Larry Glickman is a major artfilm fan. I rarely agree with him but maybe you will.
The more stars, the more I recommend the film.
***1. Buffalo 66 - USA - Vincent Gallo acts, writes and directs. His
is Christina Ricci, who is wonderful. This is a superb chamber piece
style of Jarmusch and Kaurismaki. Angelica Huston and Ben Gazzara play
the mother and father in a comic vein. The movie has good music. The
opening scene has the hero having to pee and not finding a place to do
after his release from prison. Other notable scenes are eating tripe,
father killing the little boys puppy, the parents looking for the one
2. Post Coitum - France - Madame Bovary meets Fabio. The only notable
scene in this tedious film is the cat howling. The French are stuck on
adulterous wives, and loveless sex scenes.
**3. Lea - Slovakia, Germany - Bleak picture of present day rural
and Eastern Germany. The characters are very well developed, slowly and
carefully. A true story of poetry, beauty and pain.
**4. The Opposite of Sex - USA - Martin Donovan in Tales of the City
Lolita (Christina Ricci) again. A little long, but very witty soap
opera tale of
two school teachers adventures in the "demi-monde."
***5. The Life of Jesus - France - Rural life in the north of France,
Zolaesque. This film has no music other than that of the local band,
plays. Takes place in the town of Bailleul, near Lille. The very
good lead is
David Douche; there are no professional actors. We get epilectic
in how to use a bidet, hardcore sex, a middleaged mother getting naked
of the bathtub, a fat girl having her panties taken down by a gang of
A vivid portrait of small town life, with beautiful scenes of the
countryside. No Parisian phoniness here!
**6. Broken Vessels - USA - A story of the descent into drug addiction
young emergency paramedic in Los Angeles. A wonderful portrayal of
"Tweeker Sue," the neighbor.
**7. God Said Ha! - USA - Julia Sweeney stand up. She is very
holds the audience for 85 minutes. Not good for hypochondriacs,
There is sickness and death in her very personal story. Her portrayal
in an earlier movie is still my favorite. Patt had no sense of humor
whatsoever, and that made her very funny. God Said Ha! has its own
webpage, godsaidha.com. I liked Julias description of how her mother
picked out a new crucifix of Jesus to go over the alter of her parish
**8. Gadjo Dilo (Crazy Non-Gypsy) - Romania - This portrayal of modern
Romanian gypsy life is superb. The music is wonderful. Gypsy life is
passion, as we all know. Also suffering.
9. Adam and Eva - Sweden - only a Swedish comedy can be depressing. We
all miss you, Ingmar. Unfortunately, the Swedes can be ordinary, just
us. We dont all have the same sense of humor. The Swedes are
sophisticated and sensitive, I must admit.
10. Stella Does Tricks - Scotland, England - the English in this grim,
misantropic movie is hard to understand, due to the Scottish accents.
addicted prostitute remembers her childhood in Glasgow, while
resentment, anger, and revenge. I wonder if the film maker relished the
mean-spiritedness of our pathetic Stella and her deserving victims.
11. How to Make the Cruelest Month - USA - (which is December). This
movie is in the genre "college slackers," told from the point of view
young girl for whom it is hard to have any sympathy. I hate to tell
she does marry the young doctor.
12. I Went Down - Ireland - This movie is hard to understand due to the
Irish accents. I slept through most of this genial gangster buddy flic.
**13. Postman Blues - Japan - here we have farce, melodrama, comedy,
sentimentality, and a joke milked for all it is worth all mixed
together in a
melange dear to the Japanese moviegoer. This makes for a very
movie. The postman makes two friends, a gangster and a professional
assassin, and falls in love with a dying cancer patient.
14. Full Tilt Boogie - USA - documentary of the making of the movie
from Dusk to Dawn, which came out last year. It was interesting if you
want to know how an "independent" movie is made. The monster costumes
were the most interesting. The monster women are "chthonian", and the
pimple pus is disgusting.
***15. Kitchen Party - Canada - This small film is very insightful
relationship of parents to their teenage offspring. Portrayed here very
skillfully were middle class people trying to survive, and not really
how to do it. Drug use by the boys and alcohol use by the girls and the
parents seems the only way these people know how to go about it. Little
dramas rule, and the teens are awfully good at creating them. The
lives seem ruled by fear. Just seeing the way that the living room
vacuumed is worth the price of admission.
