Tuesday, October 2, 2012

VIFF 2012 - Day 5

A quick recap of the films I saw on Day 5 of the 2012 VIFF:
Camel Caravan
directed by Gao Feng
A visually impressive "Chinese Western", set in the picturesque Gobi Desert. Unfortunately squanders the incredible setting and plays it safe all the way. There are some cool action sequences, but it adheres too closely to the typical adventure film formula, is extremely heavy on the melodrama, and uses some cheap CGI.   
Our Children (A perdre la raison)
directed by Joachim Lafosse
Devastating. Niels Arestrup and Tahar Rahim repeat their chemistry from A Prophet, but Emilie Dequenne blows them away with her best performance since Rosetta. Story and character evolution is expertly done. Even though we know early on where the film is headed, the journey there is just as compelling and no less powerful. Unfortunately technical issues meant they had to resort to using a DVD screener with time-codes in the middle of the screen and two minutes of footage missing. Hopefully they get that fixed for the remaining screenings.

Full Review
directed by Cate Shortland
This seems to be the year of films about children affected by war. Cate Shortland's second feature is one part Walkabout, one part The Piano, and some sprinkles of Diamonds of the Night. A breakout performance from newcomer Saskia Rosendahl in the role of the title character (pronounced Lor-a). Sometimes gets a bit too heavy handed with the symbolism, but overall a very impressive effort.

Full Review
Key of Life
directed by Uchida Kenji
Hilarious. Most laughter I've had at the movies all year. Great mix of characters and very clever dialogue. It's a bit long for a comedy (128 minutes), but it never feels that way because it's so fun to watch. Sakai Masato and Kagawa Teruyuki are terrific. Great way to end the day after the two very heavy films I saw before it.

Full Review


365 moviesandsongs365 said...

Key of Life sounds like a good time. I don't remember watching any Japanese comedies before, probably are some if you look for them. I'll add it to the list.

Michaël Parent said...

Wow four films in one day! Nice festival BT!

BTW, I read that in the NYFF they had similar problems to four screenings too. Digital projections don't seem to be holding the road that well.

d_4 said...

A comedy? Been a while since I've heartily laughed.. I could look forward to this.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Me too. I highly recommend keeping an eye out for it.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I actually think there's less problems overall with digital. It's just when the problems occur, there isn't an easy way to fix it or work around it.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It is great fun. Also look up Survive Style Five. That was the last Japanese comedy I really enjoyed. I'll try to think of some others to recommend when I'm done here at the festival.

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