Tuesday, April 26, 2005

48th San Francisco Intl. Film Festival - Day 5

[Apr. 27th, 2005|01:16 am]
Not an overly satisfying triple feature today at the Kabuki. I'll put them in order of preference, I guess...

"Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" (dir. Alex Gibney, USA, 2005, 110 mins.) Well, it's not that this doesn't tell us anything we don't already know. Though apparently this was news to the woman sitting next to me. (She was an ooo'er and ah'er - "oh!" "oh good lord" "no!" etc., as if the screen had ears.) Yes, it implicates Bush Sr. and Jr. and Cheney and Schwarzenegger, but we've seen how all of that has slid off their backs. It implicates the banks and brokerages, too, but it will be YEARS before the class action suit against them will be resolved. Lots of talking heads and some insider video and audio tape. But other than that, it doesn't really get into the complex nitty gritty of how they did what they did. This releases on Friday and is worth the see, if just to show some support to the filmmaker. And it is sort of neat that this will probably be on home video by the time the guys go on trial next January, though.

"Pinboy" (dir. Ana Poliak, Argentina/Belgium, 2004, 93 very long minutes) The best part about this little flick about a pinboy at a really old Buenos Aires bowling alley was that I was able to nap for about 20 good minutes and not miss anything. Sure, when I woke up, I didn't know who that girl was in the scene, but that didn't seem to matter as she only showed up one other time. It's not like she could have broken the utterly dreariness of the piece. Not to mention that so little actually HAPPENS in what I was awake to see, that I'm sure she probably just sat there, so he could stare at her. Dreary + Dull = Naptime. The programmer's introduction informed us that this was created by the team that brought us "Extrano" in 2003. I. Loathed. "Extrano". LOATHED it. I did not loathe this, though, since I decided to 'let it go' and just nap, since I was there.

"Tracing Paths" was the third of five short subject programs. This one was made up of 'avant garde international documentaries,' which is at least one too many sub-genres, if you ask me. In order of preference:

"Night" (dir. Gloriana Severdija, Germany, 2004, 30 mins.) This was a beautifully photographed cine-journal of Berlin after dark. No plot, just images of apartments, offices, bars, discos, worksites, etc. It had a cool score, too.

"The Ecstatic" (dir. Till Passow, Pakistan/Germany, 2004, 30 mins.) A simple, unnarrated film of this BIZARRE (yes, I can be xenophobic) religious gathering in Pakistan, having something to do with a prophet named 'Mast Qalandar'. Without any narration and very few subtitles, I have no idea what was going on or why, which was sort of a neat way to get submerged in the 'festivities.' Freaky, but... sort of cool to watch.

"The Critical Path" (dir. Benita Raphan, USA, 2004, 14 mins.) A visually cool, but all too brief glimpse at the life and work of R. Buckminster Fuller. I wish this had been longer!

I wish these had been shorter:
"Death in the Garden of Paradise" (dir. Nurjahan Akhlag, Canada/Pakistan, 2004, 22 mins.) I don't really know what this was about. I know there was a murder and then for some reason we do an extensive tour of a temple. The religious soundtrack made me very sleepy.

"The Future is Behind You" (dir. Abigail Child, USA, 2004, 22 mins.) was actually the second on the program and put me completely to sleep. So, I have no comment.

"PSA Project #6: Simulation" (dir. Cynthia Madansky, Elle Flanders, USA, 2005, 3 mins.) 3 minutes?! I think that's wrong. It felt like 15 or more. Even though it protests the war in Iraq, it was so visually obnoxious (the colors are over saturated to look like an old Atari video game) that I disliked it intensely. Yes, I got the point, but I just didn't like looking at it, which was the point, but still...

Tomorrow: Just ONE feature and then 'Secretary's Week Dinner' with my boss! I may be LOA, but she still loves me! ;-)

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