Today was a wonderful day of screening but that is because I started with BLACK SWAN. I know that it will be released before our film festival but I simply needed to treat myself.
And now that I think about it, after this...only one more day to go (tear).
BLACK SWAN (Darren Aronofsky) US: Now, I am not ready to fully review this film tonight so I will only say that it is wonderful. Aronofsky is a truly talented filmmaker and with this film he has taken a simple idea, one that is found in many films and made it his own. Natalie Portman gives a breathtaking performance as Nina, who has been recently chosen to play the Swan Queen and the Black Swan in the ballet production of Swan Lake. From the moment that she has to embody both good and evil roles the film plays with your sense of perspective, understanding and expectations leaving you with a true experience.
*OKI'S MOVIE (Hong Sangsoo) South Korea
*22 OF MAY (Koen Mortier) Belgium
* AS IF I AM NOT THERE (Juanita Wilson) Ireland/Macedonia/Sweden
*I began screening all three of these films and after giving them about 20 minutes each I could no longer continue. Therefore I do not feel comfortable grading them, when I did not see them as a whole. I could go into more detail but I will spare you.
MAMMA GOGO (Fridrick Thor Fridriksson) Iceland: This movie had potential in the beginning but lost the lighthearted feeling that it tried to capture. GoGo is the mother of Christopher, who is a struggling local filmmaker who has lost all of his money. GoGo needs constant care as she begins to lose her memory and is becoming a danger to herself and the community. There are a few funny moments between the family as they figure out what to do with each other but that's it! The film does not develop much further, except that GoGo starts to be visited by her dead husband and she runs away to be with him, END.
MOTHER OF ROCK, LILLIAN ROXON (Paul Clarke) Australia: This was a fascinating documentary on Australian music writer and columnist Lillian Roxon. She championed the music that grew out of the dirty streets of New York including Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Alice Cooper. Not only was she close with Andy Warhol and company but she had a knack for spotting new talent and recognizing the potential of rock and roll. Even if you have not heard of her (she is the author of Lillian Roxon's Rock Encyclopedia) if you are interested in any of the music to come out of NY in the 60s and early 70s you should catch this film.
NORWEGIAN WOOD (Tran Anh Hung) Japan: This film is based on the book with the same title. Now, I have not read the book but the movie is not worth catching. Although beautifully shot, the film fails to capture any of the main themes that must be in the novel. We are introduced to three best friends in their late teens, two of whom are dating, when one of them commits suicide. The two friends, Watanabe and Midori, deal with his death by leaving town and when they reconnect years later they fall "in love" with one another. Watanabe vows to love and protect Midori but she is haunted by her first love's death and can never love him back. It is really a sad story on love and love lost but NORWEGIAN WOOD relies on inaction instead of action and emotion is hard to capture without explanation.
I am sad that there is only one more day of screenings. I do not want to return but I am excited to continue screening, searching and writing about movies when I get home.