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ICMF-FF6: Programmer's Thread

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sol
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#481

Post by sol »

Just watched:

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (2021)

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Honestly, I don't think we need a film like this in the festival: #510 on the TSP 21st Century list, almost 400 checks on iCM and 31,000 ratings on Letterboxd. This a well-known and already heavily promoted film internationally, and not some obscure hidden gem.

Quite aside from that though, nothing about the film wowed me. The third story was certainly well done, but the other two tales did little for me, though admittedly I am not big on anthology movies in the first place. And Hamaguchi's dialogue-heavy approach is a real turnoff to me, anthology structure issues aside. With apologies to my fellow jurors, who I know absolutely this film, the only rating I feel comfortable with giving it is 0/3. Sorry guys; I've failed you.
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#482

Post by St. Gloede »

No worries at all, Sol. You're not expected to love every film. You are also handing out plenty of 3s. You have not failed us :D

-

Re: Obscurity - The purpose of the festival was never to specifically highlight the ultra-obscure. I'd say a healthy mix of critical successes is good and give people an "in" as many will have heard about them and can see it as the push to finally watch them. I also think it can be a plus if some participants have seen at least some of the films going in, as it makes it doable to participate in and complete more slates. When I was a juror I often looked for slates where I had seen 1-2 films.

The only criteria we have in place related to obscurity at present is the IMDb measurement of under 10k votes (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is currently only at 6k). That said, evaluating whether a film is big enough that we don't need to promote it is fair. I think this is what we did with a couple of films last year, granted, they were much closer to 10k votes. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy is certainly amongst the bigger nominees this year, and it will likely reach 10k in a couple of years, if not earlier. The discrepancy with Letterboxd is certainly interesting, but then I think added exposure for our type of films on Letterboxd vs IMDb is the norm. Randomly checking my highest nom (alphabetically), A Cop Story I see it has 1.8k on IMDb but 8.4k views on Letterboxd, which is about the same ratio.

I think the main consideration we should consider when deciding if a film is too big that it is not necessary to include them is whether or not it's inclusion would mean that a decent number of participants will see it for the first time (or if everyone who was already interested in seeing it should already have seen it - a point someone gave to me last year about my nom About Endlessness).

For Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, I think this would be the case, with an easy example being that you had not seen it until now and I'm fairly confident you watch far more new films than the majority of users here. Though it is also possible you just avoided it because you expected a 0/3 experience.
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#483

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St. Gloede wrote: August 1st, 2022, 12:37 pm I think the main consideration we should consider when deciding if a film is too big that it is not necessary to include them is whether or not it's inclusion would mean that a decent number of participants will see it for the first time (or if everyone who was already interested in seeing it should already have seen it - a point someone gave to me last year about my nom About Endlessness).

For Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, I think this would be the case, with an easy example being that you had not seen it until now and I'm fairly confident you watch far more new films than the majority of users here. Though it is also possible you just avoided it because you expected a 0/3 experience.
Yes, it was a film that I was avoiding since Drive My Car didn't exactly wow me. The film has been available to stream on the Criterion Channel and Mubi for several months now, so I could have watched it ages ago if I wanted to -- and I'm sure many others here have.

And actually, a more telling stat is that Wheel finished inside the top 10 of our recent Best of 2021 poll on the forum. :ph43r: It's really not underseen imo.
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#484

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Watched another Tom nom:

Sweetie, You Won't Believe It (2020)

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While it is quite novel seeing a bouncy Kazakh black comedy, the project always works much better as a splatter-fest than as a laugh-fest. The splatter is certainly great, with headless corpses, squished bodies and a grisly ripped ear, but other than a neat part where one of the friends hides behind the killer (mimicking his moves to go undetected), this simply is not that funny. Nor is the film any sort of satire on tall tales told to wives as I was expecting.

