Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Lovers of the Arctic Circle|
Actors: Najwa Nimri, Fele Martínez, Nancho Novo, Maru Valdivielso, Peru Medem
Director: Julio Medem
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
One of the most acclaimed and beloved Spanish films in recent years, Lovers of the Arctic Circle charts the remarkable destinies of Ana (Sex and Lucia's Najwa Nimri) and Otto (Open Your Eyes' Fele Martinez), friends since ... more »
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A M A Z I N G
jman | Des Moines, IA United States | 01/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Am I glad I decided to rent this movie! Like the theme of this movie, it was a good twist of fate that I got it.I don't know how to put the brilliance of this movie into words. In the vein of "Pulp Fiction", "Run Lola Run", and "Before the Rain", "Lovers of the Arctic Circle" is a complex movie that dares to defy conventions of storytelling--using multi-perspectives, circular storylines, coincidences. This is not for everyone, since some people just like their stories to be flung onto their plates, challenges aside.The story penetrates into the psyche by not telling it through one person's eyes--but both--the two lovers, Ana and Otto. This method of storytelling heightens our perspectives and increases the depth of emotion and thought. The story tells how Ana and Otto fall in love as children, and how their love only grows stronger throughout the years, despite trials and tribulations. Both perspectives weave in and out, combine once--and split at the very end. One ending is happy, the other is tragic--one is Ana's, the other is Otto's.This movie will haunt you for days afterward. It will force you to think about love, life, coincidences, fate, destiny, the unique twists and turns that life gives us, and the beauty of it all . . .Of all the movies I've seen in a lifetime, and that's a lot for the average human being, this is one of the most profoundly unique I've ever seen. It is an unexpectated stroke of brilliance."
You know anything that lasts forever?
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 09/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"That's what young Otto's father asks him in Julio Medem's Los Amantes del Circulo Polar, and quite frankly, something I'd like to ask all of you. The two were having a conversation on one of the philosophical aspects of life. "Everything needs to be cyclic. Everything begins and ends." "That's life," according to the father. "Happy and sad. Everything expires over time."The story concerns Otto and Ana, two children who met when they were eight, and whose lives become entwined further when Otto's father and Ana's mother marry. However, the beginning shows Otto as a pilot delivering long distance air-mail and flashes back and forth to his childhood and adolescent years. As for Ana, we hear her voice over a cinematically beautiful scene of a lake reflecting the salmon-coloured sky, as if it were a lake of pink lemonade, the sun dipping down lower until looping back up in time-lapse photography. She says she could tell the story of her life through coincidences, and is waiting for the biggest one of all.The action cuts between Otto's POV and Ana's, so certain scenes are repeated, but we hear both character's thoughts, which provide insight into their characters. Both children have experienced losses. Otto's parents have split up, and Otto was closer to his mother. His mother is similarly counsels him on the impermanence of things. "Life's tribulations have to be taken with humour because they come and go. They don't last forever."Ana lost her father in a car accident and sees Otto as a reincarnation of her father, a present from her father for having died early.The story of how Otto got his name, when his grandfather rescued a German pilot named Otto who was shot down over Guernica, plays a key role in this story of coincidences.As time goes on, Otto and Ana fall for each other, and Otto even moves in with his father just to see Ana everyday. Despite not being biological siblings, they have to hide their love from their respective parents. However, the tide turns when Otto's mother dies, and a suicide attempt reveals the guilt Otto feels in giving too much attention to Ana, thus separating the two.The two leads also appeared in Alejandro Amenebar's Abre Los Ojos, Fele Martinez as Pelayo and Najwa Nimri as Nuria. As Otto and Ana, Martinez and Nimri pull sterling performances, exuding individuals going through their pained lives.One series of shots of Otto and Ana being at the same square, but at different tables, barely missing each other, is intriguing. Otto is seen to the left, reading the want ads, and to his right but farther back, we see Ana, her back to him. It's one of those heartwrenching moments when I want to leap in and say, "Behind you!!"The use of palindromic names, Otto and Ana symbolize the circular and eternal qualities of love. And check out the director's last name--Medem. And the Arctic Circle, beyond which the sun never sets in midsummer, also represents that eternal flame of love.Yes, the ending is a bummer, but not so much. However, I'd sure like to know what question Otto wrote on that paper airplane. And maybe someone else who has seen this movie can tell me if there is something that lasts forever."
Best movie of it's type
1goodgame | North Bend, OR United States | 08/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I happened to catch this one on TV one night and was so impressed and intrigued by it's content that I have purchased it... After reading the reviews of other's, I find no one has addressed what I feel this movie is so beautifully portraying. Not only is it a wonderful and moving love story, it is also what I call a "Bardo" story. The best one yet in my opinion. To me it shows what happens at death (at least from the viewpoint of the one who has died), depicted in this movie as if nothing much really happens but the life we believe we are in continues with only some minor changes. In this movie the two main characters, Ana and Otto, actually die several times. The way the movie unfolds it appears as only a bright flash of light and then their apparent journey in this world continues. Not so apparent until the end is that they have both gone into the "bardo" and in fact perhaps we are all in the "bardo". If anyone else was aware of this I would love to hear from them. The story is told from the viewpoint of the two main characters, switching back and forth to their perspective of what is occurring. Behind it all however is something much more profound happening, and could give us a long pause for thought regarding what our beliefs about death are and what other possibilities exist. Whoever wrote this story was truly enlightened regarding reality/illusion. I intend to watch this movie many times to remember something so easy to forget; death has no real power to those who love."
Enchanting, artistic, and captivating
J. Greer | 11/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film requires that you surrender any notions of the feasibility of the actual plot, but it is nonetheless an enchanting tale. If you enjoyed "Sliding Doors" or if you believe in fate, you'll particularly enjoy this. The film is beautiful, with indelible images that still haunted my memory years after I first saw this film - which is why I finally decided to purchase it. The end (and, in appropriate "circular" fashion, the beginning) will leave you mystified and breathless."