October is quite charming to me. The melancholic feeling of the late Indian summer that seems like never wants to give up its place to the cold ruthless winter, is priceless. So are the colorful leaves falling smoothly to their seasonal routine and summer’s days revisiting once again for leaving us surprised. It’s end of October and yet the temperatures are sticking around 25-26 degrees. How nice to wander around the city streets in aimless way, without a demanding task to accomplish or a deadline to meet. I love those weekends in Tirana, but most of all when there’s something casual, relaxed, and yet distinguished to attend. And I’m not referring to those one-day wellness treatments someone rewards oneself.
A stop at the TIRANA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (TIFF) that comes in full swing on its 11th edition is more then welcoming. I’m early, 10 minutes before the movie starts. I wait outside the Millenium for my friend Dari, when I find myself few meters away from the movie stars and film makers that I’m about to watch, HARMS. Undoubtedly I started taking shots like a real paparazzi, feeling all genuinely excited of photographing the local star, actor Blerim Destani as well as the famous German actor Heiner Lauterbach. A foolish idea crossed my mind in the enthusiastic mode, to have a picture with them. Didn’t ask for it though, felt a little foolish and embarrassed. Schade!!!! A lost chance as other local celebs occupied the red carpet to grasp its magic for that five seconds of glory. The moment was gone. But not for watching the next two movies once my friend showed up. Here it goes a short briefing of both HARMS and The Daughter.
The feature film competition starts with Harms, a German production of Nikolai Müllerschön with staring actor Heiner Lauterbach. Not to downgrade it, but if you’re after those bloody gang action movies, this is the one for you. It makes Tarantino’s blood-splattering scenes look quite inferior. Harms really had some graphic violent scenes. Nevertheless the character role of Lauterbach made it special.
The next movie under feature competition category was “The Daughter” by Greek producer Thanos Anastopoulos. This contemporary plot starts with an clear allegory about Greece’s economic crisis. What I find very interesting in this psychological thriller was the drawing of parallels between individual and societal drama coming through some questions : “What do you do when things go wrong, when life doesn’t turn out as you thought it would, when you feel alone?” …. “You fight…”