VIFF 2013: Cesar’s Grill; Liv and Ingmar


César’s Grill ( 88 minutes, Ecuador/Germany/Switzerland, director Dario Aguirre). Several years after leaving Ecuador for a job in Germany, film maker Dario Aguirre returns to  help his father run the family business — a small failing restaurant in a derelict building. And in doing so, Dario strives to establish an emotional bond with his remote father. Much of the appeal of this small film grows from Dario’s personal charm.  It does not quite make my must see list, but don’t miss it if you have a chance.

Liv and Ingmar. (83 minutes, UK/India/Norway, director Dheeraj Akolka). Yes, it’s Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman we are talking about here. In particular, Liv.  Now long-retired, the Norwegian actress (you thought she was Swedish?) faces the camera to describe her on-off life-long relationship with one of the most revered directors of the 20th Century. And, genius or not,  what a controlling bastard he is. Having seduced the star-struck 20-something Liv while they worked on an early film (Persona?), Ingmar keeps her pretty much a prisoner in his home. Although she escapes to make her own career, Ullmann still revels in his adulation of her: “He called me his Stradivarius,” she says. Film nuts will go ape recognizing the various Bergman film clips that appear. I recognized parts of Persona, Cries and Whispers, The Silence, Fanny and Alexander, Scenes from a Marriage, and (I think)  Smiles of a Summer Night. This makes my must-see list simply because of its subject matter.

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About aharmlessdrudge

Way back during the late Bronze age -- actually it was the 1950s -- all of us in high school had to take a vocational test to determine our interests and, supposedly, our future careers. I cannot remember the outcome, but I do recall one question that gave me pause. "If you were to win a Nobel prize, would it be in literature or in physics?" I hesitated over the question: although I enjoyed mathematics and science more than English class, I did have a couple of unfinished (and very bad) novels hidden away at home. I cannot remember what I chose back then, but the dilemma followed me to university, where I switched from mathematics to English and -- after a five-year stint in journalism -- back to mathematics. I recently retired as a professor of statistics. Retirement. What a good chance to revive my literary ambitions. I have finished a novel -- more about that in good time -- and a rubble of drafts of articles about mathematics and statistics is taking up space on my hard disk.
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One Response to VIFF 2013: Cesar’s Grill; Liv and Ingmar

  1. Pingback: Films at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2013 | aharmlessdrudge

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