Director: Hans Canosa
First time screenwriter Gabrielle Zevin earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her addicting and eccentric romance involving two people (named only Man and Woman) who meet at a wedding and then disappear upstairs for what one assumes will simply be a one-night stand.
As the conversation continues between the leads (wonderfully played by Helena Bonham Carter and the always underrated Aaron Eckhart), we begin to realize that the man and woman have a history. Visually arresting and cinematically daring, director Hans Canosa opts to depict the action in a split screen that lasts throughout the film.
While it begins as a sort of “his” and “hers” illustration of the events unfolding, it also becomes an extra window into other characters, the past, possible futures, and one begins to wonder what is real and what is perceived. The sleeper of a film, which earned a Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival, can be viewed as a sort of darker companion piece to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.
Yet to me, Conversations seems more internationally influenced by the New Wave—by Rohmer and especially Last Year at Marienbad (although this work is much more accessible and less frustrating on viewer’s minds). Short, thoughtful and well worth tracking down—don’t miss it, if you’re a fan of romantic stories that unfold in a nontraditional way.