TIFF 2013: Concrete Night Review

Concrete Night

Concrete Night


Director:  Pirjo Honkasalo

A fourteen year old boy living in lower middle class Helsinki faces down the rest of his life in Honkasalo’s stunning to look at, dreamlike parable.

Simo (Johannes Brotherus) spends his days hanging out in the crappy urban haunts in and around the projects where he lives with his complacent mother and his soon-to-be incarcerated boorish older brother (Jari Verman). Simo has a love and admiration for his brother, but a tenuous relationship in terms of how they interact with each other since Simo is largely still and innocent and picking up nasty habits from his fairly loathsome sibling.

Honkasalo balances constant dreamlike imagery (shot in genuinely stunning black and white) with raw, naturalistic performances and situations. The film opens with Simo dreaming he’s trying to escape a cataclysmic trainwreck, in the ultimate metaphor for the direction his family is headed in. Through the use of shadows, smoke, and sometimes floating detritus throughout, Honkasalo intriguingly suggests that Simo’s nightmare might only be beginning. (Andrew Parker)


Saturday, September 7th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 3, 5:45pm

Monday, September 9th, Scotiabank 13, 4:30pm

Saturday, September 14th, Scotaibank 14, 9:45pm

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