Untamed

Published

Welcome to our new series of films without a leash or a muzzle

The great evil bomb has hit Europe. Paris is gone, as is the small corner-shop and grandma's allotment. On a field somewhere is Stephanie, who is practising tennis. She used to be number four in the world rankings. Now the world and the rankings are gone, but her coach insists that she continue her preparations for the French Open. He has even kidnapped a guerrilla soldier to be her training partner. They have no court, no balls and no strings in the rackets. But they train. And train. And slowly it all starts to making sense in a world that has lost all meaning.

In a small annex, Ruth is having sex with a ghost. In classic horror films, things always go wrong when the young heroine undresses, but in the mumblecore horror mutant 'Lace Crater', it turns into an unpredictable story about loneliness.

Elsewhere in the same country, an alchemist is working in his caravan to produce gold. But instead of gold, he evokes the devil in a pitch-black, occult and entirely indefinable genre film. And let us stay in America for now, where the filmmakers Mike Ott and Nathan Silver have set out to make a film about and with the actor Martinez. But all that we see is their manipulative efforts to get him to play himself. A hybrid film about staging and this year's most entertaining provo-comedy.

And while we're talking about provocations: 'Authoead', the Indian version of 'Man Bites Dog', is likely to split the audience with its unpleasant tuktuk driver, who has a second job as a serial killer. Not to mention the South Korean 'Communication & Lies', which has caused anger, walkouts and heated discussions since its premiere in Busan.

From the same country we have the paranoia thriller 'Alone', which is created like an Escher drawing and fucks with your brain. Sharply constructed, just like the formal specialist Eugene Green's latest Jesus myth 'The Son of Joseph' and the Spanish director Albert Serra's dazzling 'The Death of Louis XIV' - which in its own stringent way was the wildest film in Cannes this year.

And if you can cope with any more, dear reader, then dive right down into the dark, eccentric adventure of 'Staying Vertical', which is full of 'you-don't-see-that-often moments', as one reviewer wrote in Cannes. Take a walk in the Portuguese forests with 'The Ornithologist', this year's most visionary and trippy nature film, where a poor biologist ends up in a mythological parallel universe populated by bondage-savvy Chinese campers, crazy Amazon women and a pagan sect, and they all want to kill him.

Or the love-motel in Thailand, where a couple of young girls take revenge on a perverted customer, while aliens rummage around in the room next door. These films cannot be placed in a box: welcome to Untamed.