My favourite film thus far has been the fabulous Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In. Based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist the film portrays the trials and tribulations of a twelve year old boy dealing with bullies, his parents divorce, school and living next door to a vampire. Subtlety using ideas and motifs from many classics of the genre, in particular
Running a close second was In Bruges, the tale of two hitmen hiding out in the small
Guy Maddin made a welcome return to the festival after Brand Upon the Brain astounded viewers at last years festival, despite the fact that his The Saddest Music in the World was voted last place by the audience a few years ago. A point brought up, much to the directors amusement and festival director Clare Stewarts embarrassment, during Maddin’s hilarious Q&A session after his latest film My Winnpeg was shown. The gala screening of his hilarious travelogue featured a live on stage narration. Two thumbs up must also go to the trashy Donkey Punch, love that outboard motor in the face scene…(best since Dr Butcher MD!) and the high school nightmares of Class. Another nice surprise was the quirky Russian fairy tale Mermaid. I also very much enjoyed Steve McQueen’s Hunger, a beautifully shot retelling of the hunger strikers of the early Eighties, in particular Bobby Sands. The director used his artistic background to stunning effect and was aided by some fabulous performances. The unusual structure of the storytelling was slightly unsettling and there was an assumption that the audience had some prior knowledge of the subject but this warts and this expose definitely lived up to its
I missed out on Takashi Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django but did manage to catch the director’s Crows: Episode 0 which was enjoyable but to be honest, we’d seen it all before. You, the Living also showed initial promise but descended into an episodic mess that when it worked certainly raised a smile, but come the films conclusion it garnered little more than a shrug of the shoulders.
The retrospective season this year is the amusingly From Kerr to Eternity gave me another chance to revisit Jack Clayton’s The Innocents. Last time I saw this classic was at
That’s it for now, there are plenty more movies to see so I’ll be back with a final round up next week.