Review: ‘Our Private Lives’

Lovers run amuck in the wilderness in experimental drama "Our Private Lives."

Bulgarian lovers run amuck in the Quebec wilderness in experimental drama “Our Private Lives,” the second feature by former film critic Denis Cote (“Drifting States”). Self-indulgent low-budgeter, charting the relationship of a couple who met in an Internet chatroom, moves from hot sex through quarrels and a “Blair Witch”-like turn before a final, unseen kiss-off. “Lives” is exclusively fest fare.

Beautiful, 20-ish Bulgarian immigrant Milena (Anastasia Liutova) invites her Sofia-based cyber-correspondent Philip (Penko S. Gospodinov) to spend three weeks at a secluded cabin. They immediately hit it off in the sack but, after a few days, differences of temperament and intellect get in the way. She’s controlling and restless; he’s a bit of a macho boor. About 45 minutes in, pic takes a left turn toward B-movie horror when something in the forest attacks Philip and Milena dispatches an intruder (Jean-Charles Fonti) back at the cottage. Lead thesps — both theater actors from Bulgaria imported by Cote — translated helmer’s script themselves, and neither director nor crew understood Bulgarian. DV-shot pic looked grainy on bigscreen.

Our Private Lives



A Nihilproductions presentation, in association with Estfilmindustri, Urbansounds. Produced, directed, written by Denis Cote.


Camera (color, HD), Rafael Ouellet; editor, Christian Laurence; music, Ramponneau Paradise; art director, Cote. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Filmmakers of the Present -- competing), Aug. 4, 2007. (Also in Toronto Film Festival.) Bulgarian, French, English dialogue. Running time: 82 MIN.


Anastasia Liutova, Penko S. Gospodinov, Jean-Charles Fonti.

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