Nominated for Best Film at the Los Angeles Film Festival : Softness Of Bodies is an enjoyable look at a young poets struggles living in Berlin, living with the choices she makes and living with the consequences. Spoilers, maybe.
The opening sequence (as with much of the film) is shot in a very 90’s Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) or Justin Kerrigan (Human Traffic) style that Jordan Blady runs with and makes his very own.
Over all it is shot well with framing firmly in mind. It seems like there was special consideration in terms of composition for the bike scenes and Berlin streets. The edits are clean, fast and well executed.
The soundtrack works well and utilises simple, pleasant and dreamy electronica, drenched in mood to convey a sense of playfullness.
Actor Dasha Nekrasova is like a more accessible (interesting, talented….) version of Brie Larson. Her performance is sincere and feels entirely believable.
Charlotte (Nekrasova) is a Cleptomaniac, American poet living in Germany. She is like an alien child – new to this world, taking what she wants, and self absorbed. She has a cool Aubry Plaza in Parks And Rec, or Daria vibe – nonchalant to the point of exhausting and narrates the film from her bored and over-it soapbox.
It all makes for a very human story. It’s a very character driven piece and despite the shortcomings of her character we are left both pitying her and championing her ability to fail.
I cant help feeling that there’s been a Charlotte at every party I’ve ever attended. They’re easy to spot – they look like they have life all worked out – mysterious, aloof, but really they are like the rest of us – stumbling from one life incident to another and hoping that no-one notices.
The film closed with a satisfying ending but not quite a resolved one. This added to my enjoyment of the film and kept with the theme set up over its course.
I caught up with Director Jordan Blady who answered a few questions for the blog…..
I read that you based some of the film on your time in Berlin. How close to life were the elements that made it into the film? I think telling you that would spoil the fun… Suffice to say I did to my best to portray Berlin as I experienced it during the two years I spent there.
How did you feel to be nominated at LAFF? I was practically jumping out of my skin with excitement. I read the email when I was home late at night in Paris so I did that thing where you try and scream as quietly as possible.
Who inspired you to become a director? My dad. My parents divorced when I was young and when I spent time with my dad we’d always go to the movies together.
As a director do you have any dream collaborations you would like to be involved in? Hmmm, definitely too many to name… But If I could do anything with Phillip Glass my life would feel complete.
Do you have any advice for young or up-and-coming filmmakers? Just focus on the stories you want to tell, be as honest as possible, and be very careful of who you take advice from.
What are you currently working on and what does the future hold for Jordan Blady? I’m finishing a fashion film that we shot in the country of Georgia for a great local designer named Gola Damian- it’ll be out in May and I’m very excited about it. Besides that I’m focusing on my writing and shooting a new narrative short this summer. I guess the big dream is to make another feature as soon as possible and push myself to make work that’s as honest as possible.
Softness Of Bodies is a triumph of modern independent cinema – dark and brooding with a quiet sense of humour – and it’s available now.