*16. Mr. Jealosy - USA - Eric Stoltz lead actor. This is a Woody
film about young Manhattan writers. The characters are sophisticated,
not as much as Woody Allen New Yorkers. These are "normies" and they
have relationship problems that we all wish we were so glamorous that we
could have them too. The movie tells a good story and is entertaining
watch, with good music; it is especially nice to hear the Jules and
after all these years!
17. Black Angel - Japan - this movie about female assassins is taken
comic book series. Here we have style. We also have blood, shouting,
wailing, screeching, moaning, rape, vomit, shooting up, shooting and
kicking, and female punching bags. We learn that you must kill all of
henchmen before you can kill the leader, who may happen to be your own
mother. We also learn that when you pour whiskey on someone, it really
should be Jack Daniels. A highlight of this film is a dance on a bed
large pink scallop shell for a headboard.
**18. Remembering Sex - USA - the lead, Christine Harnos, is very
beautiful. The story about three girlfriends living in New York ten
after college, and their realization that they will each have to take
test,(the year is 1983), considering their sexually promiscuous lives.
lead is an artist, and has an alcohol problem, which means that she
always remember her nightly activities. The character development is
slow and after awhile the viewer gets to know these young ladies, and
to care about them.
*19. Firelight - England - 19th century manorhouse, significant looks,
well-crafted masterpiece theater type movie, loyalty, devotion, and
Enough sentiment to bring tears to an audience, and a good story. The
theme is that love and desire in great intensity can change reality.
It may be
true, who knows; science still has some new forces to discover in the
***20. Dirty - Canada - Babz Chula gives a superb performance as a
marijuana dealer. We here get the real Vancouver. And we get skilled
acting. Art tries to capture reality, or the way that the artist can
show us what he sees of it. This movie succeeds. Vancouver will
never look the same.
****21. Deja Vu - USA - This movie is the latest in a series of Henry
movies, who along with Whit Stillman and Atom Egoyan, is one of my
favorite movie directors. The first scene is in the old city of
we move to Tel Aviv, Paris, Dover, London for most of the movie, then
Angeles, back to London, and finally end back to Paris. This is the
movie where Jaglom has tried to deal with a more challenging subject
matter, going beyond his forte, which is intelligent conversation.
the characters analyze their feelings about the unfolding events of
and the choices that confront them. What role does chance play in our
and is there a hidden purpose to seemingly random events. Do we go with
our gut feelings, or do we go by our experience. Are we part of a
materialistic world, or is there an underlying spiritual realm which
accessible to us through emotion, not intellect. The series of extemely
improbable encounters that happen to the heroine of the story can be
brushed off as a good movie story, or they can be considered
seriously. It is
up to the viewer to decide.
***22. The Last Days of Disco - USA - Whit Stilman takes three years to
write a movie script, and the hearing the beauty of the language of the
characters in his stories is our reward. If only we could hear the
language spoken like this more often. The style of the language in his
movies is unique. His characters are what were called in the eighties
yuppies, and the lives of these precocious young professionals are
of many of us provincials. This movie recreates the disco scene of
eighties, and develops the characters and friendships of the two young
and three young men for us, who may have known some people from this
New York social milieu at some time in our lives, or maybe we just know
them from the movies.
*23. Nosferatu - Germany 1922 - F.W. Murnau is a great German
director, and this silent classic is worth seeing, although I am sick
of Dracula movies. This one moves right along. It is visually very
beautiful, and the screen is tinted at times in reds, blues, yellows,
24. Surrender Dorothy - USA - A story of herione addicts. A lot of
shooting up. This is an example of the director making a fairly
interesting film, despite his intention to make a polemic about
***25. Voyage to the Beginning of the World - Portugal - a lot of
"walkouts" during this film. All talk and no action. Marcello
Mastroiani's last film before he died. Musings on the nature and
meaning of memory; this of course reminded me of Proust. In Portuguese
the word is "saudades." Needs to be seen twice.
***26. Hold You Tight - Hong Kong - This film is the most erotic of
the festival so far. The Cantonese speak very rapidly, so it is a
challenge to keep up. It is like a short trip to Hong Kong, and the
development of the relationships in the film are interesting but
confused due to the use of flashbacks.
