Sometimes a film needs a little context, a little knowledge of the process, to truly make sense. Such is the case here with the fifth film by writer-director and all round nice fellow, Jon Sanders. Showing as its world premier, A Change In The Weather has such an au naturel feel, from the dialogue to the actors’ movements, that it’s mildly irksome, to begin with, then downright irritating. It’s not unlike one imagines would be the case if one of Mike Leigh‘s legendary workshops was filmed and a movie spliced together from the rushes. Perhaps it is a fault with your viewer – me – but it comes as some relief when it’s later confirmed that, the story arc notwithstanding, A Change In The Weather is largely improvised and done with very few takes, relatively speaking.
All that aside – is it any good? Well yes, it is, but one really has to get into the radically different aesthetic. Probably quicker than I do. The plot concerns a playwright workshopping a play and renewing a creative partnership in sunbaked rural France. The precise relationship(s) between the fictional characters and their selves is gradually revealed – not always in the most relaxed of ways. It makes sense in reality, though the film is not without its confusions. The dynamics do require a deal of focus as different generations interact, and a mannequin at that.
After that setup, it’ll come as no surprise that reality and fiction, real people and acted versions thereof, become inextricably combined in somewhat deleterious ways. Upset ensues, maybe light is cast, ever more intense waves of emotion take over. Throw in a ghost and you’re laughing.
Nicely put together, it’s an interesting look at the ages of love, the ages of woman. A Change In The Weather is intimate and rather quixotic; as long as you settle into the rhythm and meter, there’s a lot to take away. Art with a capital ‘A’ with some powerful scenes seemingly surprising the director as much as anyone else as they played out in front of camera in somewhat unexpected ways. A working on the hoof and diy nod to the past, as the sound recordist from The Great Rock And Roll Swindle, would later reveal.
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