I don't know. I liked what the film was going for, and I liked that this came from Kazakhstan of all places, but yeah, this didn't totally jive with me, so 2/3.
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#485

Post by St. Gloede »

sol wrote: August 1st, 2022, 2:19 pm
St. Gloede wrote: August 1st, 2022, 12:37 pm I think the main consideration we should consider when deciding if a film is too big that it is not necessary to include them is whether or not it's inclusion would mean that a decent number of participants will see it for the first time (or if everyone who was already interested in seeing it should already have seen it - a point someone gave to me last year about my nom About Endlessness).

For Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, I think this would be the case, with an easy example being that you had not seen it until now and I'm fairly confident you watch far more new films than the majority of users here. Though it is also possible you just avoided it because you expected a 0/3 experience.
Yes, it was a film that I was avoiding since Drive My Car didn't exactly wow me. The film has been available to stream on the Criterion Channel and Mubi for several months now, so I could have watched it ages ago if I wanted to -- and I'm sure many others here have.

And actually, a more telling stat is that Wheel finished inside the top 10 of our recent Best of 2021 poll on the forum. :ph43r: It's really not underseen imo.
Quite a good point, though The Girl and the Spider came in just 4 spots lower on the lists and it has less than 1000 votes on IMDb and only 74 checks on ICM. The basis of Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy's top 10 spot is just 13 mentions, so hard to jump to firm conclusions on how many members have seen it. I had a quick look through its 338 checks and could only recognize 25 or so names, with 5 of them being from us programmers, though I likely missed a few.
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#486

Post by sol »

Eighteenth nomination:

18. Sundown (2021, Michel Franco, Mexico)

:ICM: https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/sundown-2021/
:imdb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15115280/reference/
:letbxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/sundown-2021/

Preferred slate: Latin America --- Alternative slate: Art House

Image Image

Pretending to have lost his passport, a middle aged man continues his vacation in Mexico while his family returns home to attend a funeral in this cryptic drama from New Order director Michel Franco. With his motives left mysterious for the most part, we are constantly left to second-guess why he is avoiding his family and staying on in Mexico. Once all is revealed though, the film leaves quite a bit to ponder in terms of second-guessing and the assumptions we all tend to draw from inconclusive evidence. Tim Roth is oddly sympathetic in the lead role too for a man who constantly lies to his love ones. Add in some interesting pig symbolism and lots of great seaside vistas and this is a film that truly lingers in the mind. I wasn't sure that I would nominate this one after watching it, but I liked it the more that I thought about it on the way home.

Given that Franco's New Order already has four 3-votes, I am curious what the same jurors will make of this very different follow-up film. And if beavis watches it, he can probably adjudicate whether this truly meets the arthouse bill (I'm not an expert on the definition, but it feels like the right label).
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#487

Post by sol »

Watched another Tom nom:

Last Call (2019)

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Answering the phone in a building she is cleaning alone one night, a janitor finds herself speaking to a suicidal man who has dialed the wrong number in this tense indie drama. The film is shot entirely in split screen - and both sides of the frame are single takes. This gives the impression of the events at hand unfolding in real time, and there are some clever split changes in which the screen slowly rotates from being split horizontally to vertically and back.

Technically well crafted and decently acted as the film is, I couldn't unfortunately get past the intrusive music score. There is also a really out-of-place sentimental song near the end. That said, I liked the way the ending was left a bit open-ended, and this was interesting enough for me to give it a 2/3.
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#488

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quote from a "Cloud in Her Room" review that went up on LB a few hours ago:

"Muzi is searching for her place --- literally. Her place in the family, her place in love. These places are filmed with increasing clarity and concreteness, wild, at times perfectly abstract cinematic images follow casually chaotic scenes, and the flow will not lead in the direction of effortless decoding. As with the Taiwanese New Cinema, we are witnessing the birth of a new cinematic language, these films will force us to reassess everything that is presented by streamers like Netflix or what we traditionally think of as film. But I would not call this work experimental. It's more like visual poetry, the poetry of a tough and sad girl who is like an alter ego of Muzi, who speaks a fantastically autonomous language, who finds fantastic tools, and whose syntax is already so coherent that she can safely afford to give a film over to the 'search' alone."

