Diary of an Ass Monkey (assmonkeydiary) wrote,
Diary of an Ass Monkey

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Festival Films 20 - 31

Ok, time to finish up these Festival reviews. Last Friday I saw four films:

La Vie en Rose was a lovely film about singer Edith Piaf. Personally, I think there was way too much jumping back and forth in time, a trick that really only distracted from the excellent story they were telling. The soundtrack was, of course, excellent.

Then I went to see Zoo, an evenhanded but ultimately sympathetic documentary about that Washington state man who died after having sex with a horse. Essentially it was an oral history told in the voices of various people involved in the story with visuals that were were mostly shadowy, dreamlike recreations of events.

In Korean director Kim Ki Duk's Time an obsessively jealous woman decides the only way to keep her boyfriend interested in her is to break up with him, get massive plastic surgery, and then meet him again as a new person.

Unholy Women (along with Time) turned out to be an unfortunately gynophobic double feature. It was made up of three short horror stories from three Japanese directors, two of which were amusing because of their mix of comedy and horror, but the final one was boring.

On Saturday, I saw three films:

Woman on the Beach from Korean minimalist director Hong Sang-soo told the story of a commitment-fearing film director who pushes his way into one love triangle after another.

Then I saw The Untouchable again, because I wanted to see the India scenes again.

If Anna Biller's Viva was a half-hour sitcom running on cable, I'd be raving about it, but at two hours in length, I found it a bit torturous to sit through. Essentially, it attempts to be the ultimate faux 70s sexploitation cult film. The plot and acting are styled after a combo of Russ Myers films and ultra-cheesey porn films (but almost always cutting away before any actual sex). The dialogue is largely lifted from the cartoons and advertisements in old Playboy magazines. The super groovy sets and wardrobe were obsessively authentic and probably the most brilliant part of the film.

Sunday was so rainy and I was feeling pretty sick so I pretty much stayed home. On Monday, I saw three films:

Fracture was a rare thing for the festival: a big-budget Hollywood film. Anthony Hopkins plays a brilliant engineer who seems to have pulled off the perfect crime and Ryan Gosling is the young district attorney putting his career on the line to bring him down.

Trapped Ashes is a pretty generic, sex-centric horror anthology (from Joe Dante, Ken Russell and a few others) that you'd be unsurprised to see running at two in the morning on some channel like Cinemax.

Waiter was a bit too tediously sadistic to be entertaining for me. Basically, a waiter, horrified with his awful life confronts the screenwriter who's writing his story and complains, only to be punished more.

And then I wrapped things up with two on Tuesday:

Out of This World Animation was a collection of animated shorts, mostly very good and quite surreal.

In the Shadow of the Moon was a really great documentary about NASA's Apollo missions to the Moon. Some amazing footage of the journeys and nicely told in the astronaut's own voices.


Tags: film, film festival

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