Ok. So I've seen a fair amount of movies since last Thursday's opening SIFF gala. I grabbed the pass to use over the 3-day weekend and wanted to make the most of it! It reminds me just how much I love film.
Son of Rambow - A nice, cute, flick for the opening. It's safe, and that works for a large audience like that. The child actors were phenomenal. It wasn't that over-dinesyfied, typical children's movie. It had some great 80's throwbacks as well. Nice soundtrack. The after party had classics like The Breakfast Club and Rambo projected on walls, with Derek Mazone spinning. And I had a lot of Bombay Saphire.
Away From Her - Beautiful. Slow paced, but in a way that worked incredibly well with the film. A sad, yet very real portrayal of a woman losing her mind to Alzheimer's. Her husband learns to let go, and eventually accept the situation. Beautiful imagery, and really makes you appreciate the relationships in your life. Also - portrays old people being happy, in love, beautiful (if we could all look like Julie Christie when we grow up!), and sexual. I know, not everyone wants to see "old people" make love. But I thought it was beautifully done, especially in the youth-obsessed culture we live in. May I grow old as gracefully as this cast.
Knocked Up - Hilarious. Lots of great humor in the tradition of 40 Year Old Virgin. I already mentioned this movie. It has a lot of "I-can't-believe-they-just-went-there" moments. Lots of drugs, sex, and bathroom jokes. And good movie and other pop-culture references.
Once - I really enjoyed this one too. It's an Irish musical, but not in the traditional sense of a musical. The music is incorporated into the film, so you never have to suspend your disbelief. It's a sweet story about a street musician and a girl who sells roses - combining their musical talents and recording an album together. I'm totally the sucker that went home and downloaded the soundtrack off itunes that night. And the songs have been stuck in my head since then! Just look up Once and give it a listen. But even if you don't fall for the music like I did - the film shows what a musical could be. And between his Irish accent, and her Czech accent - I was in heaven.
Paris, je t'aime - This sold out at both showings. We caught it at 11:00 am on Monday. I really liked it. A lot. I've read mixed reviews. The concept is 18 shorts, taking place in different neighborhoods of Paris. Each short is 5 minutes, has a different small cast, and was directed by someone different. The one with Natalie Portman was probably my favorite. Although I also really liked the Coen Brothers' one with Steve Buscemi. God, he's hillarious. The theme of love isn't over romanticized - it shows different types of relationships, with the overarching theme.
On the Road with Judas - This may have been my favorite so far. Could be that it was full of little surprises, and I never really knew where it would go next. It was very funny and I thought it was very smart. Similar in style and execution to Charlie Kaufman - Adaptation. Aaron Ruell is a god. He completely loses himself in these characters. Talk about completely different than Kip in Napoleon Dynamite. I enjoy films that are self-referential and dig deeper into the creative process. There's a great line, I wish I could remember, but it talks about how everything he writes is stolen from somewhere. Which is so true.
Aerial - My least favorite so far. Had amazing potential, but ended up disappointing me. Highly stylized - and that worked. As Josh and I left the movie, we both agreed it just needed to be edited down. A lot. Way too much repetition and scenes that proved their point over and over and over again. It's basically a silent film, with subtitles, but also titles (in Spanish). They did some very clever things with the titles. Words would be placed in the scene, characters would move them with a gesture, a secret would be whispered, and the letters would be covered up. It had a comicbook style that worked fine. There were just too many scenes that dragged on. Overheard while leaving the theatre:
"What the hell just happened?"
"Well, I think the fairy woman sprinkled pixie dust and got all the voices back to the people, but in doing so, had to stop playing DDR."
The sad thing is - as cryptic as that sounds - they were my thoughts exactly.
Salty Air - This movie didn't start until 9:45, and I haven't been sleeping well lately. I may have gotten more into it had I been more alert. The premise is a guy works in a prison, and his estranged, imprisoned father is transferred to his prison. The struggle throughout the film is over what role his father played in his life, the influences his imprisonment had on their family. Nothing too special. Good, but a little flat.
Phew... I've been wanting to write that... and now it's done! Sweet.