Volume 91, Issue 40

Friday, November 7, 1997

musical chairs


International Film Series

By Carey Weinberg
Gazette Staff

House of Angels is the third offering in the International Film Festival series. This movie is a pleasure to watch as the cinematography captures the beautiful Swedish countryside.

The theme of this year's series is "Vision of Displacement." Most of the films are about cultural displacement and adaptation. House of Angels is about the sexy Fanny Angel who comes to a small Swedish country village to collect her grandfather's inheritance.

The problem is, nobody was aware her grandfather had any family and were already in the process of deciding how they were going to use the land valued at $13 million.

This subtitled movie moves as gently and methodically as the sloping hills which stand as its backdrop. Each of the characters in the small town are given tremendous depth.

Fanny's mother Alice (who never appears in the film except for her picture on the wall) left a mysterious legacy in the town. Fanny does not know who her father is either, which is something she yearns to find out.

This movie is a carefully thought-out story with an abundance of interesting plot twists amongst a motley crew of characters. Most of the people of the town reject the new presence in their community as Fanny and her friend are markedly different. They are "performers" in the bawdy sense of the word. Her friend dresses as a woman and Fanny hangs fruits on relatively obscure parts of her body while singing.

What unravels in the tight-knit community is an abundance of loose ends. Each character has secrets comparable to the lifestyle Fanny and her friend lead, the only difference is Fanny and her friend do not pretend to be anything different than what they actually are.

What is compelling about this flick is its mentality is a microcosm of society in general; the seemingly inevitable fear and rejection of the 'other' pervading society. What ensues ultimately is Fanny's feelings of alienation which she no longer wishes to contend with.

Despite its theme, House of Angels is a wonderfully uplifting film that is both charming and sweet to the end. It is being shown Sunday Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. in the University Community Centre's McKellar Room.

The website for the schedule of this year's International Film Series is


To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997