Sunday, May 01, 2005

48th SF Intl. Film Festival - Day 9

I don't think I could have picked a more extreme opposite pairing of films than what I saw today/tonight. First (after a series of literal roadblocks on the Bay Bridge), Judy and I arrived to meet Gretchen at the Pacific Film Archive (albeit FIFTY MINUTES LATE) for:

"The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear" (dir. Adam Curtis, Great Britain, 2004, 180 mins.) We finally got into this three hour documentary about 30 minutes late, which I do not think actually impaired the experience too much. The film is actually three one hour episodes made for the BBC. So, we only missed the first half of episode one. Anyway, Adam Curtis is also responsible for last year's brilliant "The Century of the Self" and he continues his investigation of the motives underneath popular culture, in this instance, how the populace is manipulated by politics and why. He focuses most primarily upon the last 20 years and climaxes with the fallout of 9/11. The film presents some extremely controversial thesis regarding the 'mythology of terrorist networks' and how both sides have much to gain by promulgating that myth. I can't really summarize his exhaustive work in a simple paragraph. However, I can HIGHLY recommend this, if you possibly get the chance to see it! During the Q&A, Curtis was asked if it is available on video. It is not. However, Curtis informed the audience that it is available 'out there' by downloading via Bit Torrent. ("If you don't know what that is, I'm certain you can ask someone sitting next to you in THIS crowd!" hee hee)

After a little dinner and bopping back across the bridge, I had a quick nap before the FINAL Midnight movie this year:

"Izo" (dir. Takashi Miike, Japan, 2004, 128 mins.) Firstly, I need to remember to double check how long these midnight movies are. Secondly, as this weird and extravagantly designed tale wore on, I started to dwell on "What is it about Miike that keeps me coming back?" Then it dawned on me. Takashi Miike is sort of a Japanese Ken Russell: regardless of how absurd, if not incomprehensible, the screenplay might be, there's always something to look at. This tale of a demon samurai who is doomed to lurch through the centuries destroying the souls of all around him, lurched along in about the same pacing as the demon himself. 128 minutes?! He could have easily cut out 30. And most of those should be the appearance of this whacked out folk singer (credited as Tomokawa Kuzuki), who continues to pop up, commenting on the action with the most inane songs! (Castro-Bob snarked, "He's the Japanese Tom Waits!" ha!) I can't say I loathed this, but I couldn't wait for it to end. Then again, I couldn't bring myself to leave either. It might have been the psychological-contact high with the obviously stoned guys seated in the row behind Bob and me...

Tomorrow: 10 AM??!! and only one other... so far...

No comments: