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November 15, 2013

Starz Denver Film Festival 2013 - The Photograph


Maciej Adamek - 2012

It's a film festival, what can go wrong? Well that I'm aware of was worse than George Hickenlooper dying the night before the opening of the 2010 edition of the Starz Denver Film Festival. Problems with films not showing up in time or in poor condition seems to be replaced by problems with hard drives for these new fangled digital projectors. Then there is the problem of not knowing much about a film other than its title. When I received the initial list of screeners, all I had were titles. And sometimes you need more than that, especially if the title in question has been used for multiple films. Even using the Internet Movie Database doesn't help, and a general Google search is not conclusive. I had thought that I was to see another movie with the title, The Photograph. It turned that it was this film instead. And then I saw the final film festival schedule. For some reason, this film titled The Photograph was not included. Nor was there any other film with this title. Still, I figured that as long as I took the time to watch the screener, I might as well post this review . . . .

A teenage boy, who obsessively films things (but not people) around him, is given a photograph from his mother. At this point, the mother has gone to a sanatorium. The boy, Adam, recognizes his mother from the photo. She is pregnant, and with a man Adam does not recognize as his father. The Photograph is about Adam's leisurely, and roundabout quest, to learn the truth himself and what he sees, or thinks he sees, in that titular image.

Adamek's film casualy explores photography as a means of documentation, as well as how we tend to look at nature more intently as a photographed image.

Visiting a small town, Adam visits his grandmother, and hangs out with the locals, including a grave digger, a woman who owns a flower shop, and the photographer of the photo in question. Adam visits the address of the man in the photo. As curious as he is about the photo, Adam also has time to lay on the beach and rescue a cat from a tree.

On the bright side, I have now been introduced to Karolina Gorczyca. And anyone who checks out Ms. Gorczyca's photos can not possibly be surprised that she is the Polish voice of Lara Croft.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at November 15, 2013 07:51 AM