Wednesday, 13 July 2005

film festival lineup

A string of serious and fraught meetings and research sessions behind us, we've got out shortlist of movies to not miss seeing in the Melbourne International Film Festival, which starts next week. They are:

Ingmar Bergman's new / last movie, Saraband
Michael Haneke's newest film, Cache
Claire Denis's ditto, The Intruder. I'm really looking forward to this one. It sounds a lot like Beau travail in a number of ways - Michel Subor, Jean-Luc Nancy, postcolonial settings, a nineteenth-century adventure story lurking in the background.
The Dardenne brothers' L'enfant.
Sokurov's concert film: Diary of St Petersburg: Mozart Requiem.

That more or less concludes the auteur segment of the programme for us (though I may also try to see the new Raul Ruiz movie, since there won't be another opportunity.) Movies by people with complete command of their medium, and with real things to say in it, movies that you can go into the theatre and sit down and know that you're in competent hands, and whatever is dished up will be worth the time. Oddly, not every movie screened in film festivals meets this criterion ;)

Then there is also:
Los Muertos from Argentina. Some good buzz, some doubtful buzz...
Primer an sf / time travel film, also reportedly interestingly original.
Wolf Creek Australian horror movie, will get a massive release outside the festival, but what the hell. Dorian says this is based on a blending of the Ivan Milat and Peter Falconio stories. errr!

and some documentaries, though this year it seems perhaps trickier than usual to avoid the naff and the gimcrack. The trumpeted documentary renaissance sometimes has a bad effect at festival time - too many documentaries that really aren't worth the attention get added to the program. Nevertheless,

Chain I like the premise and it sounds good as a movie, not only as reportage.
The Education of Shelby Knox ditto.

And also: Me and You and Everyone We Know. Chuck and Ellen have posted widely different reports about this movie in recent days. Ellen in fact explicitly says not to see this movie. You know, I respect both these people's writing and taste very much, so this presents a real problem. A problem that can't be addressed at all from a condition of ignorance however, so I will see the movie and discuss this more later here, along with the rest, if I can find the time.


Chuck said...

I saw The Education of Shelby Knox on American public television and really liked it, in part because I found Knox to be such an impressive human being with a powerful story. I hope you get to see it because I'd like to hear your take on the film.

Same with the Miranda July film. I've been trying to figure out why I'm willing to accept that film's treatment of teen sexuality when I was so critical of Pretty Persuasion and other films that deal with that subject in potentially similar ways.

Darren said...

When the lights came up on L'Intrus, I leaned over to my friend and whispered, "God, what a disaster." The next day I spent, like, 3 hours arguing about the film, and it began to grow in my imagination. After seeing it again, I have no qualms calling L'Intrus the best film I saw in 2004, and if it were playing anywhere within 200 miles, I'd book a hotel and make the drive.

One piece of advice: Go in expecting a film even more elliptical than Beau Travail. L'Intrus, even compared to Denis's other films, is shot with a completely subjective camera. It's like 140 minutes of Denis Lavant dancing. Just an amazing, amazing film. I'm praying for a DVD release.