Friday, February 27, 2015

Jason goes to Cinequest--Day 3

Once again, up bright and early to watch some movies drink in the VIP lounge. Got there shortly after 10 am, and my first movie wasn't until 1 pm.

First up was the Icelandic film, LIFE IN A FISHBOWL, a multi-story, intersecting drama about broken lives. Eik is a preschool teacher who doubles as a high-priced prostitute to make ends meet. She meets Mori, a once-famous-now-drunk writer, who will be famous and wealthy again when the reviews of his new novel, "Life in a Fishbowl" come in. That novel is about a traumatic experience in his earlier life, and one that will resonate later in the movie. He becomes the babysitter for Eik's little girl, who can't have any sugar (seriously, it could kill her.) It seems like an old, long-haired, long-bearded drunk (wait, that reminds me of someone...) isn't a good choice for a babysitter, but for reasons we find out later he's better than her parents and especially her grandfather. And meanwhile Solvi is a former footballer now making a new career as an investment banker, but facing moral dilemmas as his hard-charging colleague has other ideas about both work and play. Everything comes together in grand, violent, and dramatic fashion, making for an excellent and exciting film.

LIFE IN A FISHBOWL plays again Mar 2 at 4:15

Next up was BEASTS OF CARDO, a Dominican magic-realist piece about a town full of...well, beastly people. Legend has it that Cardo is built of darkness and nothingness, where people are all tied up on marionette strings. Hermes, a talented but vain tailor has just moved to town, and Moira has just moved back from New York where she got her Masters degree but also got a reputation for being a slut. They both live under snide gossip and backstabbing, but when they're alone they find a bit of relief. And then...well, it just goes on for a long time. I loved the ending, but it took too long to get there. It's clear early on that this town is full of awful people and they need to get out. The only question is if one, the other, both, or none will actually escape. And I like how it ended. And this is frustrating to write, because the best part of it was the ending but I don't want to give up any spoilers. But trust me, even if the middle starts to drag, the ending is worth it.

BEASTS OF CARDO plays again Mar 3 at 6:00 and Mar 7 at 4:30 

Then after a bit of time at the Mosaic bar and restaurant for the VIP Soiree, I was back for more movies.

Next up was WHEN I'M WITH YOU, the story of Lea, a wonderfully sweet woman who's in love with her gay best friend. She's also putting up with her brother, who runs with some assholes who are beating and killing gay men in the neighborhood. As her gay friend has a blossoming relationship with a new man, her relationship with her brother is falling apart. And if she admits how much she really loves her gay friend, she might lose him, too. The film is shot in a very intimate, close up style that gets into the inner lives of the characters visually. Everything comes to a head in a climactic confrontation that is tense, scary, and ultimately wonderful. Great movie. 

WHEN I'M WITH YOU plays again Feb 28 at 11:15 and Mar 5 at 2:00

And then I saw MALADY, a movie that I didn't exactly enjoy while I was watching it, but now I can't stop thinking about. A story of death and sex in blurry closeups. Holly is grieving her mother's passing, and her last wish was for her to have children. So she hooks up with Matthew, where they...do their best to conceive. But when she learns that Matthew's mother is ailing, she prepares to go through the same trauma of watching her slowly die. And then it gets weird. No, wait, it was already weird. Little things, like how it's shot in such an intimate yet...searching manner, or how Matthew peels scabs off his hand, keeps them in a box, and gives them to his mother. Yeah, that was very, very weird. It's an unsettling film. And I'm still deciding if I like it. In fact, no, I know I didn't enjoy it, I'm still deciding if I was amazed by it.

MALADY plays again Feb 27 at 10:00 pm and Mar 6 at noon.

Total Running Time: 437 minutes
My Total Minutes: 385,638
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