Saturday, 8 October 2016

Two Film Festivals, SRFTI, 2016

Institute was venue for a Danish film festival and 2nd Edition of Film Festivals from Europe which i attended. Both the festivals were substandard in their selection of films. I watched most of the films and liked a few. Jotting down my opinion of the films i watched

A Second Chance: Direction: Susanne Bier, 2015, 105 mins

Liked it. About postpartum depression. Got shocked when the police officer said 'what are you hiding in there' to the victim of the abuser drug doer. He opens the cupboard and there is a baby-covered in what i thought was mud but was actually its own shit. The abusive relationship in which the girl is always defending the man is shown well. The best part of the film for me was that woman getting out of abuse (as shown in the supermarket scene)
Postpartum depression has been shown really well, according to the very little i know of it. The way the woman snaps when the guy asks 'do you regret it (having the baby) also how she snaps after the child is dead and his cop friend comes to see if everything is alright and the husband says, to cover up that Anna is not feeling well. She snaps saying nothing is wrong with me.
The stereotype of poor-druggist-abusive family being a shittyplace/ shitty mother is toppled. But it is also true what Gaurav said, it's good woman/mother Vs bad woman/mother
Given that this is a Danish commercial film which did really well in box office-made me think how different our own mainstream is and how such a topic will never be shown here.

That day, in Night Screening it was
Son of Saul

Will have to watch it completely another day, was too sleepy to sit through the whole film. [Not due to the film, it's never due to the film] That kind of cinematography is too disturbing for the eye. Mostly in OTS and shallow depth of field. Enough for us to know what is happening. Just enough. Can't understand anything more. The rest is sound. Whispers everywhere (in shallow depth of field) A child crying (most of the sounds are outside the frame-child crying as well)
Claustrophobic-you can never get out-feeling.
[The setting is a Nazi concentration camp and a man trying to give a proper funeral for a dead child]

Back to Danish film festival.
The Sunfish: Direction: Soren Balle, 2014, 100 mins, Drama
Again a commercial film. Man who resorts to illegal fishing because of many problems in the industry. The character of the woman is really nice. How the workplace is for her, etc. Sexual jealousy of the assistant on boat- Lars. How and what he thinks of women. The fish in the large aquarium and the couple seeing it together was really great, BIG things in nature propped up agains humans look really great in slow shots, preferably. The filming style was better than the film which i watched yesterday. [A second Chance].

Night Screening
Closed Curtain: Jafar Panahi

Second viewing. Really wanted to watch the whole film but was too sleepy and had to leave. The dog the writer the woman the curtains. Panahi in between.

Sex Drugs and Taxation: Direction: Christoffer Boe, 2013, 110 mins
Did not like the film. I, as a principle, do not like films in which erect penises are exhibited. I think one can do it in porn, but not in films even if they are showing sex. Why should the whole audience be told what the length and girth of some actor's sex organ is?
The way women were treated by that man and how it was not condemned but was celebrated. Reference to Hitler was suggested by Gaurav. I did not find any. I thought the film was crap and just a lot of sex. What was that scene of this man showing his erect penis to a gorilla and taming it. I mean, seriously.

The Idealist: Direction Christina Rosendahl, 2015, 144 mins, Thriller
Really good topic. How people in power lie to people of the country. About the anti nuclear weapons stance of Denmark and the lies. The news reporter who unearths the whole scandal. I have come to the conclusion that it is not necessary to show the family/personal life of fighters while showing their fight. The way he gets angry with the workers when they settled for a meager compensation amount. Reminded me of myself. How, in all cases, a relationship grows with the people. Information- i have also come to the conclusion that information is what is key in all fights. Access to information changes everything. The storytelling could have been done better. The workers had WAR trauma written on their faces and eyes. Things you undergo really reflect on your face and that is how people get to know you and your vulnerability. :(

In Film Festivals from Europe,
Dear Director Directed by Marcus Lindeen, Sweden, 14 min
Thought of the Malayalam short film called 'Dear Kim'
That was much better than this film. Anyway this is about a piano player woman writing to Ingmar Bergman after watching his film which she says changed her life. Her theory or Bergman's theory is that of twins in womb. One child being born without its twin. Some parts if rge dead twin remains in the survivor baby's body. Did not like the film.

Of Shadows and Wings [D'OMBRES ET D'AILES] Directed by Eleonora Marinoni and Elice Meng, Switzerland/France, 13 min, 2015

Animation film. Liked in parts. The idea is common. Protest against rule of military/state etc. People escaping it. The female bird, or the bird with different wings spreads her wings and her shadow is a tree. I liked that bit.

Tell Me What You Feel [DIMMI COSA SENTI] Directed by Paolo Strippoli, Italy, 15 min, 2015
About the suicide of a homosexual boy. Did not like the film. Told from the perspective of the driver of the coffin carrying vehicle and his son/helper. The old man does not understand why the teenager killed himself. It is talking about a very serious issue without saying anything about it. Even when the suicide of the boy is shown nothing is really said. Can't understand the point of such a film.

In the Silence [NEL SILENZIO] Directed by Lorenzo Ferrante, Matteo Ricca, Italy, 15 min, 2015.
A boy and his brother who is paraplegic due to an accident which is suggested in the film. Not clear. The healthy brother is not interested in taking care of the sick brother and looks like he holds great rancour against his brother for being sick. He takes the sick brother on a drive and shows him nice things they perhaps used to see together. Nothing does anything to the sick boy. He starts taking care of the sick brother after returning from that trip. Did not like the film. There really wasn't anything in the film.

