I’m starting to feel the mid-festival shakes — that period when I realize my eyes were way bigger than my stomach. It’s one thing to sit down at the computer and work out a schedule. It’s another thing to live through it. Some of today’s insights:
“Interesting. I forgot to schedule lunch and dinner breaks.”
“Where did I put that damn audience award rating slip?”
“#NaFF, #NaFF2013, or #NaFF13? Why can’t we all just agree on a Twitter hashtag?”
These last two days, I’ve seen six films, and for many, I’m still processing my feelings. Because of that and because it’s 1am, I’m just going to give you a quick rundown:
I found Reygadas’ POST TENEBRAS LUX to be ineffable and absolutely mesmerizing. It did for me what some people claim Terrence Malick does for them. I don’t understand anything that went on, but I enjoyed every beautiful minute of it. This is a deep film that requires study, reflection and repeat screenings.
I enjoyed Xavier Dolan’s LAURENCE ANYWAYS, but I can’t help wondering if it would have been more impactful at two hours instead of three. The style and use of music is reminiscent of Wong Kar Wai, yet the endless conversationing felt very Denys Arcand. There are very few films about being transgender, and I think it’s wonderful that Dolan is telling this story and holding a mirror to our faces. Doubtless, there are aspects of the film I fail to appreciate being cisgender. And yet, Dolan is cisgender, and I wonder how well his film resonates with transgender people. What does it say about institutionalized transphobia when the transgender experience is continually told by cis artists?
I admit, the Japanese animated feature A LETTER TO MOMO made me cry a little. This is a wonderful film about processing grief and letting go of guilt. See it any way you can.
The Harold Lloyd silent film SAFETY LAST is still a classic, yet this time around, I was disturbed by racist stereotypes. What disturbed me more is that the score — written in 1989 for a previous restoration — plays up the racist stereotypes. We could say the film’s stereotypes are a product of its time, but we can’t deny that the score’s augmentation of these stereotypes is a product of ours.
I really enjoyed the Kurdish film KICK OFF, which deals with Arab and Kurdish relations through a soccer tournament.
I’m still processing Alain Resnais’ YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET. My gut reaction is that it’s an inconsequential story wrapped inside an inconsequential story, starring icons of French cinema playing themselves. But I need to think on it more and research what the master filmmaker was trying to accomplish.
UPDATE 4-21-2013 11:23am:
Of course, this is why I don’t need to post when it’s 1am and my brain is frazzled. I completely missed the point of LAURENCE ANYWAYS and YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET, and my friend Marjorie was kind enough to point that out to me via her Twitter handle @brownrabbit122. What she had to say really enhances my appreciation of both films, and I hope to use her thoughts as a kicking-off point for further exploration. With her permission, I’m posting her take on the films. In short, I think she nails it.
@tonyyoungblood re: Ain’t seen nothing yet: it’s thinking about what it means to age out of one’s prime. At several levels. Not monumental, but a small and modest human pain. Perhaps one performers (i.e., all the icons) feel particularly acutely?
@tonyyoungblood and re: Laurance Anyways–agree that it was too long. But the title character isn’t the juice of the story. His/her situation is incidental. It’s a movie about the Fred character & how her great love changes the terms on her. & her futility.
— eviscerated rabbit (@brownrabbit122) April 21, 2013