DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Everything, Everywhere

A woman meets, loses then searches for a film director who makes movies by constantly travelling, finding new places and meeting new people - live from the Rebels With a Cause Competition of the 27th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

QUICK AND DIRTY: LIVE FROM TALLINN

Backpacking hosteller Eva returns from Japan to Belgrade, where Jay has a package waiting for her. On collecting it, she is surprised at how little it contains (he’s a film director, and it includes a hard drive containing one of his films). She wanders around the Balkans, where Jay (Shogen) shoots her with his camera before introducing himself as an independent film director currently scouting interesting places and people. He persuades her to star in his upcoming film, but when she nearly drowns in a shot where he’s telling her to go further out in a lake, she refuses to complete the shoot, saying he’s self-obsessed.

Later, she meets other people with whom he’s friends who speak of him in glowing terms, and goes in search of him. Unfortunately, he’s nowhere to be found. He has however hooked up with another woman and lived with her for some period of time. By the time Eva has stumbled across the other woman, Jay has moved on. He is working on another film, about an alien searching for his spaceship, so he can return home. Indeed, the woman tells Eva, he is no longer here.

Eva finds the makeshift open air cinema where Jay planned to screen the film he made with her, but never did because he wanted to show it to her first before publicly screening it. In his absence, she later screens a copy of the film there. Meanwhile, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, vox pop interview subjects reminisce about the war and what happened to neighbours, family and friends who left or are no longer alive.

There are elements here that ought to make this film very special indeed, to wit the adept meshing of past, present and possibly future narratives and some visually ravishing locations. Yet somehow, the whole thing comes across as self-indulgent and meandering. Jay (a stand-in for the director, perhaps?) isn’t really believable as an independent film director who everyone in the Balkans seems to know, who makes films up as he goes along and can magic a film crew out of thin air when he needs to.

It’s also hard to believe Eva would have such a bad experience on a film set and then go in search of the vanished director, who treated her so badly at the time, as if he were a deeply cherished and long-lost friend. The subject matter is vaguely reminiscent of the far superior To The Ends Of The Earth (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2019), another film about Japanese people wandering round sparsely populated areas of the planet, but altogether a much more compelling and fascinating film without any of the problems inherent in Everything, Everywhere.

Most definitely a festival film, unlikely to reach a wider release.

Everything, Everywhere just premiered in the Rebels With a Cause Competition of the 27th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Lim Kah Wai is a Malaysian filmmaker based in Japan


By Jeremy Clarke - 12-11-2023

Jeremy Clarke has been writing about movies in various UK print publications since the late 1980s as well as online in recent years. He’s excited by movies which provoke audiences, upset convent...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
Sexual diversity is at the very heart of [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Films quotes are very powerful not just because [Read More...]

Read More

Our dirty questions to Ziad and Christine

 

Victoria Luxford - 24-07-2024

Victoria Luzford interviews Ziad H. Hamzeh and Christine Handy, the director and original writer/ exec producer of Hello Beautiful, an emotionally compelling drama about successful model, her mother, and a life-changing diagnosis [Read More...]

One city, one planet, many films

 

Marina Hillquist - 23-07-2024

Marina Hillquist investigates the environmental impact of film production, and reveals how Gainesville (a city in Florida, United States) is leading the way [Read More...]

The cinematic evolution of videogames

 

Tania Dickson - 22-07-2024

Tania Dickson looks back at the fairly young history of video games and unearths some uncanny similarities and affinities with the seventh art [Read More...]