Monthly Archives: November 2008

Well what about Weltstadt?!

I’m back for my third and longest day of film festival films. I can’t say anything good about the one that kicked it off though cos I just didn’t like it. The only reason I didn’t give it one star was cos eventually some of the seemingly non-connecting plots did in fact connect, but it was left slightly too long for me to care. It was based on a true story aswell so it’s not its fault it was pretty grim. I just couldn’t relate to the German Youths I guess!

Funny thing: when I gave my audience review slip in I heard the lady go “oh”! Guess she didn’t agree with me! I actually overheard some of the other slips being counted and there were some 4s – was I too harsh…?

No. Compared to yesterday’s “Black Ice” (which I loved but it was too late to post a review last night, expect it tomorrow) this did deserve a two, it’s all about my opinion after all.

Next: The Class.

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Parting Shot

I tried to write my last review on my iPhone App, but it crashed! Hopefully this one won’t be as long – because I didn’t like it? No, I did, but not as much as 57,000km… and for different reasons.

I mean, overall the movie didn’t look pretty, the soundtrack wasn’t particularly captivating. But I just liked the story, even if it was only 80 minutes long. Basic outline: moody cow (oh she was!) is sick of her life and arranges to commit suicide, but at the last minute she sees two kids fighting and shoots one of them. She doesn’t kill him, but the kicker is she works at this towns hospital and has to look after him as he recovers. I won’t spoil the rest, but needless to say I pretty much enjoyed the outcome. 3 out of 5.

Next up, one I’ve been looking forward too: Black Ice…

57,000km Between Us

Well, what a way to start my first ever film festival!

Before I get into the film, I’ll just let you know that getting there, collecting my ticket and getting back all went as fine as fine can be! I felt great and feel great having done it. There were loads of film festival workers there so there was no way I could have got confused. They were helpful, and gave me a little slip of paper on which to rate the film in order for the festival to hand out the audience award at the end of the festival – I know some wouldn’t agree, but I couldn’t help but award this film 5 stars!

Why did I give 57,000km Between Us (written, directed and edited by Delphine Kreuter) 5 stars? It just clicked with me so well. The main character of Nat was played exceptionally well by Marie Burgun, IMHO. A true representation of today’s, or perhaps the not too distant future’s generation (some of the seemingly buffer-free web streaming was a tad unrealistic)! The main reason it clicked with me so well was because of the other protagonist, Adrian, who knew Nat only through the internet, because he was stuck in an isolation ward (most likely having chemotherapy, but his illness was never mentioned). He chatted to her through an online game where they got “married”, and then Nat, of course, spoke of meeting Adrian (since he only lived 57,000km away, you see)! But Adrian wasn’t used to having visitors. In his subplot we met his mother, who seemingly lived alone in a very decadent apartment. She chatted to her son via webcam, but couldn’t bring herself to visit him, or look at him on the PC. She also lied to his friends about where he had gone. After finally meeting Nat, who left him her hat (one of the things I liked the most in the film, Nat’s fashion sense!), he almost dies, but luckily is revived through drugs. I felt a pang during this scene, as it reminded me of my time in the BMTU and ICU. When he eventually got online again with his mother, she broke down in front of her monitor, finally looking at him. That’s where the film ends, really. There was a little hint that perhaps meeting Adrian had persuaded Nat to live less in the virtual world, cooped up inside her own isolation unit (her bedroom). And that when Adrian got better, they would be together in the real world.

So yeah, if you know me, hopefully you get now why I couldn’t not give this film five stars. The other subplots with Nat’s mum, Margot, were interesting too, and nothing seemed out of place much, not even Nat’s transexual dad, “Nicole” (though there was an implied suicide that went completely unnoticed and was never mentioned by the characters whether it did or didn’t happen). I’ll admit, it took me half an hour before I got into it, due to its cinema verite style of filming with handheld cameras, and shown in a 4:3 aspect ratio. But as the film progressed I think I understood why it was shot this way: to help us see things like the audience of Margot’s online webshow (in the subplot she and her family were constantly filmed by her slightly sociopathic boyfriend), like Adrian, stuck in his bed watching the world through Nat’s webcam (a particularly beautiful scene displays this best, when Adrian points out to Nat a dead rabbit on the side of the road and she picks it up, carrying it gently and laying it to rest under a blossom tree).

I mean, the parallels it runs to my life, especially with what I mentioned today about wanting my family on TV, are kind of spooky! I am like Adrian (except that I have a nicer mother than he did, thankfully). Alas, who would be my Natalie? Yeah, that wasn’t the best bit – having to watch it alone, knowing who I wanted to be there with me watching it too… The 57,000km between us sucks – the film however, is the best one I’ve seen so far at the festival (oh, don’t be a spoilsport and point out that I’ve only been to one, I know, I know)!

Check back next Monday night, when I’ll hopefully have my opinions posted regarding Parting Shot, and Black Ice (though, given I won’t be back home till 10ish, I may post my reviews at a later date).

Today is an important day in history

Today is an important day in history…

For me! I’m about to venture out into the big, wide, unknown world and attend my very first Film Festival! The 22nd Leeds International Film Festival launched yesterday, and basically since I started Film Studies when I was 16 I’ve wanted to go, as they show some really unique films that you just can’t see anywhere else. I’ve basically been missing out on so much for the past 6 years, but this year, with my coveted bus pass, I can finally go! I no longer have to rely on anyone else, and, let’s face it, no-one else in my family would really be interested in sitting through a two hour documentary movie about Australian Exploitation Films! So in a few hours I’m off to see 57,000km Between Us, a French film about a girl who spends most of her time chatting to her online friends in order to escape her crazy family! It sounds like my perfect film, Jenny even said so! I’ll share with you the rest of my schedule once I come back from this one, I haven’t booked all my tickets in one go as much as I wanted to, I need to make sure I can actually go through with it hitchless! Trust me, I’ve looked at every angle and thought what could go wrong and I’m pretty safe in all aspects now. Thank you to everyone who’s put up with my crazy, I promise you it will not last much longer and I’ll hopefully glide through the next two weeks!

In TV news! We’re getting HD Sky+ either next week or the week after, which will be quite exciting. I honestly aren’t that fascinated by HD, but more by the ability to pause and rewind TV! I’ve had a similar PVR on my PC for the past 4 years but that’s already crashed once and I’ve now filled up the hard drive so this couldn’t have come at a better time. I loved Dead Set, it had an awesome ending but I won’t spoil anything for you, just get the DVD! I’m hoping they repeat it on 4HD – it would look awesome! I’ve also been watching The Family since it started and I really enjoy it – I’ve no idea, it’s kind of how Big Brother was in its very first series, so untouched an unaware of being on TV! I fear for the next series, but at the same time I’d love to put forward my family, cos next year’s going to be immense for us (ooh, intrigued, I’ll tell you more soon) and everyone I’ve asked has said we should, but my mum doesn’t like it. However I’m sure if she and her family were on it she would! But yeah, I was actually really worried watching last nights episode cos their cat went missing for three days, and you’ve seen him in all the previous episodes and the opening titles, and I had this knot during it and prayed for a happy TV ending but realised it wasn’t TV, it was real life! But luckily he did come back… and now I’m wondering if the production team just abducted him to fuel the plot!!!

Anyway, must dash, speak to you later! Congratulations Obama and his supporters, what an age we’re about to enter!