***27. Road to Nhill - Australia - this is an Australian "Our Town."
This portrait of a small, isolated town is moving and original. The
humor is unique and wonderful.
28. Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Germany - This film is entertaining
and well scripted and acted. What would you do if you only had a
short time to live? Would you get drunk, steal cars, rob banks, and
go to see the ocean? Not me.
***29. Things I Left in Havana - Spain - Many of the best films in the
world these last few years are coming out of Spain. This one is no
exception. It is a story set in the Cuban emigre community in Madrid.
This is a world most of us will never see firsthand. This story of
three sisters newly arrived from Cuba relates how the new arrivals
find their way in a foreign land.
***30. Dead Man's Curve - USA - An up to date Hitchcock hommage.
These college students are very, very bad boys. This satirical film
is also very well acted. The lead is devilish, Matthew Lillard. This
movie has its own website at www.deadmanscurve.com
***31. Sixth Happiness - India - This movie is about a Farsi family in
Bombay, a very wonderful family indeed. I think that people in India
have a different way of thinking about death than we do in the West.
Farsis bury their dead in trees and let the vultures devour the
corpses. They have a very old religion that came from Persia, and
they were driven out by the Moslem conquest and went to India. They
are a very affluent and educated community. This movie deals with the
subject of love and death in a very intense and beautiful way; a way
that most of us have never seen.
*32. Pusher - Denmark - Copenhagen does have an unhappy side to it, a
world of drug addiction and violence. This "cinema verite" treatment
of the subject could send some viewers to their first AA meeting.
****33. Next Stop Wonderland - USA - This very wonderful film is set
in Boston. We are again dealing here with the question of whether
life consists of a series of random accidents, or whether there is an
underlying meaning or purpose to what only appear to be random events.
In a movie, of course, it is easy to make things appear "fated," and
this device is used here. There is good use made here of the Boston
Aquarium, much humor, and the advice to always read at least one line
out of a book once you open it, even if by accident. We also have a
discussion here about sadness, and a Brazilian mentions the concept of
"saudades," which is a mixture of sadness and happiness. This was the
subject of the earlier film which starred Marcello Mastroianni in his
**34. Regular Guys - Germany - These Frankfurt policemen are dealing
with questions of what is manliness. I am starting to think that
German humor seems somewhat silly to Americans, but may not really be
so. Germany is not as puritanical as America, but the attitudes
towards sex are similar to ours. And so there are the same categories
which categorize what is normal and what is not. This movie tries to
make fun of this. It is quite entertaining.
****35. Frank Lloyd Wright - USA Documentary - Great architecture is
compared to a symphony, and this inspiring life of the greatest
architect is accompanied by Beethoven throughout. We forget the
importance of architecture and the large role it plays in our lives,
except when we travel, and then view the great buildings of the world
on purpose. But we take it for granted while we live with and in this
art form every day.
****36. Cleopatra's Second Husband - USA - This movie will either
offend you, or you will love it! Maybe then you will know if you are
a "normie." The acting by Boyd Kestner is very good; he is a very,
very bad boy. The wife is just very bad. The husband is just normal.
Hint, the house sitters let the tropical fish die.
*37. Under the Skin - England - I missed the last half hour of this
movie, but I will count it because I was later filled in on what
happened. This was a prolonged nervous breakdown on the part of a
young lady after the death of her mother, which took the form of
sexual promiscuity, to the luck of the movie viewer. She is really
***38. Caresses - Spain (Catalan) - This Catalan language movie is a
"chain" movie, where each pair parts and one of them meets the next
person, until the last one meets the first one, and the circle is
complete. Usually these pairs involve love affairs, but in this movie
it is other relationships. Here we have a married couple, the husband
slaps wife, the wife beats up husband; the wife meets her mother, who
she hates and puts into a retirement home, where the mother meets an
old friend, who she tells of her hatred of her daughter in a shocking
monologue; the old friend meets her brother, who is a street bum, and
whose wife she seduced years before; the brother meets a bad boy, who
robs him, the bad boy meets his father, and they take a bath together;
the father meets his mistress and tells her that she stinks in a
shocking monologue; the mistress meets her father and insults him; the
father meets his lover, a young man; the lover meets his mother, who
only wants money from him, and then the mother meets the original
battered husband, and gives him "tea and sympathy." Why are these
people so endearing?
