Transparent film Festival screening notes.
The Last Embrace directed by Saman Hosseinpuor
Sunday, October 21
If the last embrace doesn’t make you well up with emotions, you’re probably dead.
Being a father with a young daughter I can relate deeply to the story, though it is unclear if the man in the bed is the girl’s father or grandfather. It doesn’t matter of course, because she is the only one who seems to notice (or care?) that her loved one has passed away.
The acting is first rate and being that these actors most likely aren’t professionals, that is a serious nod to the director. They all play their parts with utter believability from the parents on their phones, to the boys playing video games. Whether in New York or in Kurdistan, people are people and Hosseinpuor nails it. The actor portraying the old man in the bed (who is the other star in this film), needs to be acknowledged as well. From his heavy breathing, to holding his breath simulating his death, and then laying peaceful on the bed having passed away, is executed subtly.
But I can’t get away from the star of the film, who is of course the little girl. Having worked with a child actress on my previous feature, I know that “they either have it, or they don’t”. This girl does – she has a gift which hopefully she will be encouraged to explore. Her facial expressions sell the entire film which again, is ably supported by the other cast members. To drive home the message without uttering a word, stunning.
Technically the film is flawless as fell with the exception of the end credits which aren’t centered. Also I cannot understand them, and the submission loses points for not taking this into consideration. After being so careful about everything else from editing to sound, this is a sloppy mistake to make. And people like me relish seeing who did what. The film also could have benefitted from some color correction or contrast as well. We get a taste of this when the camera moves into the boys room. After dealing with color and noise reduction on mobile film projects, seeing the brownish gold that is captured when filming indoors drives me nuts. It’s another element that if addressed takes this film to an even higher level.
IN A NUTSHELL
The last scene will stay with me for a long time. Look out for Saman Hosseinpuor because he clearly knows how to tell a story that will affect you. Look out if he gets the tools and resources he needs for bigger projects..
Acting and Directing 10
Artistic Style 9
TOTAL SCORE 37/40