Saturday, April 25, 2009
FilmfestDC's "Short Cuts" in 2009
As with most film festivals, FilmfestDC sponsorted a “Short Cuts”, this time some peculiar, iconoclastic concepts (they have to be so to get into a festival).
The principle film was probably the “musical” “La Copie de Coralie” ("Copy of Coralie"), 22 min, dir. Nicholas Engel. Mr. Conforme (Serge Riaboukine) who owns a photocopy shop in a small French town deals is obsessed with a woman who disappeared, and her assistant (Jeanne Cherhal) posts photos all over town, and attracts attention. There are shades of “Chocolat”. The music is by Phillippe Pourier, and the singing is kind of like Sprechstimme,
The other more substantial film was "Instead of Abracadabra" ("Istället för abracadabra", Sweden), directed by Patrick Eklund. A young man living with his parents aspires to become a performing musician, while his dad wants him to get a real, but menial job (even in socialist Sweden). And the boy loves to make his audience think that he really has sawed somebody in half. People can get hurt.
In a film from Quebec, in French, “Next Floor”, directed by Denis Vileneuve, eleven party guests indulge in the worst of the Deadly Sin of gluttony, eating every possible animal product, maybe even the unborn – in a tribute to “The Thief, The Cook, His Wife, and Her Lover”. Then unexpected carnage comes, but the party keeps eating. It’s all about their behavior, and “the eating” stimulates long memories (a private joke from 1992).
In “Good Trip” (“Buen viaje”) Javier Palleiro, Guillermo Rocamora (Uruguay), a turnpike toll taker gets a disturbing phone call and has to get to a family emergency while the job has to get done. The interesting concept is that unexpected phone call, and its consequences. Filmmakers can do a lot with that.
In “Paseo” (Arturo Ruiz Serrano) Gabino, on the Spanish central plateau, has to declare his love to a woman before his execution in the Spanish Civil War.
In “Jerrycan” (Julius Avery, Australia, digital video) a teenage boy faces pressure from peers to prove himself by doing something dangerous, and tragedy can come from it. This is the psychology of gangs, but it can invade the more “normal” middle class. This comes down to the “middle school kids” level.