Wednesday 10 August 2022

The Girl and the Spider [2021]

 Ramon Zürcher and Silvan Zürcher’s sophomore film The Girl and the Spider – and their first in 8 long years since their debut film The Strange Little Cat – was permeated with such a brooding and engulfing sense of melancholy, that one might almost ignore the sly, seductive and entrancing ambiguity, and delicate formal precision, with which it was so meticulously composed. It was an alternately haunting, droll and beguiling tale of longing, separation, lonely individuals, cryptic relationships, sexual gamesmanship, momentary reconciliations, and the various interlinkages between. The premise was simple – Lisa (Liliane Amuat) is moving out of her apartment in Berlin – which she shared with her roommate Mara (Henriette Confurius) – to another one in the city. This seemingly routine act of movement foregrounded a myriad emotions, and underlying intricate equations, that are laid nakedly threadbare over a couple of days. The strikingly beautiful, psychologically complex, impulsive, enigmatic, lonesome, deeply vulnerable and oftentimes unpredictable Mara formed the centre-point in the directors’ vivaciously crafted canvas where a host of people – family, friends, neighbours, workers and even strangers – move in and out of the frame like a meticulously orchestrated stage-play. We therefore see Lisa’s mother who strikes a bond with an ageing carpenter, a couple of girls who stay downstairs, a taciturn guy who pines for Mara, a shaggy bloke who cares for a neighbour’s dog, an old and intensely lonely lady, a former housemaid who’s left her piano behind, etc. Realism was often subverted with flights of imagination, fantasy and memories in this tight yet freewheeling work –photographed and scored with warmth, and with the mood switching between cold and tender – where catharsis loomed just round the corner like a missing cat.

Directors: Silver & Ramon Zucher

Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Existential Drama

Language: German

Country: Switzerland

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