The Stuff of Nightmares – Ruben Brandt, Collector (EIFF Review)

Rating:

The heist; the thrill of the chase is usually all about the criminal and the police. A game of cat and mouse. What Hungarian animation Ruben Brandt, Collector brings to this tried and tested genre is to add art to the mix, opening up the film to become a visually stunning feast for the eyes.

Ruben Brandt uses art therapy to help his patients, who also happen to be criminals. But when an international thief arrives looking for his help she, along with the other patients, end up helping Brandt steal famous works of art from around the world. Pursuing the gang is private detective Mike Kowalski who unearths more secrets than he expected.

Ruben Brandt isn’t just an art heist, it delves into the thriller side of the story, even stepping upon horror through Brandt’s truly terrifying nightmares that are all inspired by famous works of art. Each time he suffers through these visions he has to find and steal the painting in order to overcome the fear. Underneath the thefts and individual stories there is a on going mystery about why Brandt is having these nightmares to begin with.

The animation is superb and unlike anything seen before. Combining a unique design of characters as well as a new interpretation of some of the famous paintings referenced. It’s an art lover’s dream, even throughout the warped nightmares. The characters that inhabit this world reflect familiar artists’ work as well, some with two faces or two sets of eyes, only the three lead characters, Brandt, Mimi the Femme Fatale and Mike the detective on their case adhere to a ‘normal’ look. This is most likely so the audience can connect with them easily and become immersed in their world.

A hybrid of an old fashioned heist film with mystery and horror thrown in to create an exciting story with a strange but familiar world, at least if you know your artists and galleries around the world, for anyone else it’s a thrill ride through the art world.

Dir: Milorad Krstić

Prd: Milorad Krstić, Péter Miskolczi , Radmila Roczkov, Hermina Roczkov, János Kurdy-Fehér,

Scr: Roczkov Radmila, Milorad Krstić

Cast: Iván Kamarás, Gabriella Hámori, Zalán Makranczi

Music: Tibor Cári

Year: 2018

Country: Hungary

Running time: 94 minutes

 

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