Four new films to see this weekend

The Painted Bird, Koko-di Koko-da, Max Richter’s Sleep, Savage

Petr Kotlár in The Painted Bird

Petr Kotlár in The Painted Bird

 

THE PAINTED BIRD/NABARVENÉ PTÁCE ★★★★☆
Directed by Václav Marhoul. Starring Petr Kotlár, Nina Shunevych, Alla Sokolova, Udo Kier, Michaela Doležalová, Lech Dyblik, Stellan Skarsgård, Harvey Keitel, Julian Sands, Barry Pepper. Limited release/VOD, 169 min
Detailing a Jewish boy’s passage across an unnamed European country during the second World War, this adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s novel sees gouged-out eyes fed to the family cat, the hero attacked by crows, endless episodes of sexual molestation and too many hangings to count. It’s hard work, but The Painted Bird deals in visual poetry that compels attention even as it wallows in unkindness. Should definitely be seen once (though you may want to leave it at that). DC

KOKO-DI KOKO-DA ★★★★★
Directed by Johannes Nyholm. Starring Leif Edlund, Peter Belli, Ylva Gallon, Katarina Jakobson, Morad Baloo Khatchadorian, Peter Belli. BFI Player, 87 min

Leif Edlund in Koko-di koko-da
Leif Edlund in Koko-di koko-da

Surreal, unsettling, imaginative drama concerning a couple taking a camping trip after the death of their child. Temporal looping has never been so discombobulating. Nyholm’s script cleverly incorporates grief without overworking its allegorical aspects. Simon Ohlsson and Olof Cornéer’s score is unceasingly creepy. The production design – from the rooster shadow-play to the decorated music box – is glorious. Belli’s bowler-hatted singing “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” will haunt your dreams. Even the nursery rhyme-derived title shouts Euro-folk horror. TB 

MAX RICHTER’S SLEEP ★★★☆☆
Directed by Natalie Johns. Featuring Max Richter, Yulia Mahr. Limited release, 100 min

Max Richter’s Sleep
Max Richter’s Sleep

Appropriately soothing documentary concerning an LA performance of Max Richter’s 8.5-hour composition Sleep. Beds were provided and attendees were invited to curl up as the low-frequency drones spread calm about the downtown. (One wonders if anybody stormed up to the box office in the morning and complained about paying $80 and not dozing off for a minute.) The talking heads are unstoppably laudatory, but these lovely 100 minutes remain an ideal accompaniment to the recorded version. DC

SAVAGE ★★★☆☆
Directed by Sam Kelly. Starring Jake Ryan, John Tui, Chelsie Preston Crayford, Alex Raivaru, Olly Presling, James Matamua, Haanz. Limited release, 100 min

Jake Ryan in Savage
Jake Ryan in Savage

Here’s a ough Kiwi street-gang drama. New Zealand is so commonly depicted as islands of rolling verdant groves presided over by a chilled Covid-defeating government that it’s easy to overlook that country’s racist colonial history and the underclass depicted in Lee Tamahori’s Once Were Warriors and now Savage. The triptych structure is a little fiddly ,but Savage is never less than powerful. Writer-director Kelly consulted with former gang members and street cast to give the film an air of authenticity. TB 

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.