The thing that I both hate and love about the film festival is how it reinforces how little I have seen and how little I know about films. Sure, I know of Dario Argento and Hsiao-hsien Hou, but I’ve never seen their films. The film festival often provides that first impression. Exposure to some director’s latest film makes me want to seek out more from their back catalog or, in some cases, makes me want to avoid it altogether.
Glory to the Filmmaker! starts off as a goofy, Japanese comedy version of 8 1/2 before it falls into this weird absurdist comedy. It’s full of humour that I often did not get. Glory to the Filmmaker! was clearly self-referential and I might have been better served, and better amused, if I had prior experience with Kitano’s films (beyond his Zatoichi remake — which might explain why I liked the Zatoichi spoof in the film the best). Thumb sideways!
Argento’s The Mother of Tears is a trainwreck. In the first few minutes of the film a woman gets gutted and then strangled by her own intestines. This is a promising start for a horror film! But, unfortunately, it’s all down hill from there (it wasn’t that high a hill to start with). Bad acting, bad script, no real “horror” and an ending so ridiculous that it could easily be mistaken for one long joke. It’s not. On top of everything it also comes across as overly misogynistic. Thumb down!
Le voyage du ballon rouge is a homage to 1956’s Le Ballon Rouge, which I have not seen. So that too I can not comment on, but it has Juliette Benoche and she’s great as usual. I might write more after I go through my Q&A footage since it’s interesting how it was filmed. Thumb sideways but tilted up!
Ulzhan. I liked it a lot. Variety didn’t (though I really don’t get their comparison to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, they’re similar in so far as the main character goes somewhere.) Thumb up!
But now I’m tired and I have to get ready for 25% more movie tomorrow. Oi. I’m already sick of those pre-movie bumpers.
(Also, Jar City has already been purchased. Seems it impressed a few people, myself included.)