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TIFF 2004: Weekend Movies

Thought I'd let you know a bit about the four film festival movies that we saw over the weekend. Two of them were excellent, and two were merely good. Interestingly, how I felt about the "good" movies was dramatically affected by how the directors answered questions afterwards.

The first movie we saw was Lila dit a (Lila Says). It was one of the excellent ones. A French movie, based in a poor neighbourhood in Marseilles. It's about a boy coming of age and a young woman having to deal with relationships and how she finds love. It starts provocatively, but in the end is something quite different. I don't want to say much more, since it is playing tomorrow morning, 9:45am, at the Paramount. But, you can read more about it at the TIFF site.

The other excellent one was 3 Iron (Bin Jip). This was a Korean movie from a director that we've enjoyed in the past. Besides directing, Ki-duk Kim also writes and edits his films to create a very unique look and feel. There is very little dialogue and the characters are revealed more through beautiful portraiture than through plot. At previous festivals we've seen Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring and The Isle. Each of the three is quite different, particularly in setting, but somehow create the same sort of ambience. There is a bit more humour in 3 Iron. Click here for the TIFF synopsis.

The two films that were merely good were My Summer of Love and Antares. (See the TIFF synopses for the former, here, and the latter, here.) Without going into too much detail, both were about people trying to connect through relationships, and both explored characters through that. What's interesting is that my opinions of the two movies were dramatically changed by the post-screeing Q&A with the directors... in one case for the worse, and in one for the better.

After My Summer of Love, the director, Pawel Pawlikowski answered questions in such a way that he brought his own movie down a notch or two. He was the opposite of pithy, but besides that, he seemed to reveal to me that there was less behind the movie than I would have hoped. On the other hand, Antares director Gtz Spielmann helped his movie quite a lot. Beyond being quite charming and humble, he was able to produce fully-loaded answers that demonstrated the depth behind not only his movie, but his whole professional philosophy. One of these directors seemed to have something to say about life, while the other seemed to be just exploring filmmaking.



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