Only two more programmers to possibly watch this, very small chances of it getting another 3 score besides mine... why does this not hit home with more people?
(had to share it anyway ;))
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#489

Post by sol »

Can't win 'em all beavis. :shrug: I'll log The Cloud before it expires from Mubi so we'll see. In the meantime, here's a bit of a win to make you feel better:

Just watched:

Kill It and Leave This Town (2020)

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Depressed when his mother passes away, a middle aged Polish man remembers his childhood as a surreal blend of dreams and nightmares in this unusual animated feature. The plot is hardly straightforward without a clear distinction between what is real and imagined. The animation style is very unconventional too, mostly consisting on black and white line drawings, but there is also some playing around with three dimensional effects and depth of field. Particularly striking is the protagonist's giant head in the foreground as he converses with his mother on her deathbed 9as above). Throughout much of the film he also intriguingly sees himself as a gigantic spectator wandering through Lodz. And then there are such surreal images like humans being cut up and gutted like fish, crows with blood-soaked beaks, plus the lighting is incredibly interesting (most frames are not equally lit on all sides). Or to sum it up, this is one of those films so packed with sheer madness that its narrative shortfalls barely register. In other words, it's close but I'm giving this a 3/3.

And you probably have Tom to thank for making this a higher priority for me. :pinch: His negative comments intrigued me, particularly his claim that he would never think to recommend it. I simply had to see a film that I would make Tom say something like that. :ph43r: (sorry Tom)
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#490

Post by St. Gloede »

Nicely done, Sol! Kill It is now tied for 2nd place in the animated race so far.

Current "leaderboard" for animation:

Approved:

Mad God (4x3)

In competition: 2x3

Kill it and Leave this Town (also 1x2 and 1x0)
Cryptozoo (also 1x2 and 1x0)
-
Bombay Rose (also 2x0 and 1x2)

The others:

The Crossing (1x3 1x2)
Pompo: The Cinephile (1x3 2x2 1x0)
The Nose or Conspiracy of Mavericks (1x3 1x2 1x1)
The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily (1x3 1x2 2x1)
Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs (1x3 1x1)
Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll (1x3 1x0)
Poupelle of Chimney Town (1x3 1x1 1x0)
The Spine of Night (1x2 2x1 1x0)

The good news is that no animated film has only been seen by its nominator and that most have been seen by 3-4 programmers.
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#491

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beavis wrote: August 2nd, 2022, 11:03 pm quote from a "Cloud in Her Room" review that went up on LB a few hours ago:

"Muzi is searching for her place --- literally. Her place in the family, her place in love. These places are filmed with increasing clarity and concreteness, wild, at times perfectly abstract cinematic images follow casually chaotic scenes, and the flow will not lead in the direction of effortless decoding. As with the Taiwanese New Cinema, we are witnessing the birth of a new cinematic language, these films will force us to reassess everything that is presented by streamers like Netflix or what we traditionally think of as film. But I would not call this work experimental. It's more like visual poetry, the poetry of a tough and sad girl who is like an alter ego of Muzi, who speaks a fantastically autonomous language, who finds fantastic tools, and whose syntax is already so coherent that she can safely afford to give a film over to the 'search' alone."

Only two more programmers to possibly watch this, very small chances of it getting another 3 score besides mine... why does this not hit home with more people?
(had to share it anyway ;))
If it comes as any solace this non-programmer really liked The Cloud in Her Room... of course, I also like the "macho" African film, Night of the Kings, which has also received scant attention apart from St.Gloede's.
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#492

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All these movies struggle to be recognised, which is the point of our festival. I just wanted to highlight a good review that put into words so beautifully what my feelings were for that movie, as it seems that a lot of people don't hate the movie, but just don't know what to make of it. I was almost on the verge of saying "people seem to be looking more for stories in cinema than for images", but I know how pedantic that is ;)

I do mind a bit that the balance in the programmer squad has shifted slightly from an arthouse core to a genre core. Not that I have bad luck with my nominations, not at all, but with some of my darlings the lack of love stings a bit :) Maybe you should join afterall? ;)

Sol, your support for Kill it does indeed make me feel better! :cheers:
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#493

Post by St. Gloede »

Would love for you to join Cinewest, you catch quite a lot of new films regardless so should be very easy to reach the minimum threshold.

