Saturday, February 4, 2017

Jason goes to Indiefest--Day 2

Two movies on Friday, as the festival starts rolling along.

First up was TRAIN DRIVER'S DIARY, Serbia's official nomination to this year's Academy Awards (it did not make the cut, unfortunately.) I do love me some Serbian comedies, and this one is pretty great. Lazar Ristovski plays Ilja, an old train driver who, in the opening scenes, is describing to a pair of psychologists the latest incident where he ran over a band of gypsies. Not on purpose of course, it's just part of the job. People get stuck on tracks, or commit suicide. In a typical career, a train driver might run over 15-20 of them. Ilja comes from a long line of train drivers, and keeps a meticulous count of how many he killed, his father killed, his grandfather killed. But every time he was innocent. That's just the macabre comedy of Serbia, and I love it. Ilja almost adds to his total when Sima, a runaway orphan, refuses to get off the tracks. But Ilja stops just in time, and takes Sima in, making him his adopted son and bringing him into the strange world of train drivers. But although Sima seems to have found a place where he fits in and likes it, Ilja doesn't want Sima to join the family business. Sima is just too weak and fragile, he'll never take the mental and physical strain of the job. So it becomes a hilarious macabre coming-of-age comedy. I do love me some Serbian comedies.

TRAIN DRIVER'S DIARY plays again in Indiefest on Saturday at 12:30. Shoot, that's just a few hours! But if you miss it there it also plays at Cinequest.

And then DARK SEDUCTION was an entirely different kind of comedy. A 40s detective movie, with vampires, shot in the 80s, and finished and released just last year. There's a documentary on Youtube about the making of this, but the short story is it was stuck in post-production limbo for decades (15 years because the negative cutter suffered stroke.) But now it's out on VOD and we got to see it on the big screen. The hero is Dic Jones, an alcoholic private eye who just needs a break to get back on the force. The villains are a lesbian pair of vampires, Vera and Serina, tearing through the coke-fueled Hollywood community sucking their victims dry while rocking their best 80s glam outfits in glorious black and white. A mash of styles, excellent deadpan comedy, and quite a lot of fun and silliness.

That was the only showing of DARK SEDUCTION in the festival, but like I said it's on VOD now, so I'm sure you can find it if you search.

Total Running Time: 166 minutes
My Total Minutes: 416,187

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