- Iliana Estanyol and Johanna Lietha have created a masterful and truthful analysis of teenage lives and relationships today, and how they are influenced by the internet
Do you have teenage children? If so, don’t watch this film… alone: watch it with them, and see what they think about it. Lovecut [+see also:
film profile], an Austrian film directed by newcomers by Iliana Estanyol and Johanna Lietha, part of the 10th Atlàntida Film Fest, lays bare the lives of today’s youth so frankly that is unsettling even for those of us without children in the age of confusion, transition and emotional (and sexual) intensity.
Of course, Lovecut’s protagonists all have computers, tablets and mobile phones. They use these gadgets to get to know the world (or so they believe), and to connect and interact with each other. Some choose to upload their sexual acts as a couple online, discovering they aren’t the only ones so exposed in cyberspace, and that they can earn a bit of money doing so. Others meet on screen whilst hiding fundamental parts of their personalities or physical appearances. And others can be found on dating apps, where there is no past, only a violent, superficial and instantaneous present.
With a careful aesthetic that avoids anything too scandalous, and a cast as young as they are talented, Lovecut follows in the wake of other films, such as French Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) [+see also:
interview: Eva Husson
film profile], or TV shows like American Euphoria. These films and TV shows speak openly about teenage relationships and friendships in this hedonistic and technology-driven 21st Century, without preaching or falling into over-simplistic narratives, but simply exposing aspects of these lives about which we can speculate, but will never completely understand.
This is why the parents in the film – whose communication with the kids is scarce, null or downright aggressive – appear as background characters. Sometimes they are victim to their little tyrants, who have acquired their rebellious spirit via search engines. In view of this, given the film inevitably invites dialogue, it would not be amiss if, rather than shocking and scandalising, it created a bridge between adults and those who are about to become them.
Lovecut – which received the award for best script, written by its directors, in the Max Ophüls Preis Festival 2020 – is produced by Everything is Film (Austria), in co-production with Silverio Films (Switzerland). You can watch it via Filmin at the 10th Atlàntida Film Fest until 27 August.
(Translated from Spanish by Jasmine Haniff)
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