Film Festival post 2

On Tuesday I went to see Love is Strange at the Penthouse and it was exceptionally good. It’s measured but not slow, and the fantastic performances made it feel immersively real. The little ordinary annoyances of living and the utter devotion of the lead couple.

Fred Mollina and John Lithgow were wonderful, and I adored Patricia Arquette in it. The problem with this movie is that I loved all the characters too much so the end made me cry a lot. It hit me hard in the long distance relationship/missing my girl feels.

Friday I ditched out of the work party even though I was rocking a Gerard Way costume and saw The Darkside. I didn’t regret this choice.

The Darkside is what happened when Warwick Taylor put a call out to Aboriginal communities and asked them to share their stories of encounters with ghosts and the spirit world. Then he got Aboriginal actors to perform the stories to the camera. It was amazing. It was spooky and beautiful and sad. I sort of believe in ghosts and I sort of don’t, but I believed that these people had real experiences.

Definitely recommend if you can track it down.


It’s always odd to see a clearly biased doco, because you listen to the ‘doom doom doom’ music and hear the voice over say ‘and this happened!’ and I think to myself ‘yes, but…’

There were a lot of ‘yes, but..’s while I watched this film. I mean, I don’t think anyone would agree that some of the things the teenagers were describing were bad, but I couldn’t help but think that she’d only interviewed a tiny sample and shown us the most shocking things, where most experiences would be pretty much fine.

It was a very well shot doco but the bias never went away, and she touched only lightly on too many things.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya was on Saturday, and I had a lovely friend-date/catch up with Sam since I had a spare ticket. It was a really horrible day weather wise, so we had comfort food at Joe’s Garage and a hot drink at the Embassy and really enjoyed this film!

It’s one of the last movies which will come out from Studio Ghibli and all the art is based on ancient Japanese ink and watercolour paintings. It’s truly beautiful and I highly recommend it.

Blow Out (1981)

Blow Out
Directed and written by Brian De Palma
(number 367)

John Travolta’s Jack is a movie sound technician who accidentally is on the scene of a car accident, and rescues a pretty girl. Of course it’s not just a car accident and there’s a lot more to the girl being in that car in the first place.

The movie is understandably concerned with sound, and the effects. The atmosphere music is actually pretty intrusive though. Most noticeably when Jack was convincing Sally to come home with him at the start of the film and she’s so drugged up she’s slurring words and can’t walk unassisted and the music is all romantic. That was pretty uncomfortable.

There’s a neat thing about this film’s use of media, there are lots of news casts for plot updates and Jack’s incredibly into the technology – using his film making equipment to try to get to the bottom of the mystery. His apartment is all full of recording stuff and his obsession with what happened on the bridge that night fuels more and more creative uses.

John Lithgow is a creepy freaking assassin guy, who is a creeper and I don’t like him.

Ben Franklin is a recurring image along with the Liberty Bell which is pretty expected for a film set in Philadelphia, but both images just keep on coming up. It’s pretty cleverly done, not a very obvious device as it could have been. But then the end of the film is so freaking ham fisted that I’m not sure it can be forgiven. I mean, a fight to the death in front of the american flag (projected on a screen) and Jack cradling Sally with the fireworks going off over him. Urgh.

And then the creepy, nihilistic true end when he takes the actual scream of the woman he loved and put it over a movie – well, at least he has the decency to cover his ears but… urgh. Nasty stuff.

Does it make me love the people? Yeah, I was on side with Jack straight away, and Sally as well. She’s pretty sassy and not afraid to put herself into danger.

Bechdel test: It almost kinda did, because there were women at the start who spoke to each other about something other than a man. But then they weren’t named, and it was a movie within a movie situation so, I dunno. No, that’s a no.

Best line:

Jack: I’m trying to save our asses!
Sally: I’ll look after my *own* ass, thank you.

State of Mind: It was stylish, but feel like the ending let it down some. Not even because of what happened but because of how it was filmed. Maybe I need to watch it again. I do know that reading Humans of New York while I watched this counteracted the depressing overtones.

Watched movie count

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Directed by Rupert Wyatt
(number 487)

I’ve seen this movie once before, on the plane on the way to or from Japan and well, plane movies are never really properly appreciated are they? I really enjoyed watching this movie again.

It’s a clever film, setting up a lot of little hooks which can lead easily into sequels of the world ending (for humans) and also tying into the Planet of the Apes movies. Lots of chilling moments, and lots of demonstration of humans being jackasses to animals. Hi Tom Felton!

Does it make me love the people? Not really. You kind of get the impression that humans are awful and had it coming. It might make me love the apes a bit?

Bechdel test: Well…. no. No, I can’t say that it does. There are only two named female humans – a nursemaid who can’t effectively look after John Lithgow in his alzheimers state and the Love Interest. Points to the casting director for making her a woman of colour, and for making her smart, but she doesn’t really fulfill any role beyond love interest. Then there’s the one named female ape Bright Eyes, who reproduces and then dies, so…yeah. It’s a movie about some men and some male apes.

Best line:

“Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!”

State of Mind: Yus. Also sneezy. (But that’s hayfever I think, not the movie’s fault)

Excited for the sequel!