Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
theworstbuddhist

Film Festival Time

Recommended Posts

It's film festival time here in the Canadas,  with TIFF in Toronto already happening and my city's much smaller festival, AIFF, starting later this week. Our celebrity guests here in Halifax are Ellen Page (who is from here), presenting a documentary she made about environmental racism called There's Something in the Water; and Willem Dafoe, who will be here to promote the locally shot film The Lighthouse, along with director Robert Eggers (The Witch). I will not be attending either of those galas, because I'm not rich and don't especially care about celebrities, but it is a small city and there is a good chance I will just run into either of them, so if I run into Dafoe I will be sure to compliment him on Streets of Fire and To Live and Die in L.A.

I did get tickets for the following films: Parasite; Bacurau; Deerskin; Blood Quantum; and a documentary about Blue Note Records. There are a couple of others I wouldn't mind seeing, especially a documentary about Pauline Kael, but not sure if I will be able to go to them yet.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/10/2019 at 8:36 AM, theworstbuddhist said:

It's film festival time here in the Canadas,  with TIFF in Toronto already happening and my city's much smaller festival, AIFF, starting later this week. Our celebrity guests here in Halifax are Ellen Page (who is from here), presenting a documentary she made about environmental racism called There's Something in the Water; and Willem Dafoe, who will be here to promote the locally shot film The Lighthouse, along with director Robert Eggers (The Witch). I will not be attending either of those galas, because I'm not rich and don't especially care about celebrities, but it is a small city and there is a good chance I will just run into either of them, so if I run into Dafoe I will be sure to compliment him on Streets of Fire and To Live and Die in L.A.

I did get tickets for the following films: Parasite; Bacurau; Deerskin; Blood Quantum; and a documentary about Blue Note Records. There are a couple of others I wouldn't mind seeing, especially a documentary about Pauline Kael, but not sure if I will be able to go to them yet.

 

Figured I would do some quick updates now that I have seen all of the above (plus one I didn't originally plan on seeing):

Parasite was this year's Palme D'or winner at Cannes, was directed by Bong Soon Ho from Korea (The Host). It is a scathing dark comedy about class and poverty and well worth watching. It will apparently be Korea's entry for Best Foreign Film for this year's Oscars, so it shouldn't be too hard to find.

Bacurau is a Brazilian film, I believe it also won a jury prize at Cannes, and it's also a dark comedy that sort of mashes up The Most Dangerous Game with Gilbert Hernandez' Palomar stories from Love and Rockets. Udo Keir has a memorable guest role.

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes is a documentary made to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records, arguably the most important American record label - certainly in its early days. Obviously it helps if you care about jazz to watch this film. There is a lot of great vintage footage of the label's many stars including Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, and many more. I've loved jazz for most of my life but I didn't really know a lot about the founding of Blue Note and its struggles and reinvention in the 80s and 90s. Well worth watching if you are interested in the music or if you just enjoy a well-made music documentary.

Monos is a harrowing, beautifully shot film about child soldiers in South America who are tasked with guarding an American female doctor who is being held for ransom. Probably the roughest of the films in this year's "extreme films" program at the festival, because obviously the reality of child soldiers is awful.

Deerskin is a wry satire of toxic masculinity by French director Quentin Dupieux (Rubber). It stars Jean Dujardin from The Artist as a middle aged man whose marriage has recently ended and is coping with it by spending all of his money on something he has always wanted: a 100% deerskin fringed jacket. As he scams his way in the small French town where his staying, he convinces the locals that he is shooting a film and becomes not just obsessed with his own jacket, but with the idea that no one else should wear a jacket, even if it means they have to die.

And finally, Blood Quantum was a very entertaining and gory zombie picture made in Quebec by indigenous director Jeff Barnaby. It's obviously a challenge to make an entertaining and fresh film about zombies after 50 years of them, but Barnaby pulls it off. The main innovation storywise is that the Red Crow tribe are immune to whatever is infecting everyone else, so we see a lot of the kind of plot threads that you would expect from a horror film through the lens of indigenous people. Barnaby wrote, directed and scored the movie and is clearly a fan of John Carpenter (in fact, he was at the screening wearing a They Live t-shirt). In terms of its effects and tone it reminded me of early Sam Raimi and early Peter Jackson. It's the best Canadian-made horror film I can remember seeing since Ginger Snaps.