39. Claudine's Return - USA - I fell asleep during this movie, so may
have missed the development in the relationship bewteen the Italian
drifter and the tramp, who is really from a wealthy Charleston family.
*40. Funny Games - Austria - This film will require you several days
to get your bearings back. I do not recommend watching it. It is
like entering the gates of Auschwitz. The horror is unrelenting. The
acting job is superb. At least an effort is made during the film to
remind us several times that this is just a movie. Horrible cruelty
can happen in this world; we should be aware of it.
***41. Relax, It's Just Sex - USA - Many movies start out witty and
exciting, but fritter themselves out inexplicably. This movie goes
from witty humor in the first half, to maudlin sentimentality in the
second. It is interesting and entertaining enough, though, for me to
recommend it. And it has the best mother so far.
42. Marie Baie Des Anges - France - This movie is as gorgeous as a
Kalvin Klein ad, but is completely pointless, with no discernible
theme. The fourteen year old prostitute is named Marie, and the Baie
Des Anges is along the French Riviera.
***43. Lost and Found - USA - This is another wonderful movie set in
Boston. It is about love and emotions, without the glitz. The
yelling roommate is well acted and funny.
**44. Girl With Hyacinths - Sweden - 1950 - This is a well done
classic Swedish flim. It consists of flashbacks and interviews by the
neighbor of a woman who commits suicide at the beginning of the movie,
in order to find out why. Seeing this now makes us see how much the
world has changed in half a century.
***45. The Thief - Russia - A true picture of the cruelty and
hopelessness of life in Russia in the Stalin period. The advice to
the boy by his mother's lover is to "make people fear you, so that you
can get what you want from them." This is the lesson that Stalin
taught his subjects.
*46. Geneologies of a Crime - France - We get to see one of the great
actresses of Europe, Catherine Deneuve, play two roles in this film,
which is in the French "absurdist" tradition. It was hard for me to
judge, but the film has much of interest, in a literary vein, maybe
satirical, but I don't really know. It had interesting characters and
situations, maybe "surrealist." It may be based on the poetry of
Mallarme, some of whose lines are used in the film.
*47. Inspirations - USA - documentary about artists. Included are
glass, clay, painting, dance, song, architecture. Included are Dale
Chihuly, David Bowie, Roy Liechtenstein. Many words of wisdom, but
unfortunately I fell asleep.
**48. Smoke Signals - USA - This film is very well done, set in the
Coeur D'Alene Indian Reservation, and some of it filmed at our very
own Soap Lake! This movie is a lesson in humility and forgiveness.
It totally avoids all the bombast and preachiness that we have learned
to expect in movies which may fall into the "political correct"
category. The acting is skillful and the humor is low key. The music
of the American Indian presented here is very wonderful. This is a
gentle dose of sadness and beauty.
**49. My Secret Cache - Japan - This comedy is very well done. This
is Japanese humor at its best.
**50. Sex Life in L.A. - USA, German director - This documentary goes
into a world that is not so forthcoming in honesty, due to laws which
can lead to imprisonment for certain activities. But here some of the
interviewees are honest about drug use and hustling careers. At least
the porn video industry is legal! This movie may not really tell us
anything that we don't know, but it is very satisfying for anyone who
has any curiosity at all.
**51. Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss - USA - This is a "twink" movie,
and well done for what it is. Some of the characters are silly.
Entertaining, and a rehash of America's obsession with "deviant"
*52. The Campus - Germany - Set in Hamburg, this movie shows how the
"sexual harassment" craze has moved to Europe from America, and is
being used for political ends in Germany as well as in America.
****53. Hanging Garden - USA - This movie is fantastic. Only one
person in the audience caught on, and it wasn't me. I think it needs
to be seen twice.
