkjær, from The Escape), his mistress, the front desk manager Nina (Stine Stengade, Flame and Citron [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), concierge Martin (David Dencik, A Soap [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
film profile
]
), the manager, Jonas (Sweden’s Magnus Krepper, The Girl Who Played with Fire [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Kosovan laundry workers Agim (Luan Juha, The Albanian [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
)and his wife (Croatia’s Ksenija Marinković, Just Between Us [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Spanish flight attendant Teresa (Ariadna Gil, Pan's Labyrinth [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), and two Filipino maids. A gun fires in a blurry detail shot, and takes us into a story which is more of a 'who did what and why' than a 'whodunnit' material, as we gradually learn the origin and path of the pistol.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

But although a spectator is interested in the central plot, the many side stories (each of the characters has at least one) are even more engaging. They mostly tell of loneliness, loss and grief, and the style of the film emphasises emotional and psychological dimensions, rather than action.

Filmed in a mostly blue-gray palette by Croatian cinematographer Igor Martinović (Man on Wire [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), with frequent detail shots and close-ups (which are, admittedly, blurry a touch too often), the picture has a dreamy atmosphere. It is accentuated by distorted sound effects by Kristian Eidnes Andersen (Antichrist [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
film profile
]
) and understated music for which Jocelyn Pook (Eyes Wide Shut) won a special mention in Karlovy Vary. The sterile environment of the hotel finely counterpoints the storyline which goes back and forth in time, written by Kim Fupz Aakeson (A Somewhat Gentle Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
film profile
]
) and expertly edited by Anne Østerud (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
film profile
]
).

Room 304 shows much more than it tells, and that is the primary quality of the film. It is an accomplished and satisfying work, and the loss of momentum near the end of the second act is compensated by the powerful finale.

A co-production between Alphaville Pictures Copenhagen ApS and Croatia’s Mainframe Production, Room 304 will be handled internationally by LevelK.

DPC 2014 Workshop 23Septembre
 

latest news

 

more news

Newsletter

Follow us on

facebook twitter youtube vimeo rss

Les Arcs