Saturday, December 03, 2016

AIFF2016: Hard Knocks - Wow! Powerful Shorts Program - UPDATED

The first film in this program blew me away - and it's not even in competition.  Sing For Your Supper takes place in a world where you have to sing to get fed or to buy anything.  A good voice and song is the currency, and the star has lost his voice and ends up a bum.  What an amazing world this film creates.  Plus it's done well and all the little details work.  Great concept, great acting, great everything.  This is my favorite film so far.

But the other ones in the program were noteworthy too.  On Time was powerful, luck a punch in the gut.  I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say it too was really well done all the way around.

Virgin Territority  was also good, but just not as original as the others.

The next show is starting gotta quit.

It's 2:52 and we just got out of Happy Lucky Golden Tofu Panda Dragon Good Time Fun Fun Show.   This is one I wasn't sure I wanted to see, but it was starting and I figured I could go see Dropka at the museum if this didn't work out.  But really, this one is like Chinese rap - or as they call themselves - the Slanty Eyed Mamas - doing very political racial cross cultural comedy rap.  I'm not sure there's a word for what they were doing.  It wasn't easy to watch, the humor was oppressive (literally and figuratively).  But it's much more important to watch a movie like this that isn't like any movie I've seen quite before, than another slick Hollywood formula movie.

OK, this will be continued . . .

UPDATE again 3:13 - next movie starts soon.  I talked to John who grew up with Cantonese speaking parents and I got him to talk about Happy Lucky etc. on video and I'll put that up later.

We're now waiting for Planet Ottakring, which I'm looking forward to.

UPDATE again Dec. 4 1am - Trying to put this post to rest.  But I did want to say that two more of the shorts program were really powerful.
Pay Day was a black and white Hungarian film that took place in a small community where the money lender comes out to collect his payments.  Grim, but very well done.  And then there was My Mom And The Girl  the story of the director's mom's Alzheimers with her mom played by Valerie Harper.  It took a bit to draw me in, but then it happened as mom walks out of the house with her caregiver in bathrobed pursuit.

Two more - Virgin Territory and No Touching - were good, but not at the same level as the others.  And only two of these are in competition - On Time (short docs) and My Mom And The Girl,  My favorite was Sing For Your Supper which just had such an imaginative premise and was beautifully carried off.

Briefly - Planet Ottakring was lots of fun, a solid move. (The second movie of the day that had sinister loan sharks.)   Demimonde didn't disappoint my high expectations.  (My second Hungarian movie of the day.)  And Shu-De . . . I looked around and guesstimated about 80-100 people at the 6pm showing of what can be described as a documentary about Tuva throat singing.  That's amazing.  But it makes more sense to call this a concert tour movie in the Tuvan republic of Russia.

Past my bed time, but just wanted to get this a little bit caught up.  Saturday was a very good day at the movies.  Everything was worthwhile and quite a bit was outstanding.

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