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68 Ratings

Free Range/Ballad on Approving of the World

Free Range - Ballaad maailma heakskiitmisest

Directed by Veiko Õunpuu
Estonia, 2013
Drama, Comedy


Fred does not approve of this world. Why should he live here, driven by the same inexorable power that forces a blade of grass through the concrete? He loses his job at a newspaper because his review of Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life is peppered with monosyllabic expletives…

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Free Range/Ballad on Approving of the World Directed by Veiko Õunpuu
If the author of The Temptation of St. Tony were about to do an absurdist, Dadaistic take on life over Estonia, we'd all be there to watch. But if besides that, he turns the tale into a dark comedy dressed as a 60's "summer of love" affirming film... then the oxymoron works perfectly and what we get is an absolute masterpiece of a film. Õunpuu's film is, in my very personal view, the best film on Berlinale so far.
February 12, 2014
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The film is beautifully shot on 16mm in luscious colours, with a 1970s soundtrack that beguiles and taunts with its nostalgic evocations of summer freedom. The technical artistry of this tapestry of visual and literary quotations (from Godard to Brecht and Bergman) sings, in searching counterpoint to Fred's repulsed disengagement.
February 14, 2014
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Veiko Õunpuu's Free Range, an aesthetically marvelous (shot on 16mm) film that is undermined by the director's ironic, po-mo instincts and structural clumsiness, contains a very different—but also beautiful—approach to recording the human form. A Minnie and Moskowitz poster on a character's bedroom wall invited a comparison to John Cassavetes, who Õunpuu shares one (and only one) quality with: the choreography of human bodies.
February 15, 2014
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