Review | What’s on at this year’s Perth Festival Lotterywest Films season

The Worst Person In The World | Dir: Joachim Trier | ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Julie (Renate Reinsve who won the Best Actress Award at Cannes Film Festival) is almost thirty and still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. Unlike her mother, her grandmother, her great grandmother and generations of women before her, things are not mapped out for her. There are more choices; relationships are more complex and finding love without losing herself is difficult when she hasn’t worked out her own life. Julie is more aware of what she doesn’t want than what she wants.

According to Trier, “we are living in a time of extreme choices, and ultimately, many people feel an inability to choose, or to know what to choose. It’s a complicated time to find longtime partners. But part of that is positive because it’s also a kind of freedom. Today, women don’t have to get married and have babies at a certain age. On the other hand, all of us feel a tremendous pressure to succeed in love. It’s tricky.”

Julie’s search for love is both tragic and comedic in this thought-provoking Norwegian film that was shot in Oslo. Described as an anti-romantic romantic comedy for people who hate romantic comedies, the audience is left to work out who the worst person in the world is.

The Worst Person in the World is the first film of the Perth Festival Lotterywest Films to be screened at UWA’s Somerville Auditorium. It will screen until Sunday 28 November. Go to perthfestival.com.au for tickets and more information.

The Velvet Queen | Dir: Marie Amiguet | ★ ★ ★ ★  

French documentary maker Marie Amiguet follows renowned wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and novelist Sylvain Tesson into the largely unexplored Tibetan plateau in search of the elusive snow leopard. Accompanied by music featuring Nick Cave, this contemplative film allows the audience to be at one with the majestic landscape and its magnificent animals, and reflect upon their fragile endangered world.

For the first half of the film, I was so immersed in the journey the two men were taking and the shots of animals and birds they were capturing in what appears to be a totally barren frozen landscape that I hadn’t accounted for the fact that they themselves were being filmed by Marie Amiguet. Waiting for a glimpse of the large cat is in itself an exercise in human endurance and extreme patience as they climb up slate-covered mountains, cross frozen lakes, sit almost motionless through snow storms and shelter from dust storms.

The Velvet Queen screens at UWA’s Somerville Auditorium as part of the Lotterywest Perth Festival of Films from 29 November to 5 December. Go to perthfestival.com.au for tickets and more information.

Lezly Herbert


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