Sunday, March 25, 2012


Review: Found Memories
4 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

"If bread doesn't breathe, it gets stiff," says Madalena (Sônia Guedes), an elderly woman in the fictitious Brazilian village of Jotuombo, whose daily grind involves kneading dough and baking rolls before sunrise. She's talking to Rita (Lisa Fávero), a young photographer who happens upon the village, and indeed, before Rita's arrival, Madalena and her neighbors were living a rather airless and rigid existence. The first narrative feature from native Brazilian Julia Murat, Found Memories has all the makings of a turn-this-town-upside-down banality, its plucky drifter softening the crusty locals with her fresh breath of vitality. But Murat holds the reins on blatant convention about as tightly as she does the gaze of her static camera, which, like Rita, is most often a curious visitor of a sleepy haven forgotten by time. In this film of patient, carefully placed compositions, whose subjects leave and return instead of being followed, common metaphors are at once clearly framed and left unforced, resulting in a shrewd dance that continually tiptoes past built-in clichés.

No comments: