life on the screen

July 28, 2007

you people just don’t know how excited i am by this. but anyway, another hurried update, this one with arguably even less content than the last.

well the film festival is finally underway. so far i’ve only seen three films, but that will all change. and, as promised, here is the (still incomplete) list of stuff that i wanna see over the next two weeks:

  • sicko
  • lost in beijing
  • bug
  • the mourning forest
  • rescue dawn
  • severance
  • interview
  • a few days in september
  • hana
  • distance
  • the night of truth
  • vhs kahloucha
  • the home song stories
  • 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days
  • day watch
  • yo
  • the signal
  • time
  • breath
  • paprika
  • fido
  • joshua
  • black sheep
  • ils
  • savage grace
  • the man from london


looking at it in elongated list form like that, i’m having serious doubts about my resolve and ability to adhere to a timetable. but i’m sure with a few convenient reshufflings here and there, a few additions and subtractions, and maybe a few swindled freebies, i will end up seeing most of it. anyway it’s exciting.

opening night was sicko, evidently the new michael moore doco. i was really impressed. this, to me, is a much more universal and appealing project than fahrenheit 9/11 ever was – perhaps mostly because it doesn’t require a certain political bias or suspension of belief to digest. and there was much more of a human element this time, and less finger-pointing. just quietly, i seriously can’t understand people who don’t like michael moore. as i said ages ago, the fact that he’s biased is really a non sequitur and anybody who knows anything about the subjectivity of filmmaking (or writing) will not have a problem with his documentaries espousing “socialist” ideals. anyway, the point is he’s trying. he’s just an average joe with a passion for what he’s doing, and that is the most remarkable thing about him. maybe the typical american just hates on him because they feel an uncomfortable sense of shame for not being so politically minded or proactive?

anyway, sicko itself was great. i had no idea things were actually that bad in america, but you learn something every day! of course, there were a few cheap shots at the administration, but that’s why we go to see michael moore’s films. and there were more than a few serious lol’s to be had as well; more so than in his other movies. but the element of the film that i thought was handled the best were the case studies; they were portrayed with true tenderness and compassion, and i really felt like giving a few people a kick in the teeth for the sheer pain they had caused some of these great people. mission accomplished. whatever michael moore does in future, count me in.

the signal was a bit more of a dark horse, but was actually pretty great. it’s shot in three thirds, each with it’s own writer/director. the first two parts, at least, were fantastic: the first featured some serious pathological mind-bending; the second, some crazy ‘shaun of the dead’-style humour; however i just felt that the third lost control a bit and resorted to too many of the traditional horror movie cliches. when i actually make the effort to see a horror film, i want to be scared. so in that sense, the final act was a bit of a let-down. but the ‘no fucking about’ approach to what is actually a pretty lame plot worked really well. i liked the fact that they didn’t even bother trying to explain what the signal was, or where it came from, or how to stop it. combined with some smart editing and convincing, rugged violence, it was really entertaining. who knows if it will ever get an audience, though.

i also sat through a danish documentary called the monastery, which was short of enthralling but still with a certain charm. i don’t know; maybe if the guy wasn’t so damn old and he could just talk a bit quicker then the movie could have been 20 minutes shorter and i wouldn’t have been getting restless halfway through. but it was a nice story, and definitely everything seemed out of another world to me: russian orthodox nuns, a delapidated castle in the countryside, the sheer incomprehensibility of one of the wackiest languages on earth…you get the idea.

wikpedia article of the day: dream interpretation. i know the current trends indicate that most sensible people think dreams are just “random synapses firing in the brain,” or a combination of that and the events that have been occupying our minds. but, how does that explain the recurring symbolism in dreams between different people – across cultures, throughout history? i mean, we’ve all had dreams where we’ve been falling. we’ve all had dreams where our teeth have been falling out. it scares me; not the dreams themselves, but the fact that we all see the same things. to me, there can only be two possible explainations for this. either it says something really profound about our unconscious mind (i.e. human nature), or it is proof of something approaching spirituality. and hell knows i don’t like having my beliefs challenged like that.

i would have liked to make this entry longer and with more stuff, but my main priority was EXCLUSIVE FILM FESTIVAL COVERAGE and now i am more or less out of time. hopefully there will be crazy blogging going on around here over the next couple of weeks though, including lots of candid photos, so don’t touch that dial.


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