Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jason goes to SFJFF--Monday, August 5th

Two more shows a week ago Monday.

First up, the short documentary AFTER. An alternately haunting and mundane look at prepping Auschwitz for the daily tourists.

And then the feature, THE CUTOFF MAN. Moshe Ivgy, arguably Israel's greatest actor, is excellent as the quiet, desperate man. His job is to cutoff the water to people who can't pay, hence the title. It also puts him in position to be hated by those people, and so he is cut off in that way. And when the government decides that with local elections upcoming you don't want to piss off any voters so they suspend any cutoffs,...he's out of a job. Which is too bad, because he's got a lot of drinking to do...oh, and a wife...and a kid that's about to go in the army. Ivgy is always fascinating to watch, and as always does a great job. The movie itself is slow...very slow. If you like that, I suppose it's good. For me, I was often bored.

Then the second show of the night was IN THE SHADOW, a really cool film noir set in Prague in 1953. Hakl  is the best detective on the force, and when a seemingly ordinary jewelry store smash-and-grab gets taken over by State Security, he gets a little miffed and a little curious. As it turns out, the ex-SS East German in charge of the investigation is an expert at rooting out criminal behavior by Jews who are funneling money to Israel. So maybe that's what he finds...whether that's what really happened or not. Great drama and suspense, and just dripping with noir genre sensibilities--even the opening scene has the classic trench-coated figure in a dark alleyway lit only by the glow of his cigarette--classic! I can see why this was the official Czech entry to the 2013 Academy Awards.

Total Running Time: 189 minutes
My Total Minutes: 336,361
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