FEED ME WITH YOUR WORDS – Review by Emily S Pitter, New York University

FEED ME WITH YOUR WORDS1

Simplistic style, a steady pace, and enigmatic meaning characterize Martin Turk’s first feature film Feed Me With Your Words. With this film Turk aims to capture the emotions relating to loss in severed relationships, the dual burden and benefit of family, and the pursuit of dreams no one can understand or believe in but the dreamer alone. The film was released in 2012 and has since been doing the international film festival circuit, playing in countries such as Brazil, Italy and Estonia. It stars a small cast including real-life father and son duo Sebastian and Boris Cavazza portraying the estranged father-son Janez and Matej.

At the heart of the film, Feed Me With Your Words aims to depict the relationship of a family connected by loose but unbreakable ties. After ten years of separation, the family is brought back together when Matej receives a phone call from his father saying his brother, Robert, has gone missing during a research trip to Italy and he needs help finding him. The distressing situation of Robert’s disappearance forces the family to interact despite lingering tensions. The film is testament to the love that can exists among families, even estranged ones, which lead people to surprising actions.

Another theme explored in the film is being trapped within one’s own mind. This is most explicit in Irina who suffers from dementia. She perceives things in her own way, making it difficult to be understood by others. In a less obvious manner, this theme is also seen in Robert’s own delusions which become the driving force behind his pursuits. Since only he understands what he wants and what he is looking for, he becomes reclusive. Through these depictions, the film explores the lonely and scary notions of what it is like to become disconnected from one’s surroundings.

The character-driven plot demands the actors tap into something more organic than flamboyant dramatics, calling for subtle facial expressions and body movements to illustrate what cannot be said but must be understood. The actors generally do a good job fulfilling their roles, allowing the audience to grasp the characters’ internal thoughts and struggles. Boris Cavazza really stood out for his ability to portray Janez’s confusion, worry, and frustration through his silent scowls, hand gestures, and angry but quick outbursts. His demeanor within the narrative seemed natural and brought a sense of authenticity that extended to how the actors allowed their characters to play off each other. The pensive pauses before dialogue and candid stares between one another helped create believable relationships.

The film’s biggest strength lies in its technique. There is clear attention to detail demonstrated by the positioning of actors and scenes to create beautiful cinematic images. Throughout the film, there exists a visual parallel between the character pairs of Matej and Janez and Ana and Veronika in which the bodies mirror each other in their placement within scenes, underscoring the characters’ relationships in a visually striking manner. The images have a distinct and pervasive blue tint, which adds to the solemn and longing tone of the film. The dream-like aesthetic quality of the images are an enhanced representation of reality, paradoxically encapsulating the film’s realistic portrayals in the frame of a fictional world. To contrast the bright atmosphere of the film’s many outside shots, dark shadows are utilized to add to the feeling that there is something wrong creeping within this otherwise normal narrative.

Feed Me With Your Words feels reminiscent of the art cinema movement and films such as L’Avventura because of its focus on capturing a sense of realism and tackling complex psychological processes while, ironically, immersed within an idyllic, grand, and beautiful environment. Audiences of the film will feel a tinge of nostalgia as they relate to the characters and the relationships portrayed on screen.

– Emily S Pitter
New York University, Cinema Studies

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