***54. Backroads - Spain - A father and son movie. It is quite
wonderful. It is set in the seventies, just at the end of Franco's
**55. Forgotten Light - Czech - This film is set in 1987, while the
communists still ruled, and their reign seemed like it would be
forever. Yet it was only a couple of years from its end. We get a
picture of faith in an incomprehensible God, which survives even in an
***56. Twelve Storeys - Singapore - This film is about suffering,
sadness, and frustration. It begins with a suicide. Lives of "quiet
desperation" are apparently not so quiet in Singapore. Chinese tend
to be quite vocal. This movie has wonderful acting. There is a woman
living with her nagging mother, a newly married couple, the wife from
Peking, the husband runs a noodle stand, and a brother and his two
younger siblings, including his sister who he wants to protect from
reality. The suicide's ghost lingers to suffer along with those left
behind on this earth.
****57. Wilde - England - The film is an "event." There have been
high points of human civilization, like Renaissance Florence, ancient
Athens, and nineteenth century England. Here we get it, and Oscar
Wilde was part of it. Unfortunately, every great civilization harbors
the poison that will lead to its decline. In England they called it
*58. Jeanne and the Perfect Guy - France - This is a musical, and I
enjoyed the French songs very much. Some are sung while the
characters are nude in bed together. Others are very funny, or
choreographed very well. The story is light and flawed and somewhat
tedious, with loose ends.
***59. Lawn Dogs - USA - A friendship between a little girl and a
young man. The little girl works through her darker fantasies, to the
peril of the young guy. The other characters are somewhat
stereotyped, but they illustrate to us once again "the banality of
**60. Yours and Mine - Taiwan - This comedy is very original, like a
series of skits, but using the same characters throughout. The jokes
are not taken too far; they are dropped after they have made their
point. The humor is dark, and different from what we are used to.
The situations center around a plastic surgeon and his staff, and are
grouped in four categories: Car, House, Body, and Sex.
***61. Amor de Hombres - Spain - Here we see the Spanish Renaissance
continuing to bloom. The Spanish version of Bette Midler is the
narrator. She truly loves and appreciates the masculine gender, and
unlike many movie ladies, accepts them as they are. Her admiration is
reciprocated. She does not have to find true love, she has it. An
****62. Gods and Monsters - USA - This movie must be a true story, but
may be somewhat fictionalized, I don't know. It is set is fifties
Hollywood, with flashbacks to World War I, as the dying movie director
remembers his past. There is some very good acting in this movie,
especially by Brendan Fraser.
***63. Lucky Star (Buena Estrella) - Spain - It is amazing how the
Spanish films are consistently excellent. They are not only well
done, but they deal with ideas that make you think. This film made us
think about the nature of goodness and love.
*64. Sugar Factory - USA - This film was flawed, but had a good story,
if it had been done well. A little girl freezes to death while hiding
in the refrigerator during a game of hide and seek. Consequences
follow, including a nervous breakdown where the main character pees on
the dinner table at his brother's wedding. The point of the film is
made at the end: Go with what you feel even if it seems way out of
*65. Carried Away - USA - This movie was made in Seattle in locations
that I see every day. Unfortunately "familiarity breeds contempt."
This film had a very good story, but the flaws in the script may have
been major, or it may have been flaws in my judgement.
***66. Day of the Beast - Spain - This modern adventure of Don Quixote
and Sancho Panza is set in present day Madrid. Don Quixote is here a
priest who sets out to save the world from the anti-Christ. Very well
*67. Late Full Moon - Bulgaria - Unfortunately this interesting film
about the rigors of old age in a very impoverished ex-communist
country was ruined by a preachy ending about the evils of capitalism.
Apparently this film was made by people nostalgic for their defunct
cradle to grave welfare state, however illusory it may have been in
reality. Curiously, there was lip service given to life being
meaningless without God. Maybe the filmmakers believe there is no God
and that life is meaningless.
*68. Tic Tac - Sweden - The lives of these horrible people all
interact like in a game of tic tac toe. Are we being shown the result
of fifty years of Swedish socialism: hopelessness and vulgarity? What
ever happened to Ingmar Bergman?
***69. Six Ways to Sunday - USA - The ultimate Jewish mother movie!
This film is set in a fictional Youngstown, Ohio, in a hodgepodge of
decades of this century, with very loveable movie gangsters, all of
whom get bumped off by the end of the film. Only mother stays with
us, alive or dead. No Jewish American princesses here; only the hoi
polloi. I remember them from my childhood.
