Otto and Ana are kids when they meet each other. Their names are palindromes. They meet by chance, people are related by chance. A story of circular lives, with circular names, and a circular place (Círculo polar) where the day never ends in the midnight sun. There are things that never end, and Love is one of them.
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for sexuality and brief language
It’s really difficult to understand European cinema after watching thousands of American-Big Studio films.
At least that’s what looks clearly apparent when I read many of the comments in imdb. But for some of us, who are in contact with a different way of making films, this one excels at the visual poetry from the very start.
And from a cinematographer’s point of view, as a real jewel in filmmaking. What Los Amantes is about, is love, and only that. The way this story is portrayed is quite original, in a way some directors have tried and done pretty good jobs (Alejandro González Iñárritu, for instance, in his two films: Amores Perros and 21 Grams). It’s a compelling way to explain simple things in reverse. Thoughts, and internal processes are not directly understood or apparent to the viewer. Medem demands his audience to think (remember Abre los Ojos).
It’s really sad to think that linear and flat plots that only demand to sit and watch are what most people see as good films. When something catches them out of balance, sometimes they refuse to stay tuned and think.
The revelation, as is with this film, comes at the very end. And it deserves a second session to go through the small details -which are plenty in Medem’s work.
It’s a long film… some argue. What is a long film when everything is like a whirlpool that draws you in? I don’t think this is a long film. Me and many of my friends have pored through it many, many times. So many, in fact, that we had to throw away the original video. A pity, because it was in it’s original widescreen version, not as the recently issued dvd that’s been murderously cropped.
Whatever it is what you like to see, take a look at this film. It can open a lot of possibilities to widen your taste, and your approach to “long” films.
Director: Julio Medem
Writer: Julio Medem
Stars: Najwa Nimri, Fele Martínez, Nancho Novo
Country: Spain | France
Language: Spanish | English
Release Date: 28 August 1998 (Spain)
Also Known As: Lovers of the Arctic Circle
Filming Locations: Rovaniemi, Finland
Format profile : Base Media
Codec ID : isom (isom/iso2/mp41)
File size : 1.62 GiB
Duration : 1 h 43 min
Overall bit rate : 2 231 kb/s