Review: Places (2020)

Orizzonti Corti Competition, 77th Venice Film festival

Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

There is an expression in Austrian German which goes “Dings”, and then there is “Dingsbums”, and the temptation to use one of them to describe the connection between movie’s title – Places and the actual plot is irresistible. The film could have been called Cages, or A plotless Jogger, which would probably make as much sense, if not more.

Speaking of cages, a kangaroo escaped during the shooting of the film last year. It is believed that the animal took its chance when no one was looking, because the team was busy discussing if Places should be renamed to Dings or Dingsbums.

There are cages in the wood, and lamas. There are also empty cages and a basketball hoop in the middle of the wood. Joggers smoke and say hi to each other. The usual thing one experiences on the outskirts of Vilnius, obviously. And an airport is being built, right there.

One guy is staying, the other is leaving. A pretend basketball game is played. Like playing an air guitar, but with an invisible ball. All of it is – you are guessing – very metaphorical. It stands for: insert something really deep here, because I can’t even guess, except the bit about the childhood memories. But that was an easy one, I admit. It kind of helped that the two (support) child actors were performing in that direction. Plus stared in the distance a bit.

Although there is no clear plot, Vytautas Katkus’ short isn’t a boring, even if a dash awkward watch. The film is competing in the Orizzonti Corti section of the 77th Venice Film Festival.

Original title: Miegamasis rajonas
Country: Lithuania
Language: Luthuanian
Runtime: 13′ 00”
Written & Directed/by: Vytautas Katkus
Producer: Klementina Remeikaite
Cinematographer: Vytautas Katkus
Production Manager: Vaida
Cast: Vygantas Bachmackij Karolis Kasperavicius Emilija Ruzgaite Vismante Ruzgaite Aiste Zabotkaite