Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jason goes to SFIFF--Day 3

So I missed the first half of Saturday to watch my beloved Quakes lose to Chivas USA 2-1. Stupid referee...stupider defensive lapses.

But I was up in time for a little free beer in the lounge, and then off to my first film of the day, THE FUTURE by Miranda July, whose YOU AND ME AND EVERYONE WE KNOW was awesome back in 2005, so I was very excited for her follow-up. I distinctly remember when I saw YOU AND ME AND EVERYONE WE KNOW being impressed with the combination of earnestness, silliness, and variety of the ideas that I wanted my behavior to be influenced by it in a concrete but minuscule manner. My solution--never buy uncomfortable shoes. I had much the same feeling with THE FUTURE, and I'm thinking I'll pay extra attention to things people say while they're touching doorknobs.

Anyway, about the movie. It opens with a cat's voice, talking about living outside, injuring his paw, and being taken to the cage-atorium where it meets the people--Sophie and Jason (Miranda July and Hamish Linklater) who will adopt him when he's well enough. That's about a month, and Sophie and Jason contemplate what a massive change it will be in their lives. See, they originally were going to adopt him thinking he'd only live a few months, but the vet tells them with proper care he could live up to five years. Well, in five years they'll be 40, and then life is pretty much over. Yeah, they'll still be alive, but it'll be too late to accomplish the great things they intended to do but didn't because they were on Facebook or Youtube watching other people do not-so-great things. And that revelation leads to a bizarre series of events where Jason becomes a door-to-door tree salesman who can stop time with his mind. And Sophie cuts off their Internet, has an affair, and is stalked by her creeping, crawling shirt. But the magic surrealism is rooted deeply in real portrayals of people who just happen to look at the world a little differently and notice amusingly true details. With all the weirdness going on, perhaps my favorite piece is simply July lamenting about how she wishes to be just one notch prettier. You see, she's just at the level where everyone has to decide for themselves if they think she's pretty, so she constantly has to sell her attractiveness. I never thought of that before, it's maybe not an earth-shatteringly deep realization, but it's an amusingly true detail.

As a bonus, I got a button that says "I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE." And of course, I'm easily influenced by buttons, so that was cool!

Anyway, back to the lounge for a couple more beers, and then I caught the animated shorts program Get With The Program.
THE CAP: A story of an Hindu boy and Muslim man in a train station during the partition of India and Pakistan. The boy's moving with his mom to the Indian side, and the old man is moving to the Pakistani side, and a fight breaks out. A moving story of strangers helping each other.
DROMOSPHERE: An experimental film with a toy car and the representation of speed.
THE EXTERNAL WORLD: Hilarious, kind of offensive, hard to describe. This film takes no prisoners, and I loved it.
GET WITH THE PROGRAM: A meditation on conformity, with cell phones stuck into the head with spikes so you can talk to the person right next to you, and somehow the cell phone signals become commodities and then a bunch more weird stuff happens.
HAIL: A hand drawn music video about heaven being the place where you can be yourself, and trying to make Earth the same.
PIXELS: Wild, hilarious mix of live action and CGI, as classic video games come to life and destroy New York. Space Invaders attack, while Donkey Kong climbs the Empire State Building. Awesome.
A PURPLEMAN: He's not red, nor quite blue, this North Korean defector loves his new opportunities in the South, but doesn't quite fit in.
SYNC: Best inappropriate use of PowerPoint ever (scandal, it was actually made on Apple QuickNote).

And finally, the late show was THE TROLL HUNTER, a brilliant piece of "found footage" from Norway. There's a guy driving through Norway in a Range Rover with a ton of weird gear, and the local bear hunters think he's a poacher. So a film crew tries to confront him, but get tons more than they bargained for. He's not hunting bears, he's hunting Trolls. In fact, he works for a secret government agency meant to control the troll population. Trolls are big and dangerous, but dumb as hell. They're susceptible to direct sunlight (even artificial) and either turn to stone (if they're old) or explode. There are many different types, but they all seem to be more aggressive right now. And the hunter is tired of his work, and especially the secrecy, so invites the film crew along for the an incredible ride. It has a great faux-documentary feel and never breaks that realism, and the CGI (I think?) trolls are ripped straight from Norwegian folklore. Just brilliant.

Total Running Time: 266 minutes
My Total Minutes: 232,905

No comments: