May 4, 2011 / 6.30 pm
Exhibition Hall, Center for Urban History
A film to accompany the Places 2001-2011 exhibition will be screened in the Exhibit Hall of the Center for Urban History.
Autumn Ball (Estonia, 2007)
Directed by: Veiko Õunpuu
Language: Estonian, with Russian subtitles
Six individuals, whose futures and pasts are intertwined, confined to newly constructed housing blocks. The protagonists in Veiko Õunpuu’s film are ordinary people, each with their own dreams, aspirations and problems. They are united by the belief that their lives did not go as planned. This is emphasized as they repeat the phrase: "I’ll never make anything of myself and I can’t motivate myself to change that," throughout the film. By skillfully combining dramatic overtones and black humor Õunpuu illustrates that nonetheless, hope springs eternal. The film is set in the Tallinn suburb of Lasnamäe. Lasnamäe is a large bedroom community, a jungle of concrete paneled buildings; an ever-present site, painfully familiar to the inhabitants of large cities.
Loneliness, alienation, and unrealizable desires set against the concrete urban landscape, is a popular backdrop in contemporary cinematography. The backdrop is not the distinguishing factor of the Estonian director’s film; however, it certainly is one of the most successful examples of this genre. Maria Kuvshynova, a respected Russian film critic calls Autumn Ball—one of the absolute best post-soviet films in the last twenty years. It won the Horizon award at the Venice International Film Festival and an award at the Kinoshok festival.
Сover Image: Still from the 'Autumn Ball'