September 7, 2004

In An ABBA Sorta Mood(ysson)

together.jpegCinecultist's friend Ilana has a few directors, nay auteurs, that she considers in the "pantheon." Alfred Hitchcock. Jean Renoir. Jean Vigo. Michael Bay. (And you thought our taste was ecclectic!) Of course, there is also on that list, Lukas Moodysson, the Swedish director whose heart-wrenching film Lilya 4-Ever was on Cinecultist's top ten from last year.

His 2000 feature, Together has sat in our Netflix to be released queue for ages but while at Mondo Kim's on Saturday, we discovered it's already available on DVD. It didn't take much to convince Ilana to add it to her already impressive collection, as he is in the pantheon, and then loan it to us straight away. Lordy, it's good to have cinecultist friends who are so easy to influence for our self-serving purposes.

The collective house in Stockholm 1975 called Tillsammans, meaning "together," seems like the kind of place the girl from I Am Curious: Yellow would have lived in a few years later when she wanted to raise a family. The residents have all of that youthful intensity and idealism still but with a touch more pragmatism and compromise. In fact, the dramatic arc in the film follows how the partipants must learn to compromise to live as a group and if they can't, they either leave or are kicked out. Without wanting to give away too much of the plot intricacies, ie who sleeps with whom, because the discovery of the story as it unfolds is one of this movie's great charms, we'll just say it ends of a very upbeat note. That's quite a change from Lilya which is equally as powerful but more of a movie to slit your wrists to, rather than something which reinvigorates your belief in human being's ability to connect.

Like the ABBA song which plays over the credits, Together wants to send out an SOS, telling the audience we need each other in order to go on. Maybe Cinecultist isn't such a cynic afterall, if that sentiment delivered with so little guile is enough to keep us smiling long after the credits finish rolling.

Posted by karen at September 7, 2004 8:42 AM