Rightwing Film Geek

Playing at FilmFest DC

FilmFestDC released the program of movies for this year’s festival, which runs from April 24 to May 4. , though as I type this Monday morning, they don’t seem yet to have up the schedule, with dates and times. I’ve already seen five of these films, at Toronto, and here are my reviews of them:

THE EDGE OF HEAVEN, Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey, 8
THE FALL, Tarsem, Britain/India, 7
ONE HUNDRED NAILS, Ermanno Olmi, Italy, 4
SILENT LIGHT, Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/Holland, 9
YOU, THE LIVING, Roy Andersson, Sweden, 9

Despite my already having seen them, I hope, schedule-permitting, to be able to see SILENT LIGHT and YOU, THE LIVING again, simply because I doubt they’ll see commercial releases outside of New York and maybe Los Angeles. And as the grades suggest, I’d recommend four of these five films, with THE EDGE OF HEAVEN probably being the one that the most people would like, with the other three having in their different ways a very high eccentricity quotient.

As for the films that will be new to me, these are the ones that look interesting enough for me to consider, depending on timing and scheduling, of course:

antena.jpgLA ANTENA, Esteban Sapir, Argentina — Fritz Lang and Guy Maddin are cross-referenced. I’ve found the few recent Argentine films I’ve seen a bit stylistically bland. This movie may suck, but *that* should not be a problem.

THE BASIC SANITATION MOVIE, Jorge Furtado, Brazil — As a form of social criticism, black comedy usually works better than earnestness. Again, it may be no good, but a movie about a sewer cannot possibly be earnest.

BLOOD BROTHERS, Alexi Tan, Hong Kong — Played at Toronto, and the talent on hand is impressive.

ELITE SQUAD, Jose Padilha, Brazil — Umm … here. The conversation piece of the festival, almost certainly.

justdidnt.jpgI JUST DIDN’T DO IT, Masayuki Suo, Japan — Japan’s submission to the Oscars for Best Foreign Film, and filmgeekbud Ken Rudolph liked it. And while I wasn’t a fan of Suo’s SHALL WE DANCE 1.0, Ken’s description makes it sound in a completely different vein …

IN THE NAME OF GOD, Shoaib Mansoor, Pakistan — The very concept of a serious Pakistani movie about cleavages within Islam practically sells itself on topicality and “huh?” value alone.

KHOYA KHOYA CHAND, Sudhir Mishra, India — A Bollywood version of A STAR IS BORN … are any of the songs as good as “The Man that Got Away”?

KATYN, Andrej Wajda, Poland, and MONGOL, Sergei Bodrov, Kazakhstan — Two of the films that snagged Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Film. At least one of them has to be better than THE COUNTERFEITERS, right?

jamesbrown.jpgTHE NIGHT JAMES BROWN SAVED BOSTON, David leaf, USA — The concert footage at least **has** to be sensational — James Brown was even able to elevate ROCKY 4 for a few minutes fercryinoutloud.

THE POPE’S TOILET, Cesar Charlone and Enrique Fernandez, Uruguay — I dunno, maybe Latin American movies about human-waste disposal just intrigue me.

PVC 1, Stathos Statholopoulos, Colombia — Only other one-take feature-length movie, Sokurov’s RUSSIAN ARK, was excellent and this one seems to have more dramatic potential. Might just be a gimmick though. Also want to hear about the director’s best friend, the Greek writer Francisco Gonzalez Sanchez.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON, Han Jae-rim, South Korea — Sound like the ultimate Korean movie: Song Kang-ho and a script with 1,000 opportunities for those wild tone shifts between Vaudeville and Theater of Cruelty. Who can resist Benny Hill meets Artaud?

takva.jpgTAKVA: A MAN’S FEAR OF GOD, Ozer Kiziltan, Turkey — I had a ticket for this one at Toronto but this man’s fear of Morpheus militated against the 9am showing. Glad for another chance, I’ll say.

TELL NO ONE, Guillaume Canet, France — Talent dripping off the fingernails and so could be a great populist entertainment or one of those awful Cinema du Look hybrids (I didn’t even think DIVA held up all that well to a recent re-viewing)

TIMECRIMES, Nacho Vigalondo, Spain — Not been a great fan of the well-hyped Spanish thrillers I’ve seen (ABRE LOS OJOS and INTACTO), but one of them has to hit paydirt eventually.

March 31, 2008 - Posted by | DC Filmfest 2008

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