Sunday, December 02, 2012

AIFF 2012: Movie Overdose

Started at 11am downtown to see Native Tongue - four short films.  I had to take J to the airport by 1pm so it was iffy if we were going to see the fourth film.  They started about 20 minutes late and the fourth one - Lapse - didn't start.  We decided not to wait - it was 12:30 already and no movie is more important than getting my wife to the airport on time when I'm not going to see her for a week.

Mossadegh was very good.  I've posted on this at length, before I saw it.  I'm not going to give detailed reviews here because I saw way too much, my brain is fried, and I need time to let it digest.  But I do think Calcutta Taxi was the best of the three we saw this morning.  It told several different stories and neatly came back to the same critical scene and each time we had a new layer of understanding.  A very complex trick which gave the film  significantly more content than and richness than one would expect from a 20+ minute film.  Suddenly Zinat . . . held up well in my second viewing.  A powerful film.

Off to the airport, stopped for bananas, then home for lunch, then back downtown to see Confine.   I kept thinking, in the tiny Alaska Experience small theater, that this was not the best use of my time.  It was a very well made movie, but the story was not one I wanted to be watching - a model who had confined herself to her luxurious apartment in London after a disfiguring car crash, now a hostage to a psychotic woman who's taken over her flat.  Blood, gun, knives, canes.  But I'm also beginning to believe that this film is going to stay in my brain.

I was in a daze after that and ended up across the hall for the Snow Dance documentary Rousseau's Children about Yul and Ruth Kilcher's children.  A Swiss team filmed the first generation - now in their 50's to 70 - who grew up in their Swiss father's dream of raising them in Rousseau's  state of nature.  In this case Homer.  I've heard about this family since we got to Anchorage 35 years ago and met Yule once or twice, so it was interesting, but not great.

Waiting for Rousseau's Children I met Tom Irons the director of Arctic Son and did a video of our short chat.

Then back to the small theater to see People of a FeatherPowerful.  Island in Hudson Bay people whose lives, historically depended on the eider duck.  Lots of great shots of the ducks, seal hunting, and the people who depend on these animals and the ice.  A global warming threat I never knew about was a factor in their lives.  Hydroelectric dams release fresh water into the oceans out of the normal season causing serious problems with the amount of ice, quality of ice, and the animals' ability to survive.

Then home for a quick dinner, phone call from my wife on the ferry to Bainbridge, and then off to Bear Tooth for Lad: A Yorkshire Story.  A very satisfying evening - maybe more when I've had time to reflect.

I stayed for the 10 o'clock shorts because one of the shorts in competition wasin the group, but it took forever for Cockatoo to be played.  But I did enjoy many of the shorts.  I'd mention That Which Once Was as particularly catching my attention.  The story takes place in 2032 at an orphanage for global warming refugee children and uses ice as a fitting icon for the title phrase.  The opening balloons took too long for me, but after that is was just right.  You can see the whole film at the link.

I also learned that Lapse was never shown.   Technical problem.  Bummer.

Seeing so many different kinds of films in one day forces my brain into trying to figure out how to distinguish different types of films and ways to evaluate them.  I'm sure that will perculate into a post before too long.

No idea what to tell people for Sunday, except look at the schedule and have fun. 

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