Friday, May 16, 2008

SFIFF 51 Summary

The 51st annual San Francisco International Film Festival has come and gone, and unlike last year, I didn't have a whole lot of downtime in which to compose individual reviews. In light of the fast-approaching Seattle International Film Festival, I thought it more prudent to get my list of films seen up quickly, rather than trickling them our review by review. So here's my list; if I get around to it, this will be followed up by more in-depth posts, but I make no promises.

Note: links open in new window/tab, thanks to my rudimentary JS skills.

In the City of Sylvia
Mystical Destiny Babe: The Movie!
Mock Up On Mu
Standard Operating Procedure
A Stray Girlfriend
My Winnipeg
Billed by director/narrator/subject Guy Maddin as a "docufantasia" about his hometown. This may be Maddin's most conventional film yet, but it's probably also my favorite. Am I getting soft in my old age?
Shadows in the Palace
La Zona
An assured, polished thriller.
Hallam Foe
The Squid and the Whale in Scotland. So, more fucked up.
Up the Yangtze
A Chinese-Canadian director takes on the subject of the Three Gorges dam by examining its affects on one family living on the bank of the river. This personal approach to a monumental story works surprisingly well. See Still Life for more of the same, but in a fictional form.
The Judge and the General
A Girl Cut In Two
Still Life
Jim Jarmusch does Up The Yangtze
All Is Forgiven
The Secret of the Grain
Raw, raucous, and a little bit gross, this is definitely worth seeing if non-stop French dialogue for 2.5 hours won't piss you off. A story of Tunisian immigrants carving out their lives in the South of France. Though the ending is rather too drawn out, it's worth it just for the incredibly long middle scenes, and for the girl (who makes her film debut here, and won several awards for her efforts).
A cute little time-travel movie that does a better job than most of tying up its loose ends. Not the mindfuck that was Primer, but good entertainment.
The Man From London
The latest from Béla Tarr is slow as ever, but this time with a story, a noir tale of murder and a suitcase full of cash. Beautiful to behold, but not moving in the way that one would hope.

No comments: