Monday, December 03, 2012

AIFF 2012: Paddle To Seattle Guys Do the Ganges - Tonight at 8pm

Sunday  hunkered down and decided I needed a new strategy (well, actually a strategy period) for the festival.  It's now down to seeing as many of the films in competition in as many categories as possible.

So tonight (Monday) it's Between Us at 5:15 at Alaska Experience Theater.  This is a feature in competition.  The festival website blurb is:
In this darkly comedic drama, two couples reunite over the course of two incendiary evenings where anything can happen. Grace and Carlo are a newly married New York couple who visit their old friends Sharyl and Joel in their huge Midwestern home. But despite their wealth, the hosts are in a violently destructive marriage. Two years later, the couples reunite in New York, but now the tables are turned as the young couple struggles with their marriage, parenthood and financial woes, only to discover that their old friends are even more successful and much happier than they were before. Featuring Julia Stiles and Tay Diggs. Based on the hit Off-Broadway play of the same name. Adapted by original playwright Joe Hortua.
So, I go for marital discord while my wife is in Seattle and then maybe get some more light hearted fair with Go Ganges. (8pm at the Bear Tooth.) Paddle to Seattle won an audience award here in 2009 and it was a delightful kayak trip from Skagway or Haines to Seattle.  The guys didn't take themselves seriously at all and it was a great contrast to the testosterone filled Mt. St. Elias where 'every step could be your last' narration and belittling the American climber who decided not to go on to the top.  

This time they are in India and that should be fun.

Yesterday I ended up missing the morning and early afternoon programs.  I needed a break and there were things I needed to do around the house.

But I saw two worthwhile films which I want to write about at length later.  The first was a documentary in competition - The Road To Apartheid -  which compared the Israeli occupation of Gaza to Apartheid in South Africa.  While this was clearly a one-sided piece with some glaring omissions, it's a film about an important world issue that needs to be seen and discussed.  Unfortunately, the topic is one that many people don't want to hear, especially if the message counters their existing story about the issue.  I'll go into this more after the festival is over.  It plays again next Saturday at 1 at the AK Experience Theater.

The 8pm film was Shouting Secrets.  I was a little skeptical going in - family discord on the res was the image I had from the blurb.  But it turned out to be a fine film - the most enjoyable and satisfying film I've seen so far.  I have video of the director which I want to post before the next showing at 3pm on Friday at the Alaska Experience Theater.  I know it's when many people are still working, but how much do you get done on Friday afternoon anyway?

I think Alaska Natives will particularly enjoy seeing Native Americans portrayed like normal people on the big screen.  Yes, there is family discord, but it's simply human family discord, not Native American family discord.  In fact Swiss director Korinna Sehringer said that she originally wrote with a middle class white family in mind, but decided to change it to make it more universal and more interesting for her.  The result was a very moving film that happens to be about a Native American family that everyone can relate too. 

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