You know how when you’re wanting to go to the movie theater and you look up all the films that are showing and there are alway at least three that you’ve never heard of, let alone have any interest in seeing? Well, good news! I’ve seen those movies. I spend most of my theater experiences in art house theaters watching those movies that you’ve never heard of and then never watch. Yeah, I’m that hipster asshole. My goal with this is to spread information out about these films, that way you can decide one of the following. “That actually sounds pretty cool! I want to see that now!” or “Man, I’m glad I decided to go see the new superhero movie!”. So without further ado, here is my article and review of Lore.
There are a lot of World War II films out there. There are a lot of Holocaust films out there. There is rarely ever anything guaranteed in cinema. It isn’t a guarantee that Star Wars will always succeed. It isn’t a guarantee that Sci-Fi will never win best picture at the Oscars. But if you want something that is guaranteed to happen in cinema, it’s that there will always be at least one World War II or Holocaust film coming out in a given year. I’m not saying this is bad, there are many critics and movie lovers out there that think we have made enough films on World War II and that we should move on. “We get it, the Holocaust happened and it was bad”. I’m not in that boat. If a filmmaker is passionate about a story taking place during World War II, they should go for it. It becomes a problem eventually because there are so many of them to compare to. This film has a twist to it, that I haven’t seen in a film before and is on a topic that I never considered before. This film should have worked much better than it did.
Lore is a technically Australian film, set in Germany right after the death of Adolf Hitler. Lore follows a group of Aryan Siblings as they move from place to place trying to survive in a war-torn and chaotic country. From the get-go, this film has an original idea to it. It’s rare that you see a film from the German’s perspective during World War II. It is almost non-existent for a film to show the common family in Germany at the time. And the film presents some great ideas! There is a scene where the eldest daughter named “Lore”, sees pictures of Jews who have been killed as well as pictures of the concentration camps. The film is really an exploration of this idea of the fact that these kids have been raised with Nazi Propaganda to fear and hate Jews. The interesting part of the film comes from the fact that you see this conflict of what is the truth when everything in your life has been a lie. On paper, this film is completely incredible. In execution, it doesn’t work as well.
The big issue I had with the film is the editing. The film is weirdly cut in a way that feels very jagged and choppy. It gives an uncomfortable feeling. As I write this I can tell that someone could argue that is the point. This is a holocaust film, after all, it shouldn’t be a comfortable watch. Fine. I can accept this point of view, it isn’t the one I have because the film doesn’t have any problems with tone. The tone is fairly consistent the entire time. The other big reason that I will say the editing is pretty bad is because the time lining of the film is god-awful. It seems like one second they are playing in a field and the next second they are building a fire in the dead of night. It feels this way because that is literally what happens at a point. There is no transition. There is no rhyme or reason for this. Just suddenly, boom, it’s nighttime. Better build a fire. Then a night will go by in what seems like thirty seconds. Two characters will be talking and it will be dead of night, then it’s morning by the time the conversation is halfway through. It rips you out of the experience and leaves you thinking “What just happened?”
On a more positive side, the film is shot absolutely beautifully. The color palette of the film is gorgeous and the cinematography is out of this world. The cinematography for the film is done by Adam Arkapaw, who if you aren’t aware of who this man is, I recommend looking into his work immediately because he is one of the best young cinematographers out there today. Recently you might have seen his work in Macbeth and The Light Between Oceans. Every film I have seen with cinematography by him, regardless of the subject matter or how good the rest of the film is, his cinematography is always top notch. Keep an eye out for him, because this film is no exception.
This is a film that I wanted to like much more than I actually did. This is another one of those films that I’ve known about for years and I’ve always heard good things. So I decided to check it out and there was a lot of good to it. There was also a lot of what I don’t want to call bad but poorly done filmmaking. I think the film is worth checking out if the subject matter interests you. If you are like the crowd I mentioned above and think that you’ve had enough World War II and Holocaust films, I get it. Don’t check this film out. But I think there is some good to this film that isn’t worth being ignored. Even if it isn’t even close to being perfect.