Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jason does a final review on Cinequest 19

Other than the screeners I have and haven't watched yet...and the screeners I'm trying to get...okay, Cinequest will never really end for me.

First up, I still have heard no word from my travelling festival pass. I left my e-mail address on it, so I'm still hopeful. This experiment was successful at least up until last Friday morning. There's still a chance for success. Whoever has it please e-mail me!

Now, how about some lists. First, the Cinequest 19 movies that I have seen (either in the festival, on screeners, or elsewhere):
As Simple As That (Be hamin sadegi)
Audie & the Wolf
Billy Was a Deaf Kid
Bitter & Twisted
Canary
Capers
Corpse Run
Cut Loose (Los)
Dancers (Dansen)
Esther's Inheritance (Eszter hagyatéka)
First Person Singular
For My Father (Sof Shavua Be-Tel Aviv)
Garrison Keillor: The Man On the Radio in the Red Shoes
Gotta Dance
Historias Extraordinarias
How Am I Not Going to Love You? (Cómo No Te Voy A Querer)
How To Be...
Intolerance
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison
Johnny Mad Dog
Killer Poet
Layover
Lightbulb
Mommy is at the Hairdressers (Maman est chez le coiffeur)
New Brooklyn
Raging Grannies
Ramchand Pakistani
Rocaterrania
Rock Paper Scissors
Salute - The Peter Norman Story
Samurai Avenger: The Blind Wolf
Shorts 1
Shorts 2
Shorts 3
Shorts 4
Shorts 5
Shorts 6
Song from the Southern Seas (Pesn’ Juzhnykh Morej)
The Beautiful Blue Danube (Na Lepom Plavom Dunavu)
The Bet (Pari)
The Birth of a Nation
The Compassionate One
The Forest
The Friend (Der Freund)
The Investigator (A Nyomozó)
The Least Among You
The Market: A Tale of Trade (Pazar Bir Ticaret Masali)
The Nature of Existence
The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre)
The Response
(Short)
The Skeptic
The Tour (Turneja)
Truffe
Two Million Stupid Women
Wake
Witch Hunt

The movies I have screeners of but haven't watched yet:
The Caller
Euforia
Firaaq
The Last Lullaby
Shorts 8: Ida y Vuelta (Round Trip)
Shorts 8: Thanksgiving
Another Man
(Note, I tried to play this screener the other day and it looks to be defective)

The movies I didn't watch because I already had a ticket to see it at the San Francisco Internation Asian American Film Festival (which starts today):
Tokyo Sonata
(As an aside, Cinequest and SFIAAFF always seem to have not just a film that plays both festivals, but is a very high profile film at one or the other. This year Tokyo Sonata is part of a SFIAAFF Kiyoshi Kurosawa tribute. Last year Amal was SFIAAFF's audience award winner and the San Jose opening night film. A few years back, Water was Cinequest's closing night gala, etc.)

The movies I didn't see (and am therefore hoping to get screeners of):
A Police Romance (Un Roman Policier)
All About Dad
Autumn (Sonbahar)
Blue Road
Camila JAM (Nome Proprio)
Crude Independence
Day of Light (Dia de Luz)
El Camino
Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman
Finnish Tango (Finnischer Tango)
Generic Thriller
Get Brunette
Heart of Stone
Home
Life for a Child
Lifelines
Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders
Native Dancer (Baksy)
Night Train (Ye Che)
Ready? OK
Tandoori Love
The Gold Lunch
(Short)
The Man Who Loved Yngve (Mannen som elsket Yngve)
The Photograph
When My Time Comes (Cuando Me Toque A Mi)
Whiz Kids
Why Am I Doing This?
Shorts 7
Shorts 8
(minus the two screeners mentioned above)

So in total I've seen or will see 64 Cinequest programs, and missed 29. So I saw/will see about 69% of Cinequest 19. Not bad, but I can do better. That number should be more like 100%

So how would I rank the movie I have seen? Well, in broad categories, like this:

The one that was my absolute favorite:
Truffe

The ones that I really, really loved (if you asked me to name my favorites, these spring to mind first):
The Investigator (A Nyomozó)
The Tour (Turneja)
The Market: A Tale of Trade (Pazar Bir Ticaret Masali)
Historias Extraordinarias
Johnny Mad Dog
Rocaterrania
Salute - The Peter Norman Story
The Beautiful Blue Danube (Na Lepom Plavom Dunavu)
The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre)
Gotta Dance
For My Father (Sof Shavua Be-Tel Aviv)


The ones I liked (all good movies, just somehow didn't break into my top tier. Most movies fall into this category):
Audie & the Wolf
Billy Was a Deaf Kid
Bitter & Twisted
Canary
Capers
Corpse Run
Cut Loose (Los)
Dancers (Dansen)
Garrison Keillor: The Man On the Radio in the Red Shoes
How Am I Not Going to Love You? (Cómo No Te Voy A Querer)
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison
Killer Poet
Lightbulb
Mommy is at the Hairdressers (Maman est chez le coiffeur)
New Brooklyn
Raging Grannies
Ramchand Pakistani
Rock Paper Scissors
Samurai Avenger: The Blind Wolf
Song from the Southern Seas (Pesn’ Juzhnykh Morej)
The Compassionate One
The Forest
The Friend (Der Freund)
The Least Among You
The Nature of Existence
The Response
(Short)
The Skeptic
Two Million Stupid Women
Wake
Witch Hunt


And the ones that for some reason or another just didn't do it for me:
First Person Singular
Esther's Inheritance (Eszter hagyatéka)
How To Be...
Layover
The Bet (Pari)


And the ones that I didn't consider in this ranking because they're in a category by themselves:
Intolerance
The Birth of a Nation


And you might notice I didn't rank the shorts. That's because this post is already long enough.

And finally, the awards are announced here: http://www.cinequest.org/awards.php
I don't care much about awards, but I would like to call your attention to the audience awards for best feature. It's a tie between All About Dad and For My Father, because apparently the audiences at Cinequest love their daddies. But more importantly, it means I lost a dollar because I bet on Capers as the biggest crowd-pleaser. By now I should know that Cinequest audiences are more sophisticated than that. And finally, my friend Vijay Vanniarajan is "someone with more knowledge of films than [I]" for correctly predicting For My Father. I'll be at SFIAAFF through next weekend, Vijay. Find me and I'll give you a dollar.

And that's all from Cinequest 19 (until I watch more screeners and write about them).

Oh yeah, and I forgot, I won the twitter review contest! I'm not sure if there's actually a prize (rumor had it, $100 gift certificate to Camera Cinemas--a free weekend of movies! But I haven't heard anything more). Anyway, suck it all you twits who aren't me! And now the only question is, now that I'm an award-winning twitterer, does that make me a winner or a loser?
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