End of TIFF Musings…Part 1!
After the premiere of the fantastic French science-fiction film Chrysalis, I had a chance to ask the director why he included several heavy martial arts scenes that were fantastic but must have been an extreme challenge to choreograph and shoot, despite the tone of his film being predominantly a psychological thriller which could have been easier and still fantastic without them, what motivated him to include these detailed sequences?
His answer? “Because I am a boy.” ***facepalm***
So overall, with the festival come and gone, I can take note of the films I saw, which came to total of 13 (14 if you count the sneak preview of Eastern Promises that I took a night off TIFF to attend.) So I’m either 3 or 4 films up on last year, and this year I fell asleep only for less than 2 minutes in one film, so I’m golden.
Here’s the overview!
Nos Vies Privees (Our Private Lives) a Quebecois film about a Bulgarian man and women who meet over the internet, speak for 6 months, and then finally meet in person when the man comes from Bulgaria to visit his lover in Quebec. The first half of the film was really funny, touching and sexy as it dealt with a ‘time enhanced’ relationship, as all internet-to-real relationships seem to go, but then the film takes a wild turn for both characters and basically loses it’s entire focus. Yawn.
Blood Brothers is a Chinese film about three country boys who go to Shanghai in the 20’s to make money and support their family back in the country, except they start working for a gangster, and somehow get entangled in all levels of stupid bullshit including slaughtering of an entire posse of gang members from an opposing gang. Oh yeah, and these simple country boys also somehow, despite never touching guns, know instinctively how to take out 6 armed men with one pistol. Not to mention the character tropes in this film know no bounds, and yes, the bad girl turned good, dies after expounding on how she misses the ‘good old country’ and yes, theres a completely ridiculous number of flashbacks about how ‘congee is great!’ and ‘buddies are great!’ UGH. This film was just terrible, avoid it! (Editors note, a few months later I won this dvd in a prize pack, I almost threw it out instantly.)
Silent Resident is a German/Austrian/Hungarian film that I like to refer to as ‘Inland Empire-lite’ with way more political/social commentary, Terry Gilliam style imagery and art direction, as opposed to the bleak and more decrepit style of David Lynch. Basically it’s about a girl, an abused wife, who may or may not have killed her husband and may or may not suffer from sleepwalking and amnesia. It’s kinda cool and totally weird and I dug it.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age really surprised me. I was extremely excited to see it because I’ve been reading a lot of trashy fiction about that era lately and because the first film was quite good. But any expectations I had were merely girlish, and this film completely surpassed them. The film was much different because it was about a completely different Queen at this point in her life. She’s no longer a girl, she’s a woman, quite an old woman in the way that she is unmarried, with an INQUISITION on her shores! Cate Blanchett isn’t alone shining in this film, Clive Owen made me and several women in the audience swoon, and straight men envied him, while Samantha Morton played a delicious Mary Queen of Scots. I highly recommend seeing this film when it’s released in all it’s glory.
I tire! So more to follow with mini-views of: Stuck, Flashpoint, Sukiyaki Western Djano, Dainipponjin, Chrysalis, Sad Vacation, Glory to the Filmmaker, Eastern Promises, The Passage and last but not least, My Kid Could Paint That!