Friday, September 17, 2004

Winding Down (The Final Screening Days)

This will presumably be my last entry for the Toronto 2004 journey (I have a few more films to see but there's little to no chance I'll be posting on the last day when I'm packing up and heading out)

And due to continued exhaustion short comments! (my eyes feel like they might fall out of their sockets or something)

day six
I wish I had the strength to comment on yesterdays which I only gave grades to... but alas. I'm wiped out (the theme of the day seemed to be reality / memory / fiction and every possible reading thereof. At least in the Varda and Almodovar hours... I will eventually have more to say on those. You know that there's always a lot to say on the Almodovar pictures.

day seven
don't ask me what I think of this one because I don't really know... I was struggling to wake up and it was snail paced. Charming in spots --particularly in its movie-obsession sequences. We got very sad news at the screening: The director is very ill and the producer said he may only have a couple more years to live.

I thought I would like this one until about a third of the way through when I abruptly lost interest. This Greek film (mostly in English though -argh!) is based on the mail-order bride phenomenon in the early part of the last century. Despite the intriguing premise, the movie quickly devolved into something more suited to a TV soap opera. In fact, the subject matter is strong enough that a TV miniseries would probably be the way to go. No chemistry between the leads and TV level performances as well. And since the filmmaker decided that he was most interested in their romance, the lack of spark and movie-star love charisma capsizes the whole affair...

The type of film that isn't that exciting to watch but sometimes ends up nominated for a foreign language Oscar because it's reasonably well put together and it's got that whole National Geographic curio-exotic thing going for it in its portrayal of a lost time and way of life.
Q&A note: The director was very nice and the film is good enough that I hope he gets other chances behind the camera (it's pretty ambitious logistically for a first feature so kudos to him for pulling it off.)

This hasn't been released in Mexico yet but for those of you in Spanish language markets where this starts its international platform release next month: You're in for a total unique treat. Very funny. Non-derivative. Gets better as it goes (so give it time --it's the audience not the movie that has to adjust to the room). Etc... Blessedly its own little oddball thing. Can't wait to see it again.


Anonymous said...

Nathaniel just so you know Temporada de Patos already opened in Mexico (actually about 2 years ago) in limited release. It had a decent success. It's my favorite Mexican film from after 1970.

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