Combustible Celluloid
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With: Georges Babluani, Aurélien Recoing, Pascal Bongard, Fred Ulysse, Philippe Passon, Nicolas Pignon, Vania Vilers
Written by: Géla Babluani
Directed by: Géla Babluani
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: French, Georgian with English subtitles
Running Time: 90
Date: 03/18/2013

13 Tzameti (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Lucky Prey

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Like his lead character Sebastien (Georges Babluani), filmmaker Géla Babluani is a Georgian living in France (the two are real-life brothers). While repairing the roof for an exhausted morphine junkie and his younger, pretty female companion, Sebastien discovers the existence of a mysterious envelope containing train tickets, a tile with the number "13" printed on it, and other goodies. Sebastien knows that the envelope promises a big paycheck, so he boards a train without knowing what kind of fate awaits him. Director Babluani films his black-and-white widescreen film in chilly, scruffy strokes. Equal amounts of hope and fear build quietly and naturally, and the earned payoff is an all-too-believable shocker. Opens today at the Roxie.

Note: The American title is actually redundant; "tzameti" is actually Georgian for "thirteen."

DVD Details: I received only a "check disc" from Palm Pictures, but extras are supposed to include interviews, deleted scenes, the "testimony of a survivor," trailers and weblinks.

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