The President (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Georgia / France/ UK / Germany 2014). Directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf / Screenplay by Mohsen Makhmalbaf & Marziyeh Meshkiny / Cinematography by Konstantine-Mindia Esadze / Edited by Hana Makhmalbaf & Marziyeh Meshkiny / Art direction by Mamuka Esadze / Set decoration by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Starring Mikheil Gomiashvili, Dachi Orvelashvili.
The President is a modern fairytale and parable of great beauty and savagery in which the horrors are real and not rigged to give way to any kind of fulfilment: we are left to guess at what the future might hold but are not abandoned without hope. A lone voice preaches love and reason; how might that be augmented to bring about a great shout?
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, Australia/Canada 2014). Written and directed by Jennifer Kent. Cinematography by Radek Ladczuk / Edited by Simon Njoo / Art direction by Karen Hannaford / Production design by Alex Holmes / Music by Jed Kurzel /Badabook book by Alexander Juhasz. Starring Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West / Production by Causeway Films.
Jennifer Kent’s brilliant debut The Babadook is a horror film par excellence, with the fascinating difference that the entire story can be experienced consistently and brilliantly at a purely psychological level. What other horror movie can claim also to tell such a wonderfully crafted tale of melancholy and grief?