Friday, February 26, 2010

Jason goes to Cinequest--Day 3

Three more movies last night. Starting with my first (I assume of many) last minute changes of plan. Based on certain tweets, I eschewed LEFT and skipped out of work a little earlier to see CAMAMBERT ROSE. Judging by my experience an yet more tweets, I might've made the wrong choice. CAMEMBERT ROSE is a story of coming of age (when you're 20), getting out of your father's shadow, and learning to like cheese. Daniel is a quiet young man, studying medicine to be like his father, a very successful gynecologist. And by "successful" I mean he didn't get the nickname "Pussy Pope" from his medical practice. Daniel, however, is saving himself for true love. And he might have found it with a charming woman from the local pool. They chat online, but he doesn't have the guts to talk to her in person. For this, his father mocks him mercilessly. So Daniel escapes his father for the summer by travelling to France (oh yeah, from Hungary, this film in Hungarian) to stay with his uncle (dead mom's brother) for the season. But the separation teaches him to both appreciate and live without his father. He also plays this really cool UFO-like metal drum, and the musical scenes are some of the best.

There's really nothing to not like about the movie. I chuckled in quite a few places, but a lot of it just felt kind of flat. Also, there were technical glitches in the projection that ruined a few scenes. But mostly, when I read something like this from @memepunk: "I think LEFT is subtly fantastic. Reminiscent of both Antonioni's RED DESERT and Lynch's LOST HIGHWAY. Very glad I didn't miss it." it makes me think I made the wrong choice.

CAMEMBERT ROSE plays again on 2/26 at noon and 2/28 at 2:15 pm.


Anyway after a couple quick glasses of wine at the VIP Soiree at Il Fornaio, I went to see a movie that was absolutely the right choice--the Chinese action-comedy flick, THE ROBBERS. A period piece with a rock and roll soundtrack (at least for the fight scenes), it takes place in the Tang dynasty and is the adventure of a pair of travelling robber brothers and the village they rob, then protect, then are imprisoned in, then escape, etc. While robbing an old man and his daughter, they see soldiers approaching. They hid inside while the soldiers barge in, look around, and proceed to attempt to rape the daughter. Well, the one robber who was talking to her (definitely the kinder one, who would prefer to settle down in a life of farming with a good wife) won't stand for it, so he jumps out and kills the soldiers. Not good, that carries a death sentence. There's an ongoing debate about law vs. mercy throughout the movie, and allegiances change as the robbers are variously treated as vicious criminals and protecting heroes. The fighting scenes are awesome, the lighter moments are pretty funny (dick jokes are funny in any culture). I'm officially nominating this movie for a Nobel Prize in Awesome.

THE ROBBERS plays again 2/27 at 1:30 pm and 3/4 at noon. Go see it!


And I ended the night with Shorts Program #2: DARK, DEEP, AND DANGEROUS

ADELAIDE: A woman addicted to medical attention finds true love with a pharmacist/paramedic in training. Hilarious and romantic.
DIPLOMACY: The real trust in international relations is built between the translators. Funny and I like to think it's true.
IRREPARABLE: A couple fights, ostensibly over a burglary but really over their dead son.
MORNING ECHO: If you celebrate Christmas in October because you're afraid your sick daughter will die before Christmas, then what do you do if she survives to December 25th? I was struck by this movie and how everyone has their own, selfish agenda and no one works together. Just like a real family!
NIGHT MAYOR: Guy Maddin (genius!) reveals the story of the man who built the Telemelodium in Winnipeg. A device that translates the music of the Aurora Borealis into moving pictures. No, I didn't get that backwards.
OUT OF THE BLUE: A romance between a man and a TV. Very funny.
THE PROPOSAL: A couple plays cruel, masochistic games with each other. Just remember to take the bullets out of the gun.
THE WHIRLING DERVISH: A young Muslim American, the Sheikh he takes guidance from, and the neighbor who tempts him. Great performances by all.

And then the movies were all over. Just time to grab a beer at the official watering hole of the night--Fahrenheit Lounge, and then back home. Ready for the big weekend to start.

Total Running Time: 292 minutes
My Total Minutes: 173,025

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