Tuesday, 10 June 2008
My Week in Film
As it often happens in my week in film, a patterned appeared in several of the films: loners or self-isolated characters. It doesn't apply to all of the films, but half is enough to be a trend to me: Postal, Mister Lonely and Bugsy all fit the bill. I trekked out to the Rainbow theatre (pictured above) to see Postal in the only location it was showing in Toronto. The last time I was there was to see Troy, so it's had been a while. The theatre was so small that it felt like a screening room but to my surprize I was not the only person in the theatre, although I was the only woman. It's a little hard to describe Postal, it's not quite like Uwe Boll's other films such as BloodRayne or In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale although it is based on a video game. There is a fair amount of commentary on the current American political climate and a lot of satire which makes up one strong theme of the film. Add that the film reads like a present day Death Race 2000, although not always in a car and it takes pot shots at anyone and everyone. Literally no one is safe from being called out on, including the protagonist whom is a against all odds case. I have to admit I laughed on more than one occasion, but a lot of the time I was staring wide eyed thinking "I didn't just see that, did I?". Controversial though and through, it doesn't pull any punches.
Continuing with the loner theme is Mister Lonely, which was my first film experience of Harmony Korine's work. I knew it would be off the wall, which I was fine with and prepared for considering the context of the film is a commune for people who live their lives impersonating others. Unfortunately the film just missed the mark for me, I felt it didn't commit to exploring or just presenting this lifestyle, and I ended up wanted more. I also wasn't expecting some of the harshness in the film. It did have a lot of lovely, quirky scenes and I enjoyed some beautiful and illogical moments. Last in the trilogy of loners is Bugsy starring Warren Beatty and Annette Bening from 1991. This is a bit of a stretch for the theme, but the film is centred around a character that does self-isolate. For me, the draw of the film was Annette Bening and she is fantastic in this. The film is rich in style with rich art direction, costumes and fantastic shots.
Back out to theatrical releases now. Finally catching up writing about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which I enjoyed and am surprized that the general reaction hasn't been overly positive. Even the screening I went to there was very little reaction from the audience during the funny or scary moments. Although there is a strong opinion on one aspect of the film that I think a fair number of people many seem to attribute this to (which I can't say as it's a spoiler), I think the disconnect it is actually due non reflection. Let me explain. The primo demographic of this film would be people who grew up watching the original trilogy which were released in 1981-89. Doing a little age math puts the main demographic as men between 30-45 years old which doesn't correspond to either of the major male characters in the film and therefore there is no one they want to 'be'. That's my theory on it, but I'm used to non reflection myself and since I revisited the original trilogy recently I remember that it's a funny and slightly goofy adventure series and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is certainly that.
However, when it comes to what is out in the theatre at this moment I'd say my strongest recommendation is Planet B-Boy, a documentary on breakdancing and the Battle of the Year competition in Germany. This is a fantastic documentary. Not only does it talk about the history of the dance style, but it serves as a stellar showcase for the dancers as well as featuring the daily lives of a number of the dance crews. The dancing was phenomenal and the stories were touching. It was awesome to see the crowd was full of mothers with their teenage daughters, not quite the crowd I would have expected but maybe there will be more B-Girls in the future.
Let's change from one one special interest to another and chat about gambling and the film Lucky You. I wasn't initially very interested in this film but I ran across a 5/5 review and decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I didn't place any bets, as it didn't really do anything for me. All the witty banter was shown in the previews and I didn't find the characters believable.
Last but not least is the Canadian classic Hard Core Logo from director Bruce McDonald (Highway 61, Roadkill, The Tracey Fragments) starring Hugh Dillon and Callum Keith Rennie. I'm shocked it's taken me so long to see this film, which is a band on the road pseudo-documentary. To be honest, you really don't need to know anymore than that, just see it. This film rocks.
This week I will be covering of the Worldwide Short Film Festival so check back for daily coverage. Up next week: Sword of Doom, Sanjuro and The Forbidden Kingdom.
What did you see this week?
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