I think that one of the most interesting things of Papiro & Mint is that I always try to come up with lists of movies that are not so obvious, or even to create a very specific theme to gather films I think are relevant. Because of that – and the fact I have been watching some movies like that, I decided to create a list of six films that takes place inside of a cabin. But instead of being a horror film, they’re films about love, desires, and beauty.
La Collectionneuse (1967) by Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer has two or three films that are set in cabins during the summer that deals with the subject of love and relationships. However, La Collectionneuse is probably his most notorious and beautiful work when it comes to the theme in question. With a beautiful cinematography by Nestor Almendros, La Collectionneuse is about a womanizer art dealer and a painter who goes to a friend’s country-side house to work and are disturbed by a third guest, a vivacious bohemian woman known for her long list of male lovers.
Two English Girls (1971) by François Truffaut
Probably my favorite Truffaut film after The 400 Blows, Two English Girls is a beautiful adaptation of Henri-Pierre Roché’s novel of the same name, who also wrote Jules et Jim, a book that ended up becoming a movie directed by Truffaut himself. The film tells the story of a French man who is invited to spend the summer in the house of an English family, where he falls in love with two sisters, starting a complicated love-triangle. Differently from his previous films, Two English Girls is a serious, romantic and beautiful film of all the loves we cannot have.
Strayed (2003) by André Téchiné
Strayed may not sound like a striking film but once you see it you will find more than there is to it. Directed by the very French André Téchiné and having one of the firsts Gaspard Ulliel performances, this Cannes Film Festival Palm d’Or nominee tells the story of a young mother of two who is running away from the Nazis on a German-occupied France. During an air strike, the mother runs away to the woods with her children, who are helped by an independent young French soldier. The four of them seek refuge in an abandoned house and start to live together, awakening their sexual interests and creating tension inside the house.
Criminal Lovers (1999) by François Ozon
Criminal Lovers looks like a French Extremity Horror film at first sight, but is actually quite more interesting than that. Directed by the amazing François Ozon at the beginning of his career, Criminal Lovers is an apocalyptic homoerotic fairy-tale where two lovers are kidnapped by a pervert in the woods after committing a murder. As the story unfolds and we find out the motives of the couple and the kidnapper, the film transforms into a tale of sex, love, death, and blood in an almost surrealistic and poetic way that will challenge you in ways that you can’t find in most films nowadays. The fact that most of the film is set on a cabin and everything that happens is related to sexual desires, Criminal Lovers is a must watch on this list!
Love In Thoughts (2004) by Achim von Borries
Using love almost as a religion, this extremely romanticized film is a rare German pearl staring Daniel Bruhl and August Diehl. They play Paul and Guether, two close friends who believe that love is the most incredible thing in the whole world. The two of them go to spend the weekend at Guether’s countryside house, where his sister hangs out with Hans, who Guether is in love with. At the same time, Paul has a strong interest in Guether sister, creating a complicated love-triangle that ends up having extreme consequences. With a very strong dream-like atmosphere, Love In Thoughts is a very romantic film that you can’t find anymore.
The Mirror (1975) by Andrei Tarkovsky
The cabin in The Mirror is used more as a reference to memory than to desire, but how not to talk about Andrei Tarkovsky’s film in such a list? Considered one of the masterpieces of film history, The Mirror is an autobiographical non-linear tale about a dying man and the memories of his childhood, his parents and wife. More description is extremely unnecessary. If you haven’t watched The Mirror yet, you should do it for yesterday!
Departure (2015) by Andrew Steggall
Being one of my favorite films from 2015, Departure is Andrew Steggall’s directional debut about the relationship between a British and french boy who meets in the country-side of France, where one of them is trying to put the pieces together after his parents are separating. The name “departure” comes from the state where we are no longer ourselves and are transformed into something else. Stegall shows this in a brilliant and subtle way through a coming-of-age story set on a cabin of the French country-side.
“Things to Come (2016)” by Mia-Hansen Love
There isn’t really a cabin where the film takes place, but the way Mia-Hansen Love tells this story through households and the importance of them in not only our daily lives but also in the formation of our identity, is something extremely remarkable. Is the house of where Nathalie lives, is the country-side house where she spent her life with her children, is the country-side house of her students where she socialize and how all of these households falls apart and gain different meanings when her husband tells her he is having an affair with another woman.