Thursday, April 27, 2006

49th San Francisco International Film Festival - Day 6

A late start to a late night, beginning with:

"Play" (dir. Alicia Scherson, Chile, 2005, 105 mins.). It's a trippy little movie, which plays with some non-linear plotting, which is always sort of fun. There are three characters: a couple who are in the midst of a break-up and a technologically consumed young woman who witnesses and literally stalks them in an effort to feel something. Or so it seemed to me. Since it is produced in such a lyrical and parable-like fashion, it is open to interpretation. 'He' is quite lovely to look at, and the 'stalker' is played with such finesse that I was able to accept her, even under the most contrived of circumstances. Plus, the film looks great! It was a pleasant enough afternoon viewing.

Speaking of 'looks great,' I would like to think that word got back to the HFD that he looks much better without the tie and tight collar. He looked quite comfortable tonight in his TWO appearances. The first was to introduce Werner Herzog as the recipient of the 2006 Film Society Directing Award. There was a 90 minute interview conducted by David Sterrit, in which Mr. Herzog proved himself to be as dour and dogmatic as one would expect. That's not to say that he doesn't have some sense of humor, but it is REALLY DRY! He also has a nearly pretentious opinion of his own work, regarding his 'search for reality' in everything he sees. Ironically, the film that was presented afterwards was anything BUT real.

"The Wild Blue Yonder" (dir. Werner Herzog, Germany, 2005, 78 (LONNNNNG!) mins.) features Brad Dourif narrating the story of an alien landing and exploration of earth and beyond, underneath the visuals of a 1989 space shuttle mission and diving underneath an Arctic shelf. Visually, it got pretty tiresome. And some of the technical explanations of launching a craft outside of our solar system literally put me to sleep. Yes, I admit it. I fell asleep for approximately 10 minutes. And I am not ashamed! The entire program (tribute and film) ran 40 minutes overtime, so I had to CHARGE back to the Kabuki for the second HFD appearance.

Matthew Barney is fucking hot. There. I got that out of my system.

Unfortunately, his voice is not. The HFD (in front of an unusually young and pretty crowd!) introduced Mr. Barney to make a few opening comments regarding the film we were about to see. Barney's voice is higher than mine and mincier, too. Yes. Believe it. He is also terribly pretentious when discussing his own work. (This even prompted an eye-roll from my friend Sue Jean!) The program did not start until 11:30 p.m. and after having sat through the mind-numbing "Wild Blue Yonder" I really wasn't in the mood to listen to pretention. But I didn't mind looking at someone or something PRETTY!

"Drawing Restraint 9" (dir. Matthew Barney, USA, 2005, 135 mins. - yes that meant ending at 2:00 a.m.!!) is not quite as spectacular as his "Cremaster Cycle" but it gives it a good run! Also, it benefits from a score by his partner, Bjork! She also co-stars in this. The setting is a ship. The theme is transformation. The media is petroleum jelly. It is art. Er, I mean "ART." But it looks incredible! Thank gawd Barney has a sense of spectacle! Oh, and of course, he appears fully nude in this, too.
Barney and Bjork


Maxxxxx said...

re "Play": "Wanna watch tv"
re Werner Herzog and film: "Is it bedtime?"
re "Drawing Restraint 9": "Such a pretty bird!"

Sandra said...

You're an animal. It must be a labor of love, with emphasis on the labor part, yes?! :)

Jay, the Angry Little Man said...

Ha! Considering that I used to do this AND work the 'day job' it's been a relative breeze!
Thanks for keeping up!