About Heaven [FRAGMENTS DU PARADIS] Documentary- Directed by Stephane Goel, Switzerland, 85 min, 2015
Documentary film about death. Afterlife. Heaven.
Liked in parts. Too much intercutting. The story is told by intercutting between the father and son trekking to a spot which is called paradise by them probably because of the view. This trek is intercut with interviews of old people and their thoughts on death afterlife heaven etc. It is very interesting. The interviews. I don't see why these two narratives had to be told together because the trekking part is not compatible with the interview part even though, it is, in some ways about the same things. Something mores uited for interviews had to be shown, in my opinion. Also felt happy to listen to people who know what i know which is that there is no heaven and life after death and no god.

Master Class by Swiss Director Lionel Baier

First things first: Why is this class called 'master' class?
Some notes i took from the class.

He said that there are two kinds of actors, one who ask 'why' and the other who ask 'how'. He said that he doesn't like actors who ask 'why?'. Said he could lie about the character if required. Pretend to know all about the character. Non-actors try to 'play' (perform) but they have to 'be'.
He is very fascinated by death.
Documentary is less real than fiction. Everybody believes it is real because it is documentary. He likes to play with it. In fiction you are always trying to prove that it is real.
He is not nostalgic about film (celluloid)
Tribute to Psycho in his film.
He is scared of his privilege and he thinks it is good because it makes him responsible.
He keeps a pocket diary and he showed it too extracting it from his coat pocket. I liked it because i do the same.
He said that the title of his film meant the sin called 'vanity' and a kind of painting in which the skill is seen which is a way of saying that 'you cannot evade death'.

Vanity [LA VANITE] Directed by Lionel baier, Switzerland/France, 75 min, 2015
Liked the film. Wasn't extraordinary but was humorous and quite good in many aspects. Liked it that the director got the idea from a documentary that he had watched and that he used the footage from the same documentary in the film. It's about a man who is trying to die with the law permitting him to do so if he has bee diagnosed with a terminal illness. A woman helps him in this. More characters join and an interesting story develops in between all of them.

Ineffaceable [INEFFACABLE] Directed by Gregory Lecoq, Belgium, 23 min, 2015
About a graffiti artist young boy who escapes from mental asylum and does more graffiti, meets his ex-girlfriend and commits suicide. Shitty film.

Someone else's Shadow [L'OMBRE D'UN AUTRE] Directed by Leo Medard, Belgium, 28 min, 2015
A couple. the wife thinks it is not her husband, it's someone else and she is taken to a psychiatrist etc. In the end it turns out that he was pretending to be someone else so that he could get her to an institution saying she is mad. The wife kills the husband. Not great.

A Woman's Revenge [A VINGANCA DE UMA MULHER] Directed by Rita Azevedo Gomes, Portugal, 100 min, 2011
About a duchess becoming a sex worker to take revenge on her husband. Bullshit. Was supposed to be in the 'theatre' style. Why make a film if it was theatre that was required From lighting to set to dialogue everything was threatre and it meant nothing. Didn't attend the rest of the screenings due to this stupid film.

AFRONAUTS Directed by Frances Bodomo, USA, 14 min, 2014
Before the American expedition of moon, an African tribe decides to send one of them to the moon. Shot in black and white, it is a truly brilliant film. The acting is great and so is the story telling. When the girl goes to moon and says that 'my people are coming', i got goosebumps. A very modern tale set in another period of time. Really nice.
Write to the director of the film.

The Island is Delighted With You [La ISLA ESTA ENCANTADA CON USTEDES] Directed by Alexander Carver and Daniel Schmidt, USA/Switzerland/Australia 28 min, 2014
What a load of crap. Looked like porn. Bad visual effects. I don't know what's with everyone showing men with their penises as if it means something. What does one's sex organ mean anyway! There was not one thing which was good about the film.

KWAK U ANANSE Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana/Mexico/USA 26 min, 2013
Girl returning to native Ghana for her father's funeral. It was great watching the rituals of the place. The film itself wasn't that great but i do believe it was a good effort.

Remain Quiet [DIE RUHE BLEIBT] Directed by Stefan Kriekhaus, Germany, 15 min. 2013.
Really liked the film. The person who is sent to a far away place from the location with a walkie talkie to control people passing during take. There is nothing else in the film but whatever there is has been done really well. From the beginning a sense of doom builds up and reaches climax towards the end.

Station of the Cross [KREUZWEG] Directed by Dietrich Bruggemann, Germany, 107 min, 2014
The whole film got spoilt for me because the child spoke in the film.  When Maria is about to die i was screaming in my mind- please don't make the child speak and the director did exactly that. That is the biggest statement in the film validating the abuse that the church and family were doing to her. But the film is good. Static shots worked well because of the script and the acting, mainly. First i was not liking the static shots but it became interesting due to the story and acting. Don't think the intertitles were necessary. The whole 'journey of christ' thing. Write to the director of this film asking why he made the child speak. All characters are apt and aptly cast. Bernadette, mother, father, the kid, the siblings. The siblings refusing to eat when Maria was getting scolded by mother. The young mute boy crying when she was getting scolded. The hint that she leaves in the beginning about sacrificing the landscape. I thought hard what she had meant by that. Towards the end we get to know what she had meant.

Even though it was a poor collection of films in both the festivals i am happy about the class and a couple of films i watched.

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