And yes, I feel you Beavis! A lot of the arthouse films sitting there with just our votes (or just us as the supporters). I tried to lobby Hurlu and Matthew to join, but to no avail. Maybe we could try to lure in Perception, Prodigalgodson, Insomnius, jdidaco, or someone else more inclined in our direction for the next edition.
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#494

Post by St. Gloede »

That said, it was quite balanced last year with essentially two arthouse programmers, two genre programmers, two drama/narrative/doc programmers and then Kingink being up for a little bit of everything. Sol can be quite inclined towards experimental films though (should I try my luck with those animated films no one liked last year? :D )
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#495

Post by beavis »

Maybe I'm comparing a bit too much with last year indeed, and it is just a feeling, no major issue or anything. Seem to be dealing out and recieving more 0-ratings this time around, which suggests my wavelength isn't in synch with the rest, but looking at the numbers on how my nominations are doing, things are very fine indeed :)

You can always try to renominate them, I'd have to look it up, but wasn't I the only one who was more negative on those...?
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#496

Post by cinewest »

beavis wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 1:04 pm All these movies struggle to be recognised, which is the point of our festival. I just wanted to highlight a good review that put into words so beautifully what my feelings were for that movie, as it seems that a lot of people don't hate the movie, but just don't know what to make of it. I was almost on the verge of saying "people seem to be looking more for stories in cinema than for images", but I know how pedantic that is ;)

I do mind a bit that the balance in the programmer squad has shifted slightly from an arthouse core to a genre core. Not that I have bad luck with my nominations, not at all, but with some of my darlings the lack of love stings a bit :) Maybe you should join afterall? ;)

Sol, your support for Kill it does indeed make me feel better! :cheers:
Yes, your paragraph about the film pointed to what made it stand out for me- the way the filmmaker used more abstract poetic imagery to access the interior of her character(s), even shifts in point of view (if I remember correctly). If I might generalize, I think that this concern for "interiors" and a less "logical" process is one in which women filmmakers are enriching the art form.
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#497

Post by cinewest »

St. Gloede wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 1:23 pm That said, it was quite balanced last year with essentially two arthouse programmers, two genre programmers, two drama/narrative/doc programmers and then Kingink being up for a little bit of everything. Sol can be quite inclined towards experimental films though (should I try my luck with those animated films no one liked last year? :D )
I thought last year's festival was outstanding, and would definitely participate if I had the time to do so.
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#498

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You can try your luck with whatever you want, Chris; you probably have a better idea than most about what my sensibilities are like (no Endless Nights please). I watched another of your nominations, by the way:

Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) (2020)

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Two stories of Lagos residents who wish to leave are presented one after another in this Nigerian drama. While some parallels can be drawn between the two characters and stories, they are barely related to another and it feels downright jarring when the film suddenly shifts from its male protagonist to its female one. The woman's tale is also far less interesting than the man's as he has to confront crazy bureaucratic red tape when a relative dies intestate.

This didn't really work for me, unfortunately. And regarding African cinema, I have Night of Kings on my radar to-watch, but it is currently only available to me as an online rental, so it's towards the bottom of my priority queue.
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#499

Post by sol »

beavis wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 1:30 pm Maybe I'm comparing a bit too much with last year indeed, and it is just a feeling, no major issue or anything. Seem to be dealing out and recieving more 0-ratings this time around, which suggests my wavelength isn't in synch with the rest, but looking at the numbers on how my nominations are doing, things are very fine indeed :)
I think your stuff is getting a lot of views, which is good. I know that I joined much later in the game than you, but I'm still waiting for feedback on most my nominations (excluding people who saw them prior to me nominating them).
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#500

