Archive for the ‘Oliver Hermanus’ Category

Tiger’s Corner

The Endless River

endless_river

 

Director: Oliver Hermanus

Cast: Crystal-Donna Roberts, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Denise Newman, Darren Kelfkens, Clayton Evertson, Carel Nel

After South African director Oliver Hermanus’s controversial debut with his 2011 film, Skoonheid, which made into the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival, Hermanus returns to the prestigious 37th Durban International Film Festival http://www.durbanfilmfest.co.za/ with his new film Endless River.

The Endless River is set in contemporary South Africa and focuses on an immigrant French family headed by Gilles played by Nicolas Duvauchelle, who suffers a heart wrenching loss when his wife and two children are killed in a brutal farm and home attack. Set in the small rural community of Riviersonderend geographically situated between Caledon and Swellendam in the Western Cape which historically got the nickname of Tygerhoek which translates into English as Tiger’s Corner.

Visually, The Endless River is stylised like a Western with big bold lettering announcing the actor’s names as the opening credits appear on screen. Audiences immediately expect a dramatic showdown, instead Hermanus gives us an emotional showdown between different communities both foreign and local, angry and unforgiving.

The opening shot of the film is of Giles sitting in the local restaurant chatting to a friendly waitress, Tiny, wonderfully played by Crystal-Donna Roberts, which sets the scene for these two character’s lives being irrevocably entwined.

Hermanus divides The Endless River into three distinct chapters, Gilles, Tiny’s and Tiny’s gangster boyfriend played by Clayton Evertson.

Soon Giles and Tiny start a tentative love affair although Hermanus stays clear of the sexually explicit nature of this affair, something he didn’t do in the obsessive love story of his previous film Skoonheid which made it so ground-breaking and shocking.

The Endless River is a fascinating portrayal of mutually shared grief, loss, love and the power of two people to reconcile their differences and form a strong bond which ultimately is doomed to fail.

Whilst The Endless River does not pack the same shock value as Skoonheid, except during the brutal home invasion sequence in which Gilles’s beautiful French wife is gang-raped and his two young sons shot in the bath, it is a film which resonates with provocative images signifying deeper issues in South Africa such as gang violence, the brutal crime of home invasion and unemployment.

Audiences should not expect to experience a cathartic release in Hermanus’s narrative, except a beautiful if poignant yet tragic portrayal of love, loss and revenge set in Riviersonderend, a place which since settlers have first arrived in South Africa have found to be as unforgiving as it is revealing. Look out for a powerful cameo by Denise Newman (Material, Shirley Adams, Disgrace) as Tiny’s mother Mona who is weary of welcoming her daughter’s boyfriend fresh out of prison into their domestic environment.

Endless River is not as brilliant as Skoonheid but judging by the packed audience at its first screening at the 37th Durban International Film Festival http://www.durbanfilmfest.co.za/ is sure to attract a curious following and is testament to Oliver Hermanus’s rising status as an influential South African film maker.

Filled with some well-constructed and breath-taking images especially of Tsitsikamma forest and of the Garden Route, The Endless River is a love story born out of pain, grief and mutual mistrust.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
June 2018
M T W T F S S
« May    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
  • ‘Portlandia’: Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein Pick Their Proudest Musical Moments
    It doesn’t take a lot of dot-connecting genius to figure why music was a crucial component of “Portlandia,” which recently wrapped its eighth and final season. The host city is a rock town, but more than that, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein came of age in the punk scene, although that was her initial claim […]
    chrislwillman
  • How Long Will TV and Film’s Boom Market for Female Stories Last?
    NANTUCKET, Mass. — The #MeToo moment and the push for gender parity in Hollywood has opened doors for women artists in the film and TV business in the past year, but there are concerns that the appetite for female-led stories could be a “worryingly trendy conversation.” That’s how showrunner Sera Gamble put during a panel […]
    Cynthia Littleton
  • Film Review: ‘Ideal Home’
    “Ideal Home,” a featherweight big-screen sitcom in which Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd play testy romantic partners who wind up as parental caretakers of a 10-year-old boy, is the perfect example of how a movie can be progressive and retrograde at the same time. It’s supposed to feel cutting edge that Coogan and Rudd, who […]
    Owen Gleiberman
  • ‘Game of Thrones’ Stars Rose Leslie and Kit Harington Married in Scotland
    The Royal Wedding, part two? “Game of Thrones” stars Rose Leslie and Kit Harington were married Saturday in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The pair began dating in 2012 after meeting on “Game of Thrones” and announced their engagement in September 2017. Their nuptials were attended by several members of the “Game of Thrones” cast, including Peter Dinklage, […]
    Erin Nyren
  • Seth Rogen Says He Rejected Paul Ryan’s Request for a Photo
    Like most of Hollywood, Seth Rogen has made his displeasure with the current administration and its activities clear. And evidently, that displeasure extends to denying photo ops to Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Rogen recounted the story Friday while on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” The “Preacher” co-creator, as a longtime proponent […]
    Erin Nyren