Maxine Chan's 1998 SIFF Reviews

Max is an old friend who has been attending the festival for many years. Her reviews are quick and to the point. The "pimp-slap" seems to be a recurring theme of her reviews this year.


Burn: no plot but direction and cinematography were excellent. great moods. the director could go far with a well written script.

Six ways to sunday: i enjoyed it more than i thought. good script and acting. worthseeing. deborah harry was excellent as the obessive possive sexually driven mom. there is violence.

Resurrection man: extreme violence, violence, more violence and it starts with mutilation of a man.

Dancemaker: good documentary about paul taylor dance troupe. enough dance to keep everyone happy.

Love can seriously damage your health: there were some funny moments but not up to boca y boca. the main female lead was annoying, selfish, grating, etc. i think this was his version of gone with the wind. in the end the male lead says to her go "fuck a fish" verses, "i don't give a damn.." i personally don't give a damn.


Carried Away: Seattle looks great as a location but everyone in the movie has been directed to act monotone. Saw 15 minutes and left and came back for the last 5 minutes and no one has changed and it was going no where.

Day of the Beast: Dark dark comedy about the coming of anti Christ. Worth seeing.


Billy's Hollywood Kiss: fun romance comedy. The drag queens doing musical numbers were fun, but not as fun as Priscilla, queen of the desert.

Campus: needs big time editing, like 40 minutes from the middle. The beginning and the end were fine but it wanted to be a black comedy on corruption, government, morals, etc. It didn't go far enough on some of the points and others it was belaboring same old sterotypes. I'm tried of seeing feminist woman being portrayed as man hating, man bashing, and everything is about sexual harassment.

Hanging Garden: needs some editing. 50% of the viewers liked it and the other 50% could've done without. The movie is about abusive relations and power and control.

The Well: Some people who saw it thought it was like watching paint dry on the wall and others thought the first half was slooooow and the last 15 minutes were great.

12 Storeys: needs editing though some of the stories were interesting as it relates to Singapore...all the political and moral changes. Singapore is not as clean, crime free, and wonderful as it has been made out to be. So they have pee detectors in the elevators but you can still pee in the hallways....

Life and Sex in LA: Needs some editing. Some of the interviewees are not that interesting and they could've been edited out. They didn't add anything to the documentary.

A Man in her life: Filipino soap opera. Two handkerchiefs. Love found and lost, responsiblity, humanity, and what makes a man.


dead man's curve: start like tv movie about frat boys killing their roommate to get 4.00 so they can get into Harvard. How far will they go for a good gradepoint...there are several twists to the story. I figured out two of the three. The third caught me by surprise. Worth paying $4.00 not $7.00 to see it. Stay till the very end or you will be sorry.

Things I left in Havana: soap opera but well done. The male lead in this was also in Amor Vertical. Immigrants all over the world are usually second class citizens and if you don't have the legal documents to stay, you're screwed and you will lie and cheat to stay in that country. Sad state of affairs. The movie promotes the sterotype that Cuban man are great lovers.

Memories: Japanese animation. Very well done. Three separate stories, three separate style of drawing. The last story could've done with 10 minutes worth of editing.

Surrender Dorothy: dark, hard edge, disturbing movie. It's worth seeing but it might be too much for most people. Two males caught in a domestic violence situation. To humilate one of the male, the other one makes him do the housework dressed in female clothing. Changing him into Dorothy. Most women do housework and it's not seen as humilating but with the twist that it's two male in this relationship, it becomes humilating. Maybe more people will understand what domestic violence is about. There are also issues of gender identification, sexual orientation, and drug addiction.

Opium War: It was well done but we got a edited version. This version is about 115 minutes verses 151 minutes that was played in Vancouver and other places. It surprised me that the general population know so little about the Opium War. As I was walking out of the movies, I overheard someone say, "I thought the British just signed some paper and got Hong Kong." Wrong!!! China went to war over this. The British got half the Chinese hooked on opium and through false pretenses got China into a was that forced them to concede Hong Kong to them. Hong Kong is now back to China.

*Note: the Black Mask, starring Jet Li is dubbed, not subtitled. They were not able to get a subtitled version.

*Note: Frank Lloyd Wright, the print is a 16 mm not 35mm.


