Saturday, April 29, 2006

49th San Francisco International Film Festival - Day 8

Today was so extremely varied that I have to bring up the schedule to remember what I saw.

"The Lost Domain" ("Le Domaine perdu" (dir. Raoul Ruiz, Spain/France, 2005, 106 mins.) is brought to us by the genius that adapted Proust into "Time Regained" (1999). Or at least I think he is a genius. I loved "The Lost Domain" despite some quirkiness that pulled me out of the film now and then. Ruiz plays with a non-linear narrative (as he did in "Time Regained") spanning over 60 years in the life of a pilot. It is GORGEOUSLY photographed, handsomely performed (there is a moment of double-casting that threw me off a bit - one of the quirks) and lushly orchestrated. It is like watching a novel unfold. A bit of his plotting is a subject of discussion and debate, but I don't mind! I would love to see his latest film, "Klimt"!! So, following this gorgeous (did I say that already?!) poetic piece, I walked into a historic melodrama.

"October 17, 1961" (dir. Alain Tasma, France, 2005, 106 mins.) is a docudrama made for TV, recreating the "Black Night" in which thousands of Algerians were arrested and dozens killed in Paris as part of the reaction to the Algerian war. Apparently, this event was ignored by the French government for 40 years. This film wishes to dramatize that moment. However, it over compensates the historical exclusion by literally depicting the Algerians as lambs brought before the slaughter of the French police. The characters are stereotypes - they are either GOOD or EVIL, which sets up a manipulative climax, however historically justified. I just found it too melodramatic, regardless of the injustice involved.

So, I've seen the poetic and the melodramatic. Next up is the technically cutting edge of multi-media live performance, as part of the 'Spotlight: KinoTech' which has a half dozen performances and demonstrations. Tonight's program entitled "Scribble, Scrapple, I.C. You" featured live performances by Golan Levin, Sue Costabile and Laetitia Sonami, with extremely mixed results.

"Manual Input Workstation" "Scribble" and "Scrapple" were demonstrated and performed by Golan Levin. These were digitally beautiful and musically amusing performances. He has a sense of humor and playfulness in his use of the technology of manually manipulating designs on various digital capture surfaces, which act as both pallette and keyboard. I really enjoyed his stuff and would love to play with the software at home!

"Mini Movies" and "I.C. You" were performed by Sue Costabile and Laetitia Sonami and attempts to "...investigate the persistance of visual memory and aural associations..." by using a computerized animation technique, aka blah blah blah. This was A.R.T. - in ALL CAPS!! So, since they went THERE... This was crap. Masturbatory excrement, projected and forced upon the viewer with a sense of austentation and pretention that was a total turn off. To quote a man two rows behind me when it was finished, "Thank god that's over!"

And finally for something COMPLETELY different:

"Executive Koala" (dir. Minoru Kawasaki, Japan, 2005, 85 mins.) was the third in the 'Late Show' series, aka midnight madness! And, boy, does THIS fill the bill! A koala, who is the executive of a pickle factory, may be having psychopathic blackouts and is killing people with an axe. Or is he? A total B movie HOOT!! I had a good time despite the late hour and without imbibing on any Stella Artois, which is the sponsor of this series.

1 comment:

Maxxxxx said...

re "The Lost Domain": "Such a pretty bird!"
re "October 17, 1961": "Cranky bird!"
re "Manual Input Workstation" "Scribble" "Scrapple": "Ooooooo!"
re "Mini Movies" "I.C. You": "Shhhhhhit!"
re "Executive Koala": "Go back in the cage!"