|LFF film review: 10,000km|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Sunday, 12 October 2014 06:52|
Director: Carlos Marques-Marcet
We live in a world where electronic communication is normal. But with that technology comes the ability to do something crucial: edit our responses. Emails can be typed and re-typed before hitting "send". What once would have been blurted out in the heat of the moment is now edited to soften the blow or to elicit a certain response.
Which, of course, isn't something that photographer Alex (Natalia Tena) and teacher Sergi (David Verdaguer) consider when she decides to leave Barcelona and take up a job in Los Angeles. That conversation provides the opening of 10,000km. In fact, it provides the opening 20 minutes: director Carlos Marques-Marcet makes his modus operandi clear with the quietly breathtaking scene, shot seamlessly to appear as natural as possible.
Are Tena and Verdaguer improvising? Reading from a very well memorised script? Either way, their relationship is instantly believable. What follows rings just as true, as the couple Skype and instant message across the titular distance. We get the usual parade of phone sex and instant messaging - but everything goes slightly off-kilter, as the romance turns sour.
The couple are fantastically good, Tena's frustrated female hopping between Spanish and English depending on her mood, but for all the handheld realism of the visuals, Marques-Marcet's most striking sequence arrives halfway through: a static shot of a white screen, as Sergi writes an email to Alex. Anguished paragraphs asking "Why do you need space? Why am I always outside of this space?" is slowly deleted, edited down to one sentence: "Where are you?"
Watching someone compose an email has never been more gripping. Every tap of the keyboard tugs at your heartstrings.