Stella Does Tricks: I didn't see it but most people thought it was dark and depressing. Same old story prositute decides that tricking for a living is not a good way to make money decides to get out but there is the nasty pimp. British pimp don't wear bright colors and tend to dress like bankers.

How to Make the Cruelest Month: this was the cruelest movie. Don't go see it. He female lead character is annoying, grating, and I want to pimp slap her. She discover her new years resolution in her diaphragm case: stop smoking and fall in love. Thank God I didn't have to be here friend or boyfriend. She is mentally ill in my opinion. She decides to go back to an old boyfriend and fuck him. She does and they're in his vw bug in the desert. After the fuck she says, "I love you, now say that back to me." he does but she doesn't feel that he says it with enough emotion so she leaves him in the desert without clothing or shoe. He is stark naked with a sombero. Don't even rent it on video.

I Went Down: I didn't see it. But people that saw it said it was dark and depressing and it was had to understand the accent.

Postman Blues: Japanese film. Quirky with homages to some move screen hit man/woman. It was funny in parts. Very dark, black humour with mistaken identity and yakuza thrown it. A guilty pleasure. Well done except for the "happy" ending. I'm not sure if I would consider it a "happy" ending.

Kitchen Party: bad sound quality, which made it difficult to understand. It's about group of young adult having their party in the only the kitchen of this house because the parents of the host of the party are obessive about cleanness and orderliness. Everything is measured to be exactly in their place. If anything is out of place than the son cannot leave town to go to his choice of university and have to live at home and go to school their. The story intercuts with a party that his parents are at. I left after one reel. Didn't think it was going anywhere and if I can't hear the dialogue why stay.

Mr. Jealousy: staring eric stoltz as a man obsessed with jealousy over girlfriends's ex boyfriends. This gets in his way of having lasting relationships. He tends to fuck them up. He meet new girl and wants to try to change but winds up in following one of his girlfriends old boyfriend to his therapy group and joins it as someone else. Slight comedy. Well done but it would play very well on tv as the movie of the week.

Black Angel: Japanese film based on the "manga" comic book style. Lots of violence but very stylistic. It works for me as a midnight movie. Two hit women whose lives intertwine with the yakuza and there are some slight plot twist, who is the real mother of one of the hit woman. How is the crooked policeman related to them? Definitely see it for midnight.

Remembering Sex: three women friend decided to have HIV/aids test because one of their college friend is dying of aids. One of the woman had a sexual relationship with him. The movie center on the five day wait for the test result. I don't care for any of the character. Good effort for first time directing debut and script debut of julie lynch. Nothing to do that go see it. But personally it could've been trimmed by 60 minutes and it would be a good short.

Broken Vessels: two guys who are paramedics who become junkies. Cut it by 60 minutes. We all know that junkies will not come to a good end. It doesn't have the sly hum our that trainspotting has.

Post Coitum: married woman meets younger man and falls passionately in love with him and have great sex. She can't forget him and destroy her life and marriage. This is a French fluff comedy. It's fun but not great movie.

Lea: well done movie of young poet that dies at age 22 of a stoke. depressing...we all know the ending but how did she get there. Good acting. She came from abusive adoptive home to abusive husband who grew to love her. Her actually brought her for 50,000 German marks. Not a laugh a minute movie.

Buffalo 66: great performances from angelica Houston and Ben gazzara and the rest is, "why am I watching this movie?" actually the best part of the movie was watching the boom mike and the apparatus holding the mike going back an forth between the characters as they are speaking their lines for 15 minutes. I swear the boom Mike looks like a giant dick that was going to go up the female character's crotch. Another shot had it going up the side of her leg. The move needs some editing. It tries really hard to be different, independent with an edge, David lynch wannabe.

Full Tilt Boogie: documentary of the making of the "dawn to dusk" movie. The opening of the documentary was very clever and fun. It should of ended there. It's 60 minutes too long. It was done well but not well enough. Used hand held camera which made me ill.

Adam and Eva: Swedish fluff. About a married couple and what happens to them after the marriage. I enjoyed it. If you've seen several bad movies during the day and this is playing at 9:30 I would go to it. It would put a smile on your face.

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