130 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Akira Emoto, Kumiko Aso, Jyuro Kara, Jacques Gamblin
|Caught myself micro
napping... This was the latest start to a day a the
festival (3:30 p.m.) in all the years I've been going.,
so I was probably worn out by a day of tromping about.
Looked good, started on time. Parts looked as if they
could have been cut together to form a decent film that
wasn't all over the place.
Plot synopsis: A doctor labours in a small Japanese village. He is obsessed with the spread of liver disease. He has a sign in his office which reads "Being a doctor is all legs." He is often shown rushing from place to place. Where's Kenneth Brannagh? For that matter -- where's Manoel De Oliveira when you need him?
90 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Josiane Balasko, Richard Berry, Daniel Prévost, Daniel Ceccaldi
|A broad farce about two actors, former
lovers, brought together after 10 years for a play called
"Un Grand Cri D'Amour." Written, directed,
starring, and produced by Josiane Balasko, who was there
for the Q&A. Kay Armitage introduced the film, saying
that this was the first time Balasko had come to Toronto.
She was quickly shouted down (Balasko was here for
"Gazon Maudit" in '95). Why does Kay think
we're here to listen to her speak?
I would later tell Mom and Scott that I had seen a French comedy. All were surprised that it remained funny, even in English. Most French comedies I've seen just didn't survive the language barrier. Of course now I can't name a single French comedy, amusant ou pas. "Chacun Cherche Son Chat?" Sort of a comedy, more drama. And I liked it a lot, so it's a bad example. "Cruising Bar." There. Actively disliked it. But it's Québecois, not continental French. So I'm not going to prove my point today. Common wisdom's unprovable anyway, isn't it?
Some comments from the Q&A:
Q: I wanted to
congratulate you on making a comedy that survived
Q: Are the characters
based on people you actually know?
Q: When I saw
"Gazon Maudit" at the Montreal film festival,
you said that it was a different cut [from what she
wanted, I think]. Was this your cut?
Q: What compels you to
I'm transcribing this very poorly. Balasko was more eloquent by way of gesture in a way I've only seen from people from France. A shrug, pursing the lips, the way one stands all says far more than I can put down in words.
Hong Kong, China, 1998
96 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Carol Cheng, Kevin Lin, Bao-Ming Ku, Fang Yu, Zong-Di Zhang
|A gorgeously photographed adaptation of a
quite well-known Chinese story. A woman is running a rice
noodle shop in Taipei; it's about her and her customers
and contrasting their childhood hopes with their present
circumstance. The film has a body count which lends it a
welcome heft. It's not very easy to describe without
getting bogged down in meaningless detail. Very
enjoyable, and a world premiere to boot.
The director and writer were there to bask in the applause and answer some questions.
Q: I noticed food was
a relevant theme in the story. Were you influenced by
"Eat Drink Man Woman?" [Dead silence.]
It was a Chinese film from a number of years ago.*
Q: What was the
reaction of the People's Republic to your film? They
obviously supported you.
Q: Was the present day
in the 1960's?
* This is the winner of the most boneheaded question of the festival. And only on Day 2.
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