Tuesday, May 02, 2006

49th San Francisco International Film Festival - Day 12

Starting the day with eight short subjects in the program 'Live 'n' Learn', which doesn't really describe them, as they're just sort of lumped together. I LOVED a three of these! I slept through two of them. Sort of loathed one of them. The remaining two were ok, I guess.

"I Am (Not) Van Gogh" (dir. David Russo, USA 2006, 5 min.) is a visually volatile, funny and fabulous looking stop-motion animation of a director's internal thought process as he pitches the film to an arts council. It has a frenetic pacing which I LOVE and a great sense of humor about itself. It is a definite improvement over his previous "Pan With Us" which looks like an experimental draft next to "I Am (Not) Van Gogh"! I. Must. Have. It!!

"Big Girl" (dir. Renuka Jeyapalan, Canada 2005, 14 min.) A young girl engages in a test of wills with her mother's latest boyfriend. This could have been 'cute' and you KNOW how I hate that! But it was not! In fact, it was saucy and sort of poignant, which is a really good mix for me. I would LIKE to have this! (Plus the boyfriend was sorta cute! In a good way.)

"Jellybaby" (dir. Ronan Burke, Rob Burke, Ireland 2005, 10 min.) A new father finds a new and twisted solution to the problem of his CRYING baby! I like twisted!

I nearly loathed this one: "Razan" (dir. Aslihan Unaldi, USA/Turkey 2006, 10 min.). A young female suicide bomber hesitates before her final act in the New York City subway. In other words, it was pointless and woke me up from my nap I had during these two: "Cheating Death"(Eric Geringas, Canada 2005, 25 min.) and "Lost & Found" (dir. Natalija Vekic, USA 2006, 16 min.), neither of which I will comment on, other than to say that Judy said I snored just once.

The remaining two I will list here just for the record: "lot 63, grave c" (dir. Sam Green, USA 2006, 10 min.); "Lucky" (dir. Avie Luthra, South Africa/England 2005, 20 min.).

"The Blossoming of Maximos Oliveros" ("Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros" (dir. Auraeus Solito, Philippines, 2005, 100 mins.) started off REALLY rough! It has ZERO production values! I was regretting picking this, at first. However, the performance by Nathan Lopez as a 12 year old gay boy who falls in love with a policeman was charming! And the policman (J.R. Valentin) was sort of hot! It had a really mature screenplay that didn't stoop to cheap sentiment. So, I sort of liked it and never did I doze off once!

Unfortunately I can't same the same for "Clouds of Yesterday" (dir. Takushi Tsubokawa, Japan, 2005, 95 mins.) in which I dozed off during what must have been a CRITICAL 5-10 minutes, as I was totally lost for the rest of the film, which is too bad as I really liked what I saw! It was very Fellini-esque (though this was debated amongst 'the gang' afterward) with a non-linear, film-within-a-film structure that usually tickles me! What made this unusually difficult to follow, was that the non-linear timeframe dealt with generations of characters: mothers, daughters, granfather, etc. I'd like to see this again, and by itself - NOT slammed into a festival!

And finally, "Half Nelson" (dir. Ryan Fleck, USA, 2006, 106 mins.) featured the ever watchable Ryan Gosling in a sort of "To Sir With Love" but with the races reversed. Oh and drug addiction inserted. Shareeka Epps does a pretty good job as the girl who becomes more than just another student to him. (Not THAT much more! Shame on you!) The screenplay is sort of predictable in that "oh, aren't we being edgy?!" independent way. BUT any flick that has an opening shot of a semi-hunky guy in Calvin Klein briefs is BOUND to keep me awake for the next hour and a half!

There were Q&A's scattered throughout the day, but my schedule was just too tight to stay for any of them. Oh, and I do have a certain lack of interest in most of the Q&A's. However, that said, discussion about "The Bridge" was raging on through out the day!

1 comment:

Maxxxxx said...

re the Shorts: "I wanna come out of the cage!"
re "The Blossoming...": "Such a pretty bird!"
re "Clouds of Yesterday": "What'cha doing?"
re "Half Nelson": "Time for shower!" (Uh, yes, Ryan Gosling's character needed a bath!)