We have a lot of criticisms for Lithuanian filmmakers. This list could be easily named as “Top 10 Best Lithuanian Films of All Time” or “Top 10 Most Enduring Lithuanian Movies”, since no cinematic works created in the 20th century would enter the list. Past century Lithuanian cinema could barely breathe, and old movies in our opinion, are weak or overestimated. Only in the 21st century did Lithuanian cinema start to generate some new ideas. Though, the current situation in the cinematography is not particularly pleasing, but it is at least the beginning of a hope for the better future.
10. “Redirected” (2014) / Dir. Emilis Vėlyvis
Vivacious but at the same time humiliating. Vėlyvis’ “Zero II” excessive hyperbolization can be felt thanks to the same director of “Redirected”, and this only proves that Vėlyvis likes to sharpen things up. The only difference is that this time the sharpness can offend the viewer or make them smile. Story starts with the four British citizens entering Lithuania, who are by no means are ordinary tourists, but representatives of the criminal world with the intentions of getting rich. When all hell breaks loose, there are no heroes or anti-heroes here, only a big jumble. The movie itself is made of endless action, humour, worth laughing and high-quality scenes. The image of Lithuania is represented with the episodes of native TV shows such as “24 Hours”, “TV Help” and “TOP 10 Criminal Cases”. This gives the viewer a range of strange emotions and might make them grumpy or gleeful at the same time. Though, we must admit, that this is one of the most professional works of Lithuanian cinematography.
9. “The Saint” (2017) / Dir. Andrius Blaževičius
First of all this is a political movie. According to the Eurostat statistics, almost 30% of population in modern Lithuania is at the poverty line. The film takes place in 2008, when the country survived the financial crisis, but it could describe modern days as well as the situation has not changed so much. In general it is a fine and artistic movie with the international festivals’ recognitions which reveals the political reality of Lithuania based on motivated heroes’ portraits. It is a deceptively simple piece. Story reflects complexity of liberal democracy in Lithuania, which has not been able to create a functioning welfare state for all its citizens. More specifically, the film criticizes state institutions, media, popular culture. It is also unique for its quality. While movie shows off poverty, every shot is filled with high levels of art. The story and unexpected twists – only as much as needed, thanks to the scriptwriters Andrius Blaževičius, Teklė and Marija Kavtaradze. Actors’ performances – right into the point, thanks to Marius Repšys, Indrė Patkauskaitė and Gelminė Glemžaitė. Lina Dabriška finds creativity even whilst filming through the balcony glass. A simple, but purposeful and high-quality political message is the reason why this movie is fantastic.
8. “Vanishing Waves” (2014) / Dir. Kristina Buožytė
The hope of Lithuanian cinema “Vanishing Waves” is an artistic and atmospheric director’s Kristina Buožytė sci-fi drama. Movie tells the story of an experiment involving a female in the coma and her brain connection to another man and that with each session the main character Lukas becomes more and more intimate with the source. Somehow we want to compare it with “Altered States” or “The Cell” movies, because a similar formula senses’ repeatedness is felt and spectator feels attacked by atmospheric sounds or images. A good, uninterrupted soundtrack – a very important element in creating the mood. Beautiful visuals and good camera work is also nice to look at.
7. “You am I” (2006) / Dir. Kristijonas Vildžiūnas
It’s hard to surprise or interest viewers these days. However, Lithuanians are still determined to popularize their cinematography. Films are often criticized for lack of action, simplicity and poetic approach of the characters. “You am I” by Kristijonas Vildžiūnas is exactly like that. The director is trying to capture the most impalpable thing – person’s inner world. On the screen we can also see Italian celebrity Silvia Ferreri. The mysterious title of the movie refers to the greeting of the Mayan tribe, which is said by an unexpectedly showed up aborigine Movie character is a lonely, disillusioned architect who decides to fulfill his dream of building a house in a tree and staying in the woods. He wishes to forget all of the troubles by living calmly. The life of Baronas (Andrius Bialobžeskis) is disrupted when a group of young people comes to the nearby village. The creators were able to successfully convey natural world to viewers.