Saturday, 29 July 2006

film festival

It is Melbourne International Film Festival time. I just got home from a screening of United 93 where the seat next to mine was occupied by Orson Welles. Orson had a little sleep in between the first tower being hit and the Pentagon getting hit. The movie I saw last night was a depressive Chinese film about lost children, murder, gangsters, prostitution, sickness, family breakdown, unwed motherhood etc called Luxury Car - I certainly recommend it over United 93. Which was quite a weird movie and I fear somewhat pointless. It did not strike me as offering much in the way of catharsis though as an outsider (to American society) I can't really know of course. I feel bad for saying that I didn't think much of the film but then it would also be impossible to make any kind of aesthetic judgement of it.
I did win the door prize for filling in a voting form however. I got a bunch of dvds: Hana bi, the Eel, Ikiru, Drunken Angel, Dolls, Down by Law, Stranger than Paradise, Night on Earth. That is not the Jim Jarmusch selection I'd have chosen for myself which is a bit annoying.
More festival updates may possibly be forthcoming in the near future. It really depends on whether I see any films that I think you might be interested in hearing about.


Helen said...

Did you say you saw Jindabyne? I loved it. Of course you would have known that it was based on Raymond Carver's "So much Water, so close to home" which was also portrayed in Robert Altman's Short Cuts, both of which I'd seen/read, but I just didn't remember the connection (senior moment?), so I just had the knowledge that I'd seen this story before but couldn't get why. Duh!
The shimmering landscapes with those celtic-drone harmonies in the soundtrack gave it a wonderfully eerie, "Picnic at Hanging Rock" feel.
Why do you think they gave it an American lead, given the nature of the film? Hoping to make it more saleable overseas?

Lucy Tartan said...

It's also the subject of a Paul Kelly song. I'm certain the american leads were to do with getting the film sold overseas (don't know if it worked for Lantana, though) perhaps the Raymond Carver story also.
Helen are you familiar with the real Jindabyne area? I'm wondering how much of my reaction to the movie is coloured by knowing things about that terrain which aren't disclosed in the film.

Ampersand Duck said...

Sounds like United 93 was a movie that just had to be made by and for the Americans, a sort of cathartic therapy. I don't feel any urgent need to see it.

I'm itching to see Jindabyne, and am also curious how it would be viewed by someone who had never tramped/skiied/got drunk at the pub in the area.

Helen said...

Apparently, a couple of reviewers have made the Picnic at Hanging Rock comparison.

Yes Laura, I've spent some time in country near there, bushwalking with my Dad. I miss it. Kosciuszko national park is different to Victoria.

Anonymous said...

United 256 million was made by a Brit, whose last film (if I remember rightly) was Bloody Sunday which turned up at MIFF a couple of years ago and was pretty brilliant. And highly political through its very naturalism.

Funny about Gabriel Byrne. I've just read Richard Grant's Wa Wa diaries, which portrays the hunt to get him for that film. The producer may well have wanted an overseas name, but it is also possible that Ray L. wanted the best he could find. It is also possible that he could play the Aboriginal dimension because he had the overseas name - it would strengthen the deal against a local (ie weak) element.

- barista

Lucy Tartan said...

I understood that until recently it was taken for granted that movies with Aboriginal subjects were considered "box office poison" in the Australian film industry (I heard Bryan Brown say that, ages ago). Is that still the received wisdom?