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Okay... I just did a quick count and 50% of my nominations so far have been seen by nobody other than myself. Not complaining, it's still early days, just observing. I will probably automatically re-nominate anything from 2020 or 2021 that gets no other views, if anything does end up fitting that bill. Other than my cinema viewings, all of my nominations are easily found online, so I imagine they'll get more views before the deadline in sevenish weeks.
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#501

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cinewest wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 1:33 pm Yes, your paragraph about the film pointed to what made it stand out for me- the way the filmmaker used more abstract poetic imagery to access the interior of her character(s), even shifts in point of view (if I remember correctly). If I might generalize, I think that this concern for "interiors" and a less "logical" process is one in which women filmmakers are enriching the art form.
I understand that generalisation. (we) Just have to be careful that it doesn't become a sexist cliche, as talk about male and female gaze can sometimes lead to. We are afterall all human and not só different. But, the "female experience" is different enough that I do agree (some/most?) female directors bring that into their art. Foremost it seems to be the subject where the difference is, and I am hesitant to take any generalisation towards a conclusion of a less logical process... When it comes to a "poetic" style, for every Denis, Martel or Xinyuan Zheng Lu I can name a Carax, Grandrieux or Alonso...

Not to get off topic here, but I appreaciated your response and understand the sentiment, I think we are very much on the same wavelength concerning the Cloud movie.
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#502

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sol wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 1:45 pm Okay... I just did a quick count and 50% of my nominations so far have been seen by nobody other than myself. Not complaining, it's still early days, just observing. I will probably automatically re-nominate anything from 2020 or 2021 that gets no other views, if anything does end up fitting that bill. Other than my cinema viewings, all of my nominations are easily found online, so I imagine they'll get more views before the deadline in sevenish weeks.
My backlog on programming viewing has been only growing over the past weeks :) I do have some movies I am more curious about than others, and I do check the spreadsheet every once in a while to see if I could/should give priority to something... but, the later the nomination, the less chance it has that I will get to it I think (that latest Mexican nom shot to the top of my qeue though!), in general. There were also a lot of documentaries nominated lately and those just really aint my thing, so I can't give them priority...
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#503

Post by St. Gloede »

Circumstancial Pleasures (which has had support elsewhere on the forum) got 0s from you and Zzzorf while Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus got 1s from you and Zzzorf - so I suppose the exact same 4 programmers are open for both - you never know (but I'd say their chances are very, very low - might possibly work for Sol, but not sure they would for the others).

-

Thanks for giving it a shot Sol, and can definitely see you liking part one more than part two courtesy of the more Kafkaesque elements, personally I found the stories relatively equal, but I can see what you mean by the tone and storytelling feeling very different.

-

Glad to hear it Cinewest, hope you enjoy this year's edition as well.
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#504

Post by filmbantha »

I've watched a lot of nominations over the past few weeks, too many to comment on at any length but here is a brief summary of my thoughts and scores:

True Fiction 1

An intriguing horror with a decent setup that loses steam pretty early on. The story is a bit all over the place but there were a handful of good ideas that managed to redeem the film somewhat.

The Trouble With Being Born 1

This was an unsettling and slow sci-fi but not in a good way. It is well made and there are some eye catching visuals so even though it didn't work for me I can see why it may have appeal for others.

After Love 3

A poignant and powerful drama with great performances and a riveting storyline.

The Dare 2

A gruesome and gory horror about a group of people trapped in a room by a deranged psychotic. Some of the writing was questionable - like the victims struggling to connect the dots to work out who their captor is for far too long - but I had a fun time with it.

A Yellow Animal 2

There were some really enchanting visuals in A Yellow Animal and it would definitely be a solid addition to the Latam slate. I loved the light fantasy elements and the first half of the story that takes place in Brazil and Mozambique, though I found the latter part of the film less appealing when the story relocated to Portugal.

Memory Box 3

This was a really nice discovery, I was taken in with the notion of a young girl exploring her mother's memory box and the experimental techniques used to portray these old memories brought the story to life with an infectious energy. The soundtrack was excellent and the story explores a fascinating part of history surrounding the Civil war in Lebanon that brings added poignancy to the proceedings.

A Perfectly Normal Family 1

This was clearly