So all in all, it was a good week at the festival. I recommend all of these movies if you get a chance to see them.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, theworstbuddhist said:

Parasite was this year's Palme D'or winner at Cannes, was directed by Bong Soon Ho from Korea (The Host). It is a scathing dark comedy about class and poverty and well worth watching. It will apparently be Korea's entry for Best Foreign Film for this year's Oscars, so it shouldn't be too hard to find.

Sorry, theworstbuddhist, don’t mean to be an anal asshole, but the director’s name is Bong Joon-Ho.:) I am very excited for this film because he is one of my favorite current directors and is an expert at cramming several different tones into one film. His films—The Host, Mother (not the Jennifer Lawrence one), Snowpiercer and Okja—all dare to go in different directions than you would expect (and personally, I would take Snowpiercer over any Marvel film, but maybe that just shows what fucked up tastes I have) and a lot of them are available on Netflix and other streaming platforms.

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, GrahamS. said:

Sorry, theworstbuddhist, don’t mean to be an anal asshole, but the director’s name is Bong Joon-Ho.:) I am very excited for this film because he is one of my favorite current directors and is an expert at cramming several different tones into one film. His films—The Host, Mother (not the Jennifer Lawrence one), Snowpiercer and Okja—all dare to go in different directions than you would expect (and personally, I would take Snowpiercer over any Marvel film, but maybe that just shows what fucked up tastes I have) and a lot of them are available on Netflix and other streaming platforms.

No apology necessary, I am sorry for fucking up his name. I am a big fan of Asian cinema and try not to do that. Anyway, yes, it's my favourite of the films I have seen of his (I haven't watched Okja yet). It reminded me a lot of the kind of thing Kim Ki-Duk would make.

I'm actually not a big fan of Snowpiercer, for whatever reason. Parasite covers similar thematic ground much more successfully, imo.

Share this post


Link to post

Snowpiercer is the definition of bleak, so it’s not for every taste. Part of the reason I enjoy it so is Bong Joon-Ho and Kelly Masterson (who wrote the equally bleak but very different Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead).gave Captain America a monologue about eating babies. Such a messed up and genuinely shocking scene!

Share this post


Link to post

Haven’t heard of Kim Ki-Duk. What’s he done? Joon-Ho and Park Chan-wook (The Vengeance Trilogy) are two directors that I try to catch  whatever they make (although I have some gaps to fill in with Chan-wook).

I also REALLY liked The Wailing but I’m too lazy to look up that director's name right now. Shame on me.

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/21/2019 at 11:31 PM, GrahamS. said:

Haven’t heard of Kim Ki-Duk. What’s he done? Joon-Ho and Park Chan-wook (The Vengeance Trilogy) are two directors that I try to catch  whatever they make (although I have some gaps to fill in with Chan-wook).

I also REALLY liked The Wailing but I’m too lazy to look up that director's name right now. Shame on me.

Kim Ki-Duk is probably best known for a film called 3-Iron, in which the two leads have practically no dialogue. My favourite film of his (because it is sort of about Buddhism) is called Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring. Other notable films are Crocodile, Pieta, and Samaritan Girl. Like a lot of Korean directors who break through to the international market, he is known for beautiful but disturbing stories.

I don't think I have seen The Wailing, but it rings a bell. The director was Na Hong-jin.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, theworstbuddhist said:

don't think I have seen The Wailing, but it rings a bell. The director was Na Hong-jin.

The Wailing was one of the creepiest horror movies I’ve seen in years. It was super-intense and almost three hours long. It was on Netflix but I’m not sure if it is anymore. I started it alone and then had to stop it and watch it with a friend, that’s how much it creeped me out. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×