23 April 2021.
Oh, there is suddenly so much going on! Cinemas have opened, theatres and museums are open, some cafe terraces are opening, and it feels like a mini-revolution of liberty. People have been yearning for social contact and culture, and they are coming out in droves. And the weather has been helpful these past days, though we know it’s all tentative and it could be taken away again, but for now let’s enjoy it – revel in it – it’s called Gratitude Attitude and living for the moment.
Part of that is realizing how good we have it here in Switzerland where so much does go right – true democracy, freedom of press, unpolluted skies and topnotch, free education for our youth. And the right vaccines have been rolling out quite smoothly, for we really are living in ideal conditions compared to so much of the rest of our world. Let’s remember all that when we complain about the negatives…
But back to the essentials in this column – FILMS – and they are coming out with a vengeance! Let’s see if we can cover some of them.
The wonderful Grütli Cinemas, which are like Geneva’s own cinematheque, opened their doors with a packed program that should not be missed.
- A rich, delightful retrospective of classic Italian films – LA COMÉDIE À L’ITALIENNE.
- Multiple screenings of the Iranian masterpiece, THERE IS NO EVIL – the Golden Bear winner at last year’s Berlin Film Festival.
- And various other films, plus re-runs of another excellent Iranian work, YALDA, LA NUIT DE PARDON.
- Get their full program on www.cinemas-du-grutli.ch. Make sure you reserve or buy tickets in advance as their cinemas can only take 50 viewers in the Salle Simon and 15 in the Langlois, due to Covid restrictions.
THERE IS NO EVIL
The tastefully renovated art house cinema, Les Scala (they have kept and augmented the vintage murals in the bar area!) is showing :
– The amusing and touching, multi César-winning ADIEU LES CONS, which I already reviewed.
- Plus an Argentinean film called HEROIC LOSERS (LA REVANCHE DES LOSERS), which I have not yet seen, but should be very interesting due to the quality of cinema from that country, and its top star, Ricardo Darin.
Check out their sister-cinema, NORD-SUD, on Servette, which shows mainly re-runs, like the excellent German/Swiss MA PETITE SŒUR, which I also reviewed last year.
The classic BIO in Carouge is showing MASTER CHENG, a charming Finnish film about a Chinese chef and his son who land in a remote village in Finland. It’s about the loneliness of immigrants, a passion for exotic food and a sweet love story. The two old Finns who become his friends stole the show for me.
The comfortable and luxurious Cine17 and Empire Cinemas have a star-studded program,
including THE NEST, starring Jude Law, and THE MIDNIGHT SKY, directed by and starring George Clooney. I cannot vouch for either as there were no press previews for them (Covid reasons, again). They are also showing MANK, which has picked up numerous Oscar nominations, but I was not convinced of its quality at all – it felt dull and grey, and none of the characters stood out or were convincing.
Looking forward to their huge backlog of quality films.
So these are my short recommendations as there’s too much to cover in this fresh avalanche of films. You can find their schedules on cineman.ch. Get out there and enjoy, for there seems to be little danger of contamination with the strict seating arrangements, the wearing of masks, and no conversation to spread those germs.
Good luck, and great viewing!
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.