Friday, March 11, 2016

Jason goes to Cinequest--Day 10

Two more movies last night (Thursday) as I prepare for the big final weekend.

This was my one night to see a big spotlight film (well, other than opening and closing nights,) so I checked out Emma Watson's new film, COLONIA. Watson plays a Lufthansa stewardess in Chile in the 70s. She's shacking up with her boyfriend (Daniel Bruhl,) a photographer and Allende-supporting political activist. And then Pinochet takes control, and I expected it to become a political thriller. Instead, it's something far stranger. He's taken away to Colonia Dignidad, which I didn't know was a real place that was a religious commune/cult on the outside but also used to house and torture political prisoners. So she pretends to join the cult, where Paul Shafer (Michael Nyqvist) commands the compound, abuses her, and rapes little boys. Nobody ever escapes from Colonia Dignidad, so of course that's exactly what she and her boyfriend plan to do. And here it's really unbelievable. Seriously, I couldn't believe any of it. The film says it's inspired by a true story. I'm not sure it's inspired by anything more than the existence of the compound. That's creepy enough but the escape just becomes ludicrous. If anything close to that actually happened, it's pretty amazing.

That was the only screening of COLONIA at Cinequest, but it does open in theaters April 15th.

And then I caught a feature cartoon, EMPIRE OF CORPSES. A cool, slick anime that draws together influences all over the place. It's set in an alternate turn-of-the-century world and based on a steampunk-zombie premise that reanimated corpses are the engine of the British imperial power. John Watson is a brilliant medical student, studying corpse engineering, which is based on a combination of Victor Frankenstein's reanimation studies and Charle's Babbage's analytical engine (i.e., an early mechanical computer.) In particular, he's looking for the secret of The One--Frankenstein's original creation and the only corpse to ever  have...let's call it a soul. The ability to speak, think, be angry enough to want to kill... Oh yeah, the initial use for zombies? Soldiers. Mothers loved not having to see their husbands and sons go off to war, so when the villagers put down their pitchforks they decided that fighting wars as zombie-vs-zombie was a pretty good idea. They don't exactly have a will to fight--they don't have a will for anything--but they can be programmed. They can also be programmed to be bombs, which is pretty freakin' cool. But now the Russian corpses--programmed by Karamazov--seem to actually have a will to fight--one step closer to The One. Eventually the plot machinations got to be too much for me to follow (I don't know if that's my sleep deprivation or just the way the movie goes) but it was a fun, delirious ride all the way along.

EMPIRE OF CORPSES plays again Friday at 11:30 am (oops, that's gone) and Saturday at 8:45 pm.

Total Running Time: 230 minutes
My Total Minutes: 423,311
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