Beneath the Radar: Tuning
Slovenian Igor Šterk's third feature is a beautifully composed observation of marital disharmony, punctuated with moments of raw emotional honesty which ring uncomfortably true. Peter (Peter Musevski...
Slovenian Igor Šterk's third feature is a beautifully composed observation of marital disharmony, punctuated with moments of raw emotional honesty which ring uncomfortably true.
Peter (Peter Musevski) and Katerina (Natasa Burger) are trapped in a dull and loveless marriage, held together only by their daughters. Peter visits a prostitute while on business in Brussels and, on his return, tries to strike up a relationship with an old flame. Meanwhile, Katerina is being pursued by a poet whose book she has been designing. When she asks Peter for a divorce there seems to be no possibility of reconciliation.
Director Šterk displays incredible skill in bringing this feature in at just over an hour while still creating an emotional impact. Much of this hinges on the performance of his leads, who manage to project an atonishing depth of emotion in the uneasy silence that often rests between them. In truth, that’s the point here. The thrill has not so much gone, as vanished so completely that David Copperfield would struggle to make it reappear.
The mendacity of the marriage is reinforced with the point-of-view portrayal of sex, often an act carried out so perfunctorily as to seem unappealing. This is a couple whose only joy comes from their offspring, each believing that some form of redemption lies in infidelity. It’s a credit to Šterk that he manages to make the mundane marriage such an absorbing spectacle, making the unhappy couple’s future, together or apart, a point of real intrigue.
Tuning is screening on 19 and 20 August. Take advantage of our Slovenian cinema deal! Buy a full-price ticket for Tuning and get Labour Equals Freedom for half-price.
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Winners of EIFF 2014’s short film awards and two of its documentary premieres have been nominated for 2015 BAFTAs.