"SUGGESTS THE WORK OF A DEEPLY SERIOUS FILM-MAKER"
Evan Williams THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN
"It’s a delicate, deceptively slight and oddly touching reflection on love and solitude
and the way the past can shape our lives."
"...her film is deeply personal and difficult to classify. It struck me as a kind of poem,
an aesthetic construct, beautiful, elusive, occasionally obscure, but underpinned by a
strong conventional narrative..."
"Mercedes, an actor of compelling presence, gives the film its core of humanity and
truth." "...aided by the use of classical music and recurring images of paintings and
artworks, suggests the work of a deeply serious film-maker..."
Evan Williams THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN
“Real life seems eternally elsewhere for Kannava’s pining, sensitive, ever-waiting
heroines—in the past, or in the natural landscapes of another country, a lost
motherland. What lifts Kannava’s work beyond a kind of suburban neo-realism is a strongly lyrical
aura, and an investment in the realm of transfiguring desire. Her films are built on
dream-sequences, paintings, music, dance, and a whole, sensual experience of
fabrics and textures—a special and intimate ‘female aesthetic’ proudly claimed.
So it is not for nothing that Ellen (Maria Mercedes) in Kannava’s first narrative
feature, Dreams for Life, seems to live most fully when she is in bed—the privileged
place of dreaming and solitude, contemplation and recuperation. But what awakes
and troubles her out in the streets is an odd, ghostly apparition: young Martin (Dai
Paterson), the handsome, soulful brother of a disturbed lover from Ellen’s past.”
Adrian Martin THE AGE
“This unashamedly arty film is held together by a number of impressive elements – the
fragile performance of Maria Mercedes is one. She has a beautiful, quiet elegance to
her; she inhabits the frame of the film so well. And the frame itself is beautifully designed
by Jayne Russell, and shot by Firouz Malekzadeh.”
“The film which has been delicately directed with an old fashioned formalism by Anna kannava, is a
meditation on loneliness, lost love and lost cultures.”
MARGARET POMERANZ – At The Movies, ABC TV
“Anna Kannava could probably make the Moscow telephone directory look like a
fascinating objet d'art she has such an innate sense of cinematic language. She also
directs actors so well that she elicits their deepest personas for her - and for us
via the camera. This tender, subtle and complex love story touches on so many private issues within each of us - lost love and loneliness, new love and melancholy, dreams that shadow
us - that our emotional synapses keep popping throughout. Yet, for its poetry and
depth, she never loses touch with the real world. Neither do her actors, who simply
seduce us with their honesty and their feelings.
Fuelled by the depth of European sensibilities and the earthiness of Australian
culture, DREAMS FOR LIFE is a window into the possibilities of human nature. And
an ending you don't expect.”
ANDREW L. URBAN, URBAN CINEFILE
"One of the finest Australian films of recent times..."
"After migrating from Cyprus at the age of fifteen, ANNA KANNAVA has cut a highly
personal path through the black boxes of Melbourne’s theatre scene. She now
comes up with a dreamy, singular and defiantly un-commercial debut feature.”
"Dreams for Life could fairly be described as a mosaic - unraveling in jagged pieces
with tender little centres, it has the formal subtlety of poetry..."
"Dreams also has a clear desire to appeal on sub-conscious levels that stands it
apart from other low-budget Australian features..."
Julian Shaw FILMINK
"The grief seeped into Kannava's dreams and instead of rationalising it away, she
decided to recreate it on the screen in the story of a lonely woman."
"Its Greekness forms the background, influenced by Kannava's migration to Australia at 15."
Inga Gilchrist MX CITYBEAT MELBOURNE
“ANNA IS A VERY INDIVIDUAL AND SWEET FILM-MAKER, HER WORK IS
INFUSED WITH LOVE AND GRACE.”
Bill Mousoulis, INNERSENSE