Tuesday, May 03, 2005

48th SF Intl. Film Festival - Day 12

A triple feature, some fun intermission gossip and a Rrrrrrrroxanne(!) sighting.

"Split Screen: Two Films by Amir Muhammad" was a program that included two one-hour films by Malaysian director Amir Muhammad. The first one, "The Year of Living Vicariously" (2004, 63 mins.) was a documentary, aka 'making of' on the set of a historical epic being shot in Indonesia. Since the film is about the transition of power between dictatorships, the 'making of' portion of the documentary actually becomes more of an investigation into the political ideals of the people of Indonesia, as represented by the cast and crew. Visually, Muhammad records the entire thing in split screen: the talking head on one side and the actual film shoot on the other. That sort of made it a bit more interesting than a typical talking-head docu.

His second film, "Tokyo Magic Hour" (2005, 60 mins.) was anything BUT talking heads! This was a simply gorgeous and completely abstract hour of images, music and some poems. During the Q&A, we found out that it actually had to do with the conflicts between many nations in Asia. However, I'm sort of ignorant to that, especially as abstractly presented here, so I just went along for the psychedelic ride! I. Loved. It!

After this little afternoon pair of featurettes, I of course had to chat with some film society members and got some gossip! It seems that Rrrrrrroxanne(!) is job hunting! Apparently, she heard that Peter Scarlet was planning on leaving the Tribeca Film Festival and contacted someone over there (who promptly alerted the masses) and inquired that she was quite interested in the position. However, he has no plans to leave, what so ever, which makes something of a faux pas on Rrrrrrrroxanne(!)'s part, as word is out that she may be leaving at the end of her 5 years here. (She is at the end of her 4th year of an apparent 5 year contract.) Also, the Roxie Theatre in the Mission is up for sale, which is sort of sad news... But back to Rrrrrrroxanne(!), who was present and looking as uncomfortable as always, though I'm glad she is dressing less formally now, to introduce the director of the next film:

"Cronicas" (dir. Sebastian Cordero, Ecuador, 2004, 98 mins.) As well done and taut as this crime thriller was, it is incredibly unlikable. It takes villains and anti-heroes to a new level. John Lequizamo plays the anti-hero, by the way, which he seemed born to do. He plays a Gerardo Rivera inspired journalist on the track of a serial child rapist and murderer. I'll just stop there, but to say that it's quite the feat to be almost as despicable as the villain he's hunting. I had NO time between this and the next feature to hang out for the Q&A, which I would have really loved to know what people had to say about it.

"The World" (dir. Jia Zhangke, China, 2004, 140 mins.) I now know that it takes 140 minutes for paint to dry. It's an Altman-esque story of a group of employees at 'The World Park' in Bejing, but at half the pace. And in Mandarin. With lots of subtitles. There was not a single cross-cut in the entire 140 minutes: it was completely made up of master shots. Long, tedious, dreary, unfortunate, un-understandable master shots. As the HOURS drug on, I really wanted to pop away home so I could see 'The AMAZING Race,' but thought that this would give me the opportunity to further appreciate what editing a film is all about. Cut! Cut! Cut!!!

Another triple tomorrow, too...

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