Any Way The Wind Blows

Any Way The Wind Blows


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Ensemble pictures come in different forms. Either their separate storylines touch at some point, or they remain self-contained, like mini moments on a visual canvas.

Any Way The Wind Blows is a bit of both. At first, under the banner "Antwerp on a Friday in June," seven groups of characters are doing (or not doing) their own thing. Most are in a bad mood. One is completely different and remains so throughout. He is called The Wind Man, because he doesn't have a life, other than dancing on the beach and being self-consciously mysterious.

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Forgetting about this spirit of a lost era, there is a bad tempered fiftysomething teacher/writer, whose marriage has reached that stage of dysfunction when aggravation is seen as a positive sign.

A brother and sister argue in a car. Their father has just died and they can't talk about it. He goes back to the Institute of Tropical Medicine, where his dad worked, and steals a phial of what may be deadly bacteria. His motive is never explained.

A single father, who works as a projectionist at a small independent cinema and occasionally gets a gig as a DJ, is sacked for something he didn't do. Naturally, he is furious, but is one of those passive limpets, who complain loudly, but never respond with any degree of conviction, and is too skinny to make much of any impression.

A sexy young photographer and her butch girlfriend wander about in a haze of narcissistic nothingness, occasionally doing a line of coke. The question about whether they are lesbians or not seems irrelevant. Certainly, the friend has more to say.

Two teenage scammers rush about the city, plastering posters on every available surface, although it is illegal, being chased by the police. The blond one dresses like a rent boy and has a chippy, aggressive attitude. The younger one is more gentle and understanding, which the girls go for.

A bald gallery owner uses his position to play power games with women. And so it goes on, until the final party, at which they all attend, dancing to the music of dEUS, writer/director Tom Barman's band.

The film has soul rather than unity of purpose. This is a day and a night in Antwerp, brought alive in the spirit of the moment, with enthusiasm and a great soundtrack. What it's about is a question alien to the concept. Wherever the mood moves, Barman's camera follows.

Don't ask for directions.

Reviewed on: 17 Jan 2007
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Ensemble movie defined as "Antwerp on a Friday in June".
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