You know, as I write this, it's only Monday. Yet it's getting progressively harder to record my impressions of the films I've seen. I can't adequately precis the movies unless they're really poor. I barely remember who made them. so who am I to advise you on whether or not to see a film? Should you do so based on how much or little I write? Do you just look at the rating? Maybe I should stick to writing about the weather.
98 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Peter Fenton, Sacha Horler, Marta Dusseldorp, Joel Edgerton, Yvette Duncan, Winston Bull
|Kay's comments were for
once germane: She said that over the summer, she watches
a lot of movies submitted to the Festival. Most are
pieces of junk, she said. But this one, even though she
saw it at 8:00 in the morning, and even though the tape
had time codes on it, and there were pauses where the
reels ended, it jumped off the screen. After watching it,
she called the Festival office and said that they should
invite this film.
There are a lot of firsts in the film: First feature. First time acting for the male lead. First film for the lead actress. So does it jump off the screen at you? It certainly does. Not perhaps with the same force as "Character" [from last year's Festival] but well enough.
I can't tell you what the title means beyond the name of the book on which the film is based. As it that's any kind of explanation.
Great to see this film. It's very strong, very appealing if you like stories about people, stories that end somewhat realistically. Here's Q&A with the director:
Q: Tell us about the
For her, we wanted someone strong, ballsy when she came in, it was love at first sight. She's fabulous, and I think you're going to see a lot ore of her. Well, you did, I guess.
Q: Can you tell us
about the rehearsal/improvisation you did?
Directing each of them was different. She is a conventionally trained actress, so she would always ask why she was doing something, rather than what she should do. He was just the opposite. He'd say, "How do you want me to do this, John?"
Q: Was it difficult
making this film given it's... not quite graphic. But a
very frank portrayal of sex?
Q: Was her eczema real
Q: The eczema was
inconsistent from one part of the film to the next. Was
92 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Brenda Blethyn, Ray Barrett, Richard Roxburgh, Miranda Otto
|Director James Bogle and
star Brenda Blethyn were there to introduce the film. I
was delighted to see that Blethyn was there, and craned
my neck to spot her before she stepped into the
spotlight. I never would have picked her out. She was
very lively and articulate, unlike any character I've
seen her play. And the short dark hair threw me a bit
Remember her in "Secrets and Lies"? She was nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award (™, etc.) She didn't win, and Alexa speculated that it was because they didn't realize she wasn't really like her character. I remember seeing her on Oscar (™, et al) night. She was beautifully coifed and glowing. In her films, she is often a bit dim and dumpy.
The film didn't do much for me, although it was plainly made by competent people; it just wasn't my thing, you know? If you enjoy watching the mysteries shown on TVO or PBS, this will probably please you.
Very brief Q&A with James Bogle:
Q: What differences
are there between the film and the book?
Q: Can you explain
what was going on when she's putting her fingers in the
Q: Can you reveal
something? In the garage when he's killing something --
was that the cat in the bag?
105 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Emmanuelle Béart, Sandrine Bonnaire, André Dussollier, Vahina Giocante, Eric Ruf, André Marcon
|I think I was
anticipating this film most -- it's with the very lovely
Sandrine Bonnaire and Emmanuelle Béart. Unfortunately,
neither were there for this, the film's North American
premiere. And neither was Yves Angelo, who returned to
Paris in response to "sudden and unexpected"
circumstances. Instead Jean-Louis Livi (the producer) was
there to read us a long note from Angelo which was,
franchement, too well-written for me to reproduce here.
He did mention that in a very short period, he had
experienced both the birth of his (Yves') daughter, and
the death of his father. This film is his attempt to
convey the emotions he felt. He apologized for his sudden
departure, saying that just last night he has sat where
we were sitting and had discovered Roberto Benigni's film
("La Vita e Bella") which showed things at
which you didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "I
don't think you will laugh at any point in my film,"
he wrote. Harry leaned over and said, "I'm depressed
True to his words, the film did not raise any guffaws. It's a somber meditation on the cycle of life and death., on love and sex, very precisely made. Somewhat unsettling. Despite there being many words spoken, what I remember most clearly about the film are the wordless moments. A woman observed in a cemetery. Reading test results. Photos on a wall.
I didn't feel sad after this film, or even lonely. It's the feeling you get after you shout out in a secluded place, hear the echo of your voice bounce back, then fade into silence.
This was my first time in the Elgin theatre for a film. It's very nice -- red carpets, ushers, reasonable seats, lovely decor. But you can't see any of that once the light go down.
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