**70. Dancemaker -USA - Documentary about the Paul Taylor Dance
Company. Paul Taylor is one of the greatest living choreographers,
who started out dancing with Martha Graham. I have seen them perform
many times, both in New York at City Center and Seattle at Meany Hall
every year, so I was familiar with both the dancers and the dances.
***71. Love Can Be Hazardous to Your Health - Spain - This one is a
comedy about a life long love affair. We get to meet both the Beatles
and the King of Spain. It has some wonderful Spanish songs, and a few
words of wisdom. One is that "if a man remains a child all of his
life, he will always like to play."
**72. The Kingdom - Denmark - This marathon made for Danish TV so far
consists of eight parts of 70 minutes each. Do your math. This year
I only watched the first part again; I saw the first four a couple of
years ago. The Kingdom is about a large hospital, and its gradual
invasion by the spirit world. Can modern science deal with matters of
life and death?
*73. Cloud Capped Star - India 1960 - This classic Indian film was
hard to follow, especially since old subtitles are often white on a
white background. The director Ritwik Ghatak is considered one of
India's great directors, but is relatively unknown here. His work
resembles that of Mizoguchi in Japan; intimate looks at extended
***74. Nettoyage a Sec (Drycleaning) - France - This drama is set in a
French provincial town, Belfort. We have a married couple who run a
successful dry cleaning business, their small son, and the husband's
mother living above the business. Is life complete? French movies
can be superficial, but this one is not. We do get to see one of the
treats of French movies, the wallpaper, which in France is ubiquitous.
***75. Henry Fool - USA - Hal Hartley, along with Jaglom and Stillman,
is one of America's noteable directors, with his own distinct,
recognizable style. This film was somewhat puzzling to me, built
around the character of Henry, who seemed a movie version of Steph
Gorkii, an artist friend of mine. But the portrait that emerges is
provocative; Henry is a powerful presence in his world.
****76. Wicked - USA - This suburban murder mystery is set in one of
these very expensive, new suburban developments like Mill Creek, but
outside L.A., in the desert. Huge, new houses, gated community. Every
character has a motivation for being the murderer. This film is very
done. It is satire, delving into father daughter oedipal motives,
*77. Brandon Teena Story - USA - This documentary is competantly done.
We get a portrait of small town Nebraska, uneducated but good people,
unable to comprehend the psychopathic killers dwelling among them.
America's flawed psyche is laid bare.
****78. Brother - Russia - We have had high points in the history of
humanity, and low ones. Russia is at the end of a century of the
film does not promote tourism to St. Petersburg. It is easy to get a
the seamy side of the city, because that is all of it. This film is
powerful portrait of brutality that you will not forget it. In
cruelty is limited to psychopaths. In Russia, it is normal people just
**79. Above Freezing - USA - This film's characters are working class
people from New York City. The script and acting are well done. The
are in the small mindedness of the characters. Maybe people are
this, or maybe they are movie cliches. Or maybe the battle of the
basically at this low level, the mentality of Mafia gangsters.
**80. Marthe - France - Competently done WWI film. I had an insight
feminism happens between wars, when women become dissatisfied that the
men are not dying for them. The use of the Kol Nidre during the love
was bizarre. Leave it to the French. Shostakovich string quartets
used in better taste.
81. Unknown Cyclist - USA - Sappy bicycle marathon along the California
coast. Pretty scenery. Homely lead actress.
**82. Georgica - Estonia - This is the first time that I have ever
seen a film in
the Estonian language. The title refers to a work by Virgil, which
one of the
two characters in the film is translating into Swahili. The story is
relationship between an old man and a young boy in his care.
*83. How the War Started on My Island - Croatia - This movie was about
the beginning of the war between Serbia and Croatia. It had a lot of
in it, but was basically serious. The laughter of the audience
84. I Married a Strange Person - USA - This cartoon is drawn with great
talent and imagination. Some of the scenes are very inspired. But
most of it
is mindless violence. To see the one quarter of it that is brilliant
*85. Delivered - USA - Why can't a film made in Seattle be good? Again
familiarity breeds contempt. This movie is cute. Good actors, good
locations, slap together a story, and you have a film, entertaining.
delivery man as the basis for a serial killer comedy?
**86. When Trumpets Fade - USA - This film is a very detailed
a small battle in WWII in Germany towards the end of the war. We
group of about six American soldiers into a battle that is hell on
recommended for the squeamish.
