Monday, July 30, 2012

Jason goes to Jewfest North--Day 9

Two more movies yesterday (Sunday) evening. I've been using this week to catch up on things I missed at the Castro (or a few films that didn't play there.)

First up, a kind of unsettling Israeli drama, INVISIBLE, based on actual events that happened in the 1970's. Nira (Evgenia Dodina) is an editor for a documentary about the Israel-Palestine conflict. She's reviewing footage of IDF soldiers evicting Palestinians from their olive grove. Settlers are demanding they leave, while activists are trying to defend them. And suddenly, she recognizes one of the activists. It takes a while, but she finally remembers from where. Lily (Ronit Elkabetz) and her met at a police lineup decades ago, identifying the serial rapist who attacked them both (known in the media as "The Polite Rapist.") It's not a very nice reason to form a bond, but they become friends and in the process reveal old psychological wounds that had become invisible, which shakes up both of their private lives. It's unsettling, sometimes difficult to watch, and often just plain slow. But it is nice to see two of the greatest Israeli actresses practicing their craft together.

And then the last movie of the night was a bit happier. HELLO, I MUST BE GOING stars Melanie Lynskey (HEAVENLY CREATURES, which in my opinion is still Peter Jackson's finest movie) as a recently divorced woman who has moved back in with her parents. She's depressed and unmotivated, always wears the same ratty t-shirt and sweatpants, and just watches old Marx Brothers movies (the title is a Marx Brothers reference.) Her parents do force her to clean up for a dinner party they're throwing for an important potential client--one who could allow her dad to finally retire and for them to take their "gallivanting the globe" world tour. Instead, at the party, she meets the potential client's 19 year old son and aspiring actor. And they have a bit of a romance, although they have to keep it secret from everyone (she sneaks off in the night claiming to be out renewing her prescription for anti-depressants.) Wacky hijinks ensue, of course, especially because everyone thought the young actor was gay. It's not overtly Jewish, but it's definitely a neurotic, East coast Jewish family. And it's a funny crowd-pleaser, enough to be the opening night film of Sundance.

Total Running Time: 185 minutes
My Total Minutes: 294,661

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