2018 / Sélection officielle
Damir Cucic

Summerhouse
(Ljetnikovac)

Croatia / 2018 / Colours / HDCAM, Dolby SRD / 73’
Première Mondiale

Ljetnikovac, or the summer house. But here we are in winter, and the hotel is now empty for its tourists crowding the Croatian coast in high season have all fled. There’s snow at the edge of the road. In a white and deserted framework (including the restaurant tablecloths, so uncanny and somewhat unsettling), Vojin, a blind radio broadcast producer, proceeds to invite, one by one, three characters whose testimony of episodes of violence experienced in their childhood he wishes to record. Days go by as interviews are conducted along with personal conversations during meals. The rarefied gestures punctuating this everyday flow create a false routine in this universe so full of suspense, thus allowing such deception to occur when facing the troubles evoked by the stories being told.
In this place with no exit, we find once again a certain taste for crossing hallways, like those in a frenzy which the same film-maker justifiably shows in his own Mitch – The Diary of the Schizophrenic Patient (FID 2014). Hallways, however, do not quite lend themselves to encounters; instead, they seem to extend a reflective moment echoing the labyrinthic character of memory and the repressed. Thanks to its principal character, Čučić pursues his own work around figures working with sound: after Spirit Diary (FID 2015), it is now Vojin’s turn to play the role of the master of ceremonies, ready to activate speech while keeping atrocities off camera with an elegance worthy of true fantasy films. Just what Damir Čučić is betting on, isn’t it? In line with Sadean and Eustachean assumptions, isn’t telling stories on screen like diving into dark memory and into unfathomable narrative, in a place closer to hearing rather than seeing? (JM)

Technical sheet

Originale version : croatian.
Subtitles : english.
Scenario : Damir Cucic, Vojin Peric, Marina Redzepovic, Damir Radic, Kruno Heidler.
Photography : Boris Poljak.
Editing : Slaven Zecevic.
Sound : Ranko Paukovic.
With : Vojin Peric, Marina Redzepovic, Damir Radic, Kruno Heidler.
Production & distribution : Spiritus Movens Production (Zdenka Gold).
Filmography : The Spirits Diary, 2015. Mitch-Diary of a Schizophrenic, 2014. A Letter to Dad, 2012

Director

Damir Cucic

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