Friday, September 14, 2007

Fast, worthless comments

The 9:00 a.m. screening right around the corner demands I keep this short.

Encounters at the End of the World (Werner Herzog) 64 [This Antarctic travelogue is somewhat shapeless, but it's filled with plenty of visual wonders and Herzog's great, deadpan sense of humor. The moments where he cuts off his verbose interviewees and summarizes their tales in voiceover were particularly awesome.]

Eat, For This is My Body (Michelange Quay) 17 [I generally love Matthew Barney's movies, but watching this I think I understood how those things play to people not at all in touch with the guy's sensibility. I am pretty sure this film is not rooting for racism, but given the miscalculated imagery, I can't really be sure.] [Note to Mike: Sylvie has extended nude scenes.]

Iska's Journey (Csaba Bollok) 28 [The second Hungarian orphan movie I've seen at Toronto this year, with pretty much none of the redeeming qualities of Happy New Life. That film was formally adventurous, while this is completely pedestrian from that perspective. It's too uninvolving to be particularly effective as a message movie to boot.]

Christopher Columbus, The Enigma (Manoel de Oliveira) 68 [This chipper tour guide of a movie is hands-down the most pleasurable viewing experience I've had at the film festival this year, but it's also the one thing I've seen this year that failed to incite audience applause at the end, so I suspect that description says more about me than de Oliviera's work. Nonetheless, I had a smile plastered across my face throughout. The good cheer present here, the casualness of the filmmaking, and the pleasing portrait of enduring love, really took me in. I really have to dig into this dude's back catalog someday, because all of his late works charm the heck out of me.]

Munyurangabo (Lee Isaac Chung) 36 [I remember that when I was prepping for the festival, I read the Cannes buzz on this one, which raved about how despite a Korean-American director, the film managed to capture the feel of native African cinema. I should have remembered that much African cinema is rudimentary and visually dull.]

The Devil's Chair (Adam Mason) 27 [This is an obnoxiously written, stupidly twisty, digitally shot, splatter film that ultimately cuts away from the gore when we want to see it most. Boo.]

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