Thursday, April 28, 2005

48th SF International Film Festival - Day 7

Two features and a dozen or so short subjects later... I think I over did it. (Oh!! By the way, there hasn't been a Rrrrrrroxanne(!) sighting since she got her award for liking France last weekend...)

'Revelations' is a program of international narrative short subjects. Yes, again with the sub-sub-genres. In order of preference:

"Frog" (dir. Christopher Conforti, USA, 2004, 4 mins.) A cartoon frog struggles to survive in some really twisted scenarios that the WB would NEVER attempt! I. Loved. It! I must find a copy!

"La Vie d'un Chien" (dir. John Harden, USA/France, 2004, 13 mins.) A drug that temporarily transforms people into dogs becomes the new heroin. Told through animated still photography, the narrative was a hoot! I'd love a copy of this one too!

"Going Postal" (dir. Suzi Ewing, England, 2004, 14 mins.) Creepy little bit about a 10 year old girl left at home alone for a week, with only the local postman as her contact outside of the house. Creepy, but sort of cool. But creepy.

The rest of these were only fair melodramas. None of them were 'bad' but nothing special or spectacular about any of them. I'm just listing them here as a matter of record:

"Afternoon" (dir. Kim Spurlock, US, 2005, 10 mins.)
"Two Cars, One Night" (dir. Taika Waitit, New Zealand, 2004, 11 mins.)
"Everything Goes" (dir. Andrew Kotatko, Australia, 2004, 18 mins.) This did feature Hugo Weaving, which is always a nice surprise!
"Nits" (dir. Harry Wootliff, England, 2004, 10 mins.)
"Little Terrorist" (dir. Ashvin Kumar, India/England, 2004, 15 mins.)

This program was followed by a quick trip to Isobune sushi (yum!!!) and the first feature for me today as well as the director (it is in the Skyy Prize First Feature competition):

"Champions" (dir. Marek Naibrt, Czech Republic, 2004, 83 mins.) Man, this was dreary black and white Eastern European 'comedy'! I think it was meant to be funny. A bunch of drunk, poor, trashy guys spend most of their days in a bar watching the Czech National Hockey team games. There's a bit of plot having to do with one of the guys being able to predict the winner when he gets drunk enough. And there's a girl there, for no apparent reason. At least I didn't see what it was. Of course, in all fairness, I did take one of my lovely naps during this overly quirky piece. In fact, I may have slept through half of it. I didn't mind and don't think I missed a thing.

The next program of shorts was called "Exquisite Luminance" which was sort of a reference to the fact that it was made up entirely of abstract pieces. No plot. Rarely thematic. Sometimes not even sound. Since they were so abstract, I'll forgo synopsis (again) and just list in order of preference:

"Icarus" (dir. Tirtza Even, Spain/USA, 2004, 12 mins.) Reverse pan panoramas of Cartegena. BEAUTIFUL!!! I'd like to find this one!
"Viscera" (dir. Leighton Pierce, USA, 2004, 12 mins.) Another gorgeous, though even MORE abstract piece that would be lovely to project on a wall for a few hours...
"Legal Errorist" (dir. Mara Mattuschka, Chris Haring, Austria, 2005, 15 mins.) Weird performance artist, bordering on cool.
"We Are the Littletons: A True Story" (dir. Penny Lane, USA, 2004, 10 mins.) Almost a narrative about a freaky lodger. Bordering on cool, also.
"Torchlight Tango" (dir. Kerry Laitala, USA, 2005, 21 mins.) An abstract film about making an even MORE abstract film. Sorta cool.

I LOATHED the following three for being self indulgent, political crap:
"PSA Project #1: Color Theory" and "PSA Project #4: Homeland" (dirs. Cynthia Madansky, Elle Flanders, USA, 2005, 3 mins. each) Just the titles make me wretch with affectation!
"The Form of the Good" (dir. James T. Hong, USA, 2004, 4 mins.) Plato and the war on terrorism. Spare me, puhleeeeeze!

"Phantom Foreign Vienna" (dir. Lisl Ponger, Austria, 2004, 27 mins.) This was the last one and I did not stay for it as I HAD to run across the hall for my final feature of the day:

"Princess of Mount Ledang" (dir. Saw Teong Hin, Malaysia, 2004, 142 mins.) Yes, that's right. 142 minutes. At the end of the day and starting at 8:00 pm, a 2 and a half hour Malaysian epic. According to the program notes, this is the most expensive film ever made in Malaysia. And it shows! G O R G E O U S !!! It is sort of funny that after one week of the festival, that to finally see a film with a dolly shot just took my breath away! Widescreen floating about!! LOVE IT!!! The story is set in 15th century Malaysia (when it was a whole bunch of little kingdoms) and involves royal families fighting each other, while an engaged princess falls in love with an opposing courtier. Some of the dialogue was simply gorgeous in translation! It is long. It is sort of involved. But I would see it again, and not after spending 6 previous hours watching other things. This deserved singular attention. I would have LOVED it had I seen it by itself!! Maybe I'll get to sometime....

Tomorrow: FIVE features?!?!! 10 AM to Midnight??!!! What am I thinking???!

No comments: