Country and Year: France (1970)
Review By: Jeff
On August 27, 2007, our friends at the Mondo Macabro DVD label will be releasing The Blood Rose, another obscure horror film that they have rescued from the dustbin of history, given a digital clean-up, and unleashed upon an unsuspecting public. The Blood Rose is an interesting variation on Eyes Without A Face that will be of particular interest to fans of atmospheric Euro-horror.
The film concerns a somewhat amoral artist and entrepreneur named Lansac. Within the film’s first few minutes, Monsieur Lansac dumps his current gal pal, Moira, in favor of Anne, the woman who will become his lifelong muse. Lansac takes Anne out of the city to his family’s ancestral castle in the countryside. Although Anne is immediately taken with the Lansac family estate, she is less enchanted by Igor and Olaf, two diminutive henchmen who live at the estate and dress like cavemen. Despite her misgivings, Anne decides to permanently live at the castle and lets Igor and Olaf stay on.
Filed under: General and Movie Reviews and Rating: Average ★★ and Movie News: France and DVD Companies: Mondo Macabro and Contributors: Jeff
13 (Tzameti) is Gela Babluani’s first feature film, but his direction already shows assurance and flair. Tzameti (the Georgian word for 13) tells the tale of a young man named Sebastien (played by Georges Babluani, the director’s younger brother) who stumbles across a clue in the house of an older junkie that he believes will lead to quick money. Sebastien’s trip down the rabbit hole as he follows increasingly mysterious directions swiftly becomes a nightmare, as he finds himself entangled in an increasingly deadly game.
While Tzameti is Gela’s first movie, he is no stranger to the film business. Gela’s father, Temur Babluani, is a well-known and respected filmmaker. Gela was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, and migrated to Paris at an early age. Though Tzameti is shot in France, it is steeped in an Eastern European worldview, and the protagonist and his family are immigrants. Tzameti is also an exercise in black-and-white style, borrowing liberally from the Film Noir and French New Wave traditions. Graphic violence is restrained, but Tzameti’s tense realism and oppressive atmosphere caused at least one critic to rapidly exit the New York press screening.
Cinema Strikes Back’s David Austin sat down recently to talk with Gela (in New York and taking a crash course in English), who proved quite jovial and laid-back despite the dark subject matter of the film. Following are excerpts from Gela’s comments about Tzameti, the planned remake, and the film L’Heritage which he has been working on with his father in Georgia (edited somewhat for space and grammar).
13 (Tzameti) opens in New York at the Film Forum on Friday, July 28.
ON THE REMAKE AND LEARNING ENGLISH
I need [to learn English] for my job because I’m going to make the remake of my movie next year. After Sundance, I had more than 40 propositions about the remake rights. Sometimes you have a story where, even when you’ve seen the screenplay, you don’t want to shoot it, you say “OK, I made a mistake, forget it.” But sometimes you have a movie where you can do something else, and you can tell the same story in a different way. I’m going to try to do something different, even though I want to conserve the part of the “game.”
Filed under: Movie News and Contributors: David and Movie News: France and Movie News: Interviews and People: Gela Babluani