Saturday, June 13, 2009

SFF 2009 Films Seen Still to be Reviewed

Below are films that I've seen but not yet written up. Really just notes for me at this stage but feel free to take a peek ! It may well be that they get no further.

Disgrace - loved it, haven't read the book, maybe in about 6 months. Brilliantly done, it will be interesting to see how the South Africans react to Australians making a South African story - and compare it to how Australians reacted to Wake in Fright (Canadian director) all those years ago (it lasted 7 days in cinemas in Sydney - compared to months in France !

The Beaches of Agnes - best bio-pic I've ever seen. Unexpectedly delightful, original approach and her character really shines.
Cleo from 5 to 7 - from Agnes Varda above, 'cute' new wage film from the early 60s; original and fun.

Parque Via - slow but lingers, the second 'Latin American live in help' film of the festival after The Maid. Not as immediately appealing as The Maid.
The Missing Person - interesting take on film noir. Stylish even if the plot was light.

The Missing Water
- ambitious and lots of admiration; the 'gimmick' didn't work for me, as much as I wanted to like the film. There was a lot of good will in the State Theatre for the young director and many loved it. A great achievement at any rate.

Red Cliff - fantastic John Woo fun, big Chinese propaganda push !
Big River Man - magic story, worked as a film as well. Highlight was the standing ovation the Big River man himself got when he surprised us after the film (last we saw of him was in an alcoholic stupor on his couch in Slovenia - a few months after completing an extra-ordinary swim the length of the Amazon that took him and his team to the mental edge.

The Girlfriend Experience was pretty ordinary - didn't say anything really. Probably only disappointment of the festival.
Wake in Fright - absolutely brilliant, powerful and spectacular, deserved the hype.

Che Part 1 was a great telling of the story. I've forgiven Soderbergh for the blah-ness of The Girlfriend Experience.
Che Part 2 - works as a stand alone film but not I'm convinced the same impact couldn't have been had with an extra 15 minutes on part 1. Still completely watchable though; but given there had to be two films why not more on the trials of establishing a government in Cuba directly post revolution ?

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