|I'm yawning like it's day
9. I must work on getting more sleep. I'm astounded at
the number of very good films I've seen so far. Let's
hope it stays that way.
Every year, I tend to get really spaced out by the middle of the week. I can't tell what day it is, or what's going on in the world. So this time I've brought a very small radio in the hope that listening to the CBC news five times a day will keep me balanced. As I write, the first episode of "The Great Eastern" is unspooling. Excuse me -- it's calling.
110 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Keiko Matsuzaka, Riho Makise, Keizo Kanie
|What a lovely looking
film, the type I think mom loves -- light, funny in bits,
dramatic in others. A Japanese hausfrau, unappreciated by
her husband and son, leaves one day for a hot springs spa
in the mountains. My goodness, it looked so beautiful.
Peaceful. I felt a strong need to be relaxing in a hot
spring on the other side of the earth. I've never seen a
Japanese film that didn't depict the Japanese countryside
as the most gorgeous place on earth. Even over Wales,
which comes a close second.
"Continuing is succeeding," says the banner in a community ping pong hall. The goal isn't to win -- that's inconsiderate -- but rather to serve the ball so your partner can return it. "The longer it goes, the more fun it is."
The director was there, along with his translator. Here's what little I remember:
7 minutes, Colour
|Claymation depiction of the rise of woman from the forest to the modern office.|
9 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Don McKeller, Tracy Wright
|Slickly made, enormous good conceptual fun from McDonald, McKeller, and Michael Ondaatje. A couple are in competing in an elimination dance where couples are asked to leave the dance floor if they meet the dance caller's criteria: If you've ever dreamt you were on a subway platform and put money in a pop machine, but instead of a soda, the Holy Grail drops out, filled with blood... If you've ever made a tape recording of a nude woman's growling stomach and sold it as whale song... (and so on.)|
Shut the Door Por Favor
11 minutes, Black and White
|I think seeing this film was my initial reason for scheduling this series of shorts. It's in the same mould as her short from a year or two back whose name eludes me ["One Day I Stood Still", 1996] I can't say I really enjoyed the ride, but if you liked her previous short, you'll probably appreciate this one too.|
30 minutes, Colour
|A man goes to a psychologist at the urging of his girlfriend. She is worried about the cleanliness of her walls.|
Phil Touches Flo
6 minutes, Colour
|"Why are you touching Flo?" Find out nine minutes earlier. Much good fun.|
The Fisherman and His Wife
11 minutes, Black and White
|A lovely bit of retro style where the fisherman gets what's coming to him. I loved the black and white television and the "stubby". (For international readers: a "stubby" was a short, squat beer bottle used before the decade of greed. For younger readers: that was the 1980's.)|
3 minutes, Colour
|I've never seen a film quite like--|
3 minutes, Colour
|A day later, I can't remember anything about this three minute film. I'm sure it was good, but I'm an old man. [With the help of the Festival Guide, I'm reminded that this was a visually busy stroll through a retro lounge party.]|
101 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Eusebio Poncela, Sofia Viruboff, Lorenzo Quinteros, Patricio Contreras, Pastora Vega
|This film marks the
return of fellow movie-goer Dave (recently back from
Tonga in the south Pacific), and Harry (recently from his
apartment a couple of subway stops away.) "Do you
know what the film's about" I ask Dave. "Not
Really." "Me neither." As it turns out,
the movie was a stylish bit of science fiction.
Let's get back to the film at hand. "The Sleepwalker," a world premiere, the director said. It hadn't even opened in Buenos Aires.
Stylish, very stylish. With at least a nod to "Bladerunner." Perhaps just a bit long. But that's OK. I liked the billboard for AVID in one long shot (they made the film editing equipment used by the filmmakers.) Harry suggested it combined elements of "Dark City" and "City of Dark". I agree completely.
There a brief, yet insipid Q&A:
Q: I had a question
about the time in the film. When it starts, it's 3010.
But it ends in the present day.
[Dave's unasked question: The woman was a total babe. Can he comment on that?]
Q: I was confused by
the ending. Can you explain it?
At this point we quit the theatre to dash over the the Varsity for the next film.
100 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Charlotte Laurier, Dino Tavarone, Yves Pelletier, Pascal Auclair
|Despite winning Best
First Feature (and Director too, I think) at the Montreal
Film Festival, this movie did nothing for me. I thought
it was all over the map and perhaps too much about
cycling and not enough about the characters. The parts
that worked for me were Laurie's conversations with
Lorenzo, a bicycle repairman who used to race. Grafted on
to that was some background of being a bike courier.
I talked to Harry about this film last night -- he thought it was the best of the five or so films he's seen so far. He thought the initial scenes on Monster Mountain were exciting. On the downside, he found the physicist character to be unrealistically silly. Harry is a physicist by training.
This screening probably scrapes the barrel so far. There was a fire alarm part way through 9the theatre wasn't evacuated, but projection was stopped for several minutes) and I had a couple of talkers sitting next to me. Take note, gentle reader: until you can find a way to silently communicate with your friends and loves ones in a movie house, please -- shut the hell up. I don't want to hear it.
A microscopic bit of the Q&A with Briand:
Q: Was it
Q: How did you get GT
While I remember a fair bit of the Q&A, I'm just not interested enough to write it down.
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