Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jason goes to SFIFF--Closing Night

It's over, finito, nothing left after this post (just about a week after the fact). And I decided not to go to the closing night film, JOAN RIVERS--A PIECE OF WORK, or the after party (I had to get home and pack quickly for a flight to LA the next day, but that's another story). Instead I went to the Kabuki, had a few beers for the last time at the festival lounge (I'll miss you most of all!) and then saw a couple of movies.

First up, from Chile, YOU THINK YOU'RE THE PRETTIEST, BUT YOU'RE THE SLUTTIEST definitely wins the award for best title. And it's not a bad movie, either. Broken into five parts over the a crazy weekend, Javier nearly seduces Valentina but she says no just before they go all the way. Instead, she leaves him and sleeps with his best friend Nicolas. And Javier slowly goes insane all night, imagining what they might be doing, trying (and failing) to sleep with a prostitute, and mostly having an awful night. And it was pretty funny. In some ways it seems an unambitious fim--on the surface it's about nothing more than trying to get laid, and it was director Ché Sandoval's student thesis film. But it does a simple and effective job of balancing the comedy of trying to get laid with the insecurity underneath.

And finally, I ended the night and the festival with the documentary GARBO THE SPY. Named because his British handlers thought he was the best actor ever, this Spaniard survived both the Spanish Civil War and World War II, serving on both sides and never firing a shot. And he might just be the most important figure in the war. You see, on D-Day the Nazis were convinced that the boats landing on Normandy were a decoy, and the real invasion was coming at Pas de Calais. That was Garbo. But let's back up. He lived in Spain during the Civil War. After defecting to/from both sides, he escaped to Lisbon where he claims he was determined to offer his services to the British. Since he had no experience as a spy, they had no interest in him. So he sold his services to the Nazis. And without ever leaving Lisbon he convinced them he was living in Great Britain and had a network of 27 agents working for him. In fact, he was making everything up. Once the British found out, they were very interested. Ultimately he was working for the British against the Nazis, but was so convincing he's the

The movie plays quickly through talking head experts and archival footage (featuring, I think, SECRET D-DAY, where he was played by Sam Spiegel). But some of the most interesting part comes at the end, where one of the researchers discovers he was still alive (he was though to have died in 1949 Angola, in fact he eventually died in 1988 in Venezuela). His true name was Juan Pujol, and he wrote a book about his life as a spy. A great movie about a truly fascinating man, and the only man to be awarded both the Order of the British Empire and the Iron Cross.

And that's it. It's over. Don't ask me more about SFIFF 2010. I'm tired! Good night!

Total Running Time: 169 minutes
My Total Minutes: 184,743
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