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Three key moments, all of them sensual, define Ana's life. Her carnal search sways between reality and colored fantasies becoming more and more oppressive...
Release Year: 2009
Rating: 6.4/10 (1,531 voted)
Critic's Score: 72/100
Stars: Cassandra Forêt, Charlotte Eugène Guibeaud, Marie Bos
Storyline Three key moments, all of them sensual, define Ana's life. Her carnal search sways between reality and colored fantasies becoming more and more oppressive. A black laced hand prevents her from screaming. The wind lifts her dress and caresses her thighs. A razor blade brushes her skin, where will this chaotic and carnivorous journey leave her?
Writers: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Cast: Cassandra Forêt
Charlotte Eugène Guibeaud
(as Charlotte Eugène Guibbaud)
Bianca Maria D'Amato
La grand-père mort
Passager dans le train
Passager dans le train
Passager dans le train
Filming Locations: Menton, Alpes-Maritimes, France
(Mar del Plata Film Festival)
Did You Know?
An homage to the films of Dario Argento and Mario Bava.
An experience from within the mind, expressed out in the open with vivid imagery - an exceptional film
I had the great privilege of seeing this Belgian movie called Amer upon
its first ever screening at the Fantastic Film Festival here in Lund,
Sweden. It was a stroke of luck, given that I had virtually no
pre-conceived idea about what this movie was all about, I had just read
in the folder something about it being original despite giving a lot of
homage to the Italian giallo genre. Didn't sound too bad, I thought.
But in my mind the experience of Amer left a vastly bigger impression
than almost any giallo I've ever seen. Not that a movie like Profondo
Rosso isn't excellent, but this is just whole other story.
The giallo connection is confusing, so I'll just point out that the
movie really isn't a giallo at all. It does give a lot of hints and
bows, specially to the greatest works of Bava and Argento, but it's not
preoccupied with these details at all, they remain details, and what
the movie instead does is present a visual feast that you can only feel
and experience. You're not doing yourself any favors by trying to
follow a plot. I'd call Amer a drama, but that would also be
The movie is divided into three segments. In the first one we are in a
spooky big mansion, following a little girl and her wandering about
through rooms and hallways. She has a firm and hard looking mother
dressed in mourning black. In one of the rooms lies a dead old man. She
is consistently followed by a monstrous figure all dressed in black.
Everything she experiences, she experience to the fullest and it's no
use trying to part reality from dream world. When the little girl's
feelings are strong enough, there seems to be no difference and the
movie seems to continually express her mental world, rather than the
"real". There is a magnificent, mindblowing scene where she catches her
mother having sex with her lover. The incomprehensible sight causes the
movie itself to literary break down. Words simply can't describe it.
In the second segment we see the same girl, now slightly older. But,
certainly, not "old enough". We see her walk in sunlight, firmly side
by side with her mother, both wearing summer dresses that dance along
with the cinematography. Everywhere there are male predators. She runs
away from her mother. She meet boys. She meet men. There is a tension
and a danger in every shot, at times it seems as if the movie is
breathing along with the characters, and it is impossible to tell if
the danger is a thing of lust or a threat of death. In the third
segment she is an adult, returning to the house of her childhood which
now stands dead and abandoned. But the figure in black that haunted her
as a child does not sleep.
I don't know when I will get the chance of seeing this movie again. It
feels like a love story in my mind, I yearn and long for my long lost
love. Will we ever see each other again? I can't deny that Amer is the
definitive wet dream for a film critic or a film student, because it
tempers with the limits of where narrative ends and imagery begins. It
has the visual flair of Argento, but the perception of the characters
and their world is as transcendent as in Tarkovsky's Mirror. The movie
is jam packed with images that are surreal, deeply moving, sensual,
scary and exceptionally beautiful. I keep feeling tempted to make silly
metaphors like "the cinematography is making love with the editing" but
you know what, that's exactly what this movie feels like. And I also
think that it lays way beyond the shallow vanity that I guess you could
accuse Argento for. I think the movie is expressing the feelings of the
characters as they experience them. It is a rare thing in movies when
you as a spectator can actually feel the heat of the sun, the sting
from the thorn bushes, the spider crawling all over your body. It is
unbelievably rare that we experience being given the look when the
character feels it too. Most movies attempting to gain any kind of
erotic charge fail for even trying. I have no idea how they manage to
make it work in Amer. It is truly a fascinating piece of work that
transcend from beyond the screen and somehow lures the audience in too.
It might just be the most seductive film I have ever seen. From the
insanely imaginative imagery in the beginning, to the profoundly
striking close-range perspective in the adolescent middle, and the
sheer weird and poetic amusement of the finale, Amer is just one of the
rarest gems of movie making I have seen in a long time. I somehow have
a feeling I won't be able to present my feelings for it in a proper
way, and I do suspect it is a film that has to be seen to be believed,
understood, experienced. I can, however, clearly state that it is one
of the best movies I have seen this entire decade.