***87. Land of the Deaf - Russia - The three Russian films this year
have all been of the highest quality and seriousness. The acting in
this movie was fascinating and very professional. Again, we are shown
the degradation of life in Russia. You don't have to be a drug addict
there to resort to prostituting yourself for money. The characters in
this film are so vividly drawn, that you realize that the long
tradition of acting and drama still survives in Russia today.
***88. Wintersleepers - Germany - I started to wonder while watching
this film where are the great films of post-war Germany, equivalent to
those of Italy, France, Russia, Sweden, England, Japan, and now Spain.
I have always thought that it would take at least fifty years for
German art to recover from the holocaust. There is evidence in this
film that the revival may happen. Although flawed, this movie, set in
the Bavarian Alps, makes a serious attempt to explore what life is all
about. The mountains are spectacular, the plot puzzling but thought
*89. Motello - Denmark - This is a clever combination of three
Shakespeare plays: Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello. I think if you know
Danish, you would get more of it. We think we are seeing Hamlet in
present day Denmark, but end up with the murderer being from Macbeth.
And Rosencrantz and Guilenstern are saved. This is the third film
festival film this year where people get locked in freezers!
*90. Thank God He Met Lizzie - Australia - This is the only wedding
movie at this year's festival. If you think about it, "wedding
movies" form a genre of their own. There are happy ones, sad ones,
funny ones, philosphical ones, one's where the groom doesn't show up,
and like this one, nightmare weddings. Unfortunately, I could only
understand about half of what was said, sometimes Australian movies
****91. Felice, Felice - Holland, Japan - This movie is about the life
of the photographer Felix Beato, set in 1895 in Japan. The movie was
filmed entirely in Holland, using Beato's hand-colored photos for the
exterior scenes. For a recreation of life in turn of the century
Japan, this movie is not to be missed.
92. Around the Fire -USA - This film about followers of the Greatful
Dead rang false. One viewer said that it had a political correct
slant which put him off. The movie dealt with marijuana and LSD use,
and treatment ordered by the court.
****93. Mothertime - England - This film was a surprise. It was
excellent. Three film characters this year have been locked in
freezers, this one was locked in a sauna. It seemed to have reference
to a classic English film, Our Mother's House, where the children try
to live without their mother, and carry out a deception that the
mother is still there. Bach's Goldberg Variations are part of the plot.
***94. Love is from the Devil - England - This film deals with the
life of the great English painter Francis Bacon, and tries to recreate
his painting style in film. Since his work is difficult, the film
tries to explain what his art means, by showing the world through his
eyes. I think it is a fairly successful attempt. His life is not
*95. Floating - USA - This may have been set at Waldon Pond. It
involves the relationships between two fathers and two sons, and the
friendship between the teenage sons. Unfortunately I fell asleep
during the middle part. There was what I call a "shrieker" in the
audience, which is defined as a stupid woman who laughs very loudly at
innappropriate times; she kept waking me up!
96. The Governess - England - This movie outraged me, which was the
only enjoyable part. I got so bored that I left before it was over,
but people told me the rest of the dismal story. This is the fourth
movie in which a governess or au pair seduces the man of the house.
This movie was set in mid-nineteenth century England. The very devout
young Jewish lady managed to violate most of the ten commandments by
the end of the movie. I think it was some sort of feminist statement.
As the heroine of Annie Get Your Gun sang, "Anything you can do, I can
*97. Dark Harbor - USA - This film involved psychopathic behavior by
totally normal people. There was no motive for murder other than to
create a surprise ending for the film. But it was very entertaining.
***98. Denial - USA - This comedy had serious ideas, entertainingly
presented. It explored the nature of male sexual fidelity, and the
different expectations of males and females. In order to live, maybe
we need to be in some degree of "denial," or in other words "ignorance
is bliss." Otherwise, would we ever eat in restaurants?
*99. This is my Father - Canada, Ireland - The Irish tell a really
good story, and this movie is no exception. But unfortunately it was
made by North Americans, and had some serious flaws. One of the best
movies ever made, The Dead, by John Huston, has a similar theme. A
seemingly socially acceptable place to "pin the blame" these days, is
on the Catholic Church. It is an easy way out.