Saturday, April 15, 2017

Jason goes to SFFILM--Day 10

After playing hooky for just one little film, I was back at the festival for 3 more films on Friday.

First off I was at the Alamo Drafthouse for HEAVEN SENT, a Lebanese absurdist comedy. Omar is a bodyguard. And he has his dream job, protecting a beautiful singer who is getting into politics. Meanwhile, a man arrives to town, after walking over snow-capped mountains, is loaded into the back of a truck, and is dumped on the street outside the club where Omar's singer is performing. He tries to get in, and is pushed away a few times, until Omar finally knocks him out cold with a head-butt. Then Omar takes him home and takes care of him, because it turns out the mystery man is Omar's brother. He's been lost, and presumed dead, since the 90's. But he was a great soldier in the civil war. And why he's back is not entirely clear, except perhaps to teach Omar a lesson. But as absurd as that setup is, it's the small details where the humor comes from. The dad ranting about all the invaders that Lebanon has cut to pieces over the centuries. The feud with the neighbor across the street who plays his TV too loud. Or bodyguards discussing whether a white shirt or a black shirt (under their black coats) is better. Very funny stuff, even before the rocket launcher comes into play.

Then I made my way over to the Roxie for PARK. In 2004, Athens hosted the Olympics, and it was a grand spectacle. Now, the venues are abandoned and rundown. They've become modern Greek ruins. And they're inhabited by youth with nothing better to do and no parents in the picture. They play, their play gets kind of dangerous (it gets very dangerous to a dog, one of the unfortunate themes of the day was violence against animals) but mostly they're just aimless kids without much in the way of a hopeful future. The cast is mostly amateurs, bringing to mind some of Harmony Korine's films. The default main character is an older teenager who is kind of a leader and has a fumbling relationship with the only girl in their circle. A fascinating, real movie showing a snapshot of disaffected youth.

And finally, I ended the night with the dark wave show, MRS. K. The titular Mrs. K (Kara Wai) looks like the sweet housewife to a successful doctor, and a doting mother to her daughter. But early on, when some thieves posing as delivery men confront her, we find out that she can kick a serious amount of ass. Meanwhile, three bad guys are offed in succession, and we learn that a vengeful madman is behind it all. And he has a connection to Mrs. K and her past. Something about a casino heist, but who cares...this is all about the dizzying, bone-splitting action sequences. And they totally freakin' deliver. Especially when the daughter is kidnapped and Mrs. K has to go full rampaging vengeance mode. Awesome.

Total Running Time: 267 minutes
My Total Minutes: 426,498

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