Sunday September 23
Lost in Beijing (China, 2007)
Money (and maybe a little bit of love) makes the world go around in “Lost in Beijing,” an involving, highly accessible portrait of an emotional menage a quatre in the modern-day Chinese capital. Third feature by Mainland writer-director Li Yu reps a striking career fulfillment by the thirty-something former documaker, following her rough but ground-breaking lesbian pic “Fish and Elephant” (2001), and her accom-plished but Euro-style drama “Dam Street” two years ago. Though pic is facing censorship difficulties within China, specialized distribu-tion, plus robust fest travel, means “Lost” will be found by offshore viewers.
This should offer a good contast for the last nightâ€™s Miike
I’m a Cyborg but that’s OK (South Korea) (2006)
This tale of a psychologically fragile girl who thinks she’s a cyborg and talks to vending machines is served up in a bright, dreamy, hyper-real style, with sprinklings of acid-laced Amelie and Alice in Wonderland, and a large dollop of Park’s own- brand visual sauce. â€“ â€“ Grotesque and tender, alternately affected and affecting, it is larded with Parkisms, from the zigzag time structure (veering into the past to explain the present, and vice versa) to the use of extreme, fish-eye close-ups, to the film’s obssessive colour-coding of sets and costumes.
Chan-wook Park. Enough said.
Breath (South Korea) (2007)
On the fourth day of this 60th Festival, South Korean cineaste Kim Ki-duk returns to Cannes to present Breath in the Competition selection. His film The Bow was one of the highlights of the 2005 Un Certain Regard section. This time, Ki-duk tells the story of a prisoner condemned to death. He is visited by a woman who feels neglected by her husband, and she falls in love with him. With this drama revolving around jealousy, unhappiness, and the lack of love, Kim Ki-duk is "referring indirectly to a difficult relationship with Korean society. I concentrated on individuals. What interested me was to show how human beings utterly fail to communicate."
Kim Ki-dukâ€™s latest
El Custodio (Argentina & France & Germany) (2006)
A rigorous character study shot from the p.o.v. of a minister’s trusted bodyguard, “El Custodio” takes the high road of Argentine minimalism, which has won hardcore fans around the world but which shuts out larger auds with its rigid rules. Stunted by an exasperatingly slow pace, Rodrigo Moreno’s technically impeccable feature film bow has the single-minded quality that wins festival prizes, but its cold protag and uninvolving approach will make it a very tough sell in the real world.
The slow pace sounds promising.
Monday September 24
13 Tzameti (France) (2005)
Grand Jury Prize World Cinema winner at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, 13 Tzameti is a snuff film rooted in the practical realities of our world economy where some human life (that of the poor, the powerless, the immigrant) is cheap. It joins other recent films â€“ from Eli Roth’s gore shocker Hostel to Michael Haneke’s CachÃ© to Gaspar NoÃ©’s I Stand Alone â€“ which delve into an ugly urban milieu informed by harsh divides of race, class and money. With its slow place and surreal story line, 13 Tzameti has a timelessness and visual elegance that can evoke Jean-Luc Godard, the early work of Polish auteurs Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski or French noir director Jean-Pierre Melville. The cumulative effect of so much horror and beauty is disconcerting. On one hand, there is the polished, visually refined, dark allure of Tariel Meliava’s Cinemascope cinematography. In distinct opposition is the slaughterhouse mood.
After all the positive feedback I need to check it myself
London to Brighton (Great Britain) (2006)
It’s 3:07am and two girls burst into a run down London toilet. Joanne is crying her eyes out and her clothing is ripped. Kelly’s face is bruised and starting to swell. Duncan Allen lies in his bathroom bleeding to death. Duncan’s son, Stuart, has found his father and wants answers. Derek, Kelly’s pimp, needs to find Kelly or it will be him who pays. Kelly and Joanne need to get through the next 24 hours alive…
Straight from the ‘shut up and fuck off’ school of British film-making â€“ â€“ has some excellently tense scenes, a polished script and thrilling, purposeful sense of direction.
This sounds a bit pretentious again but all the positive feedback got me interested
Triangle (Hong Kong & China) (2007)
Three Hong Kong cult helmers play pass-the-parcel in Triangle, a seriocomic crimer by Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam and Johnnie To that’s a diverting, sometimes head-scratching experiment that will chime with Asian movie buffs. â€“ â€“ Pic’s passage from an antsy setup, via more character-driven drama, to an elaborately choreographed finale plays to the strengths of each director as well as being a mini-primer of their different styles.
Instead of three episodes To, Hark and Lam have directed a single storyline, with each director helming one third of the movie. Brilliant idea.
Tuesday September 25
Because of the retarded train schedules I wonâ€™t be able to watch any movies. I have to get back to school for a few days (already taken 3 days off) and since the screenings at the festival start at 16:30 on working days it wonâ€™t leave me any time for movies. The last train leaves somewhere around 6 pm. So, on tuesday Iâ€™ll be sitting on a train for 4 hours. But, remember the governatorâ€™s words
Iâ€™LL BE BACK!
The program for the second weekend is still mostly open (about 2/3 will be decided during the festival when they see which movies are selling and need more screening). Some screenings have been decided already and Iâ€™ve reserved my tickets. Thereâ€™s gonna be explosive warriors, tattooed beauties and naughty korean girls, among others. But lets get back to that at a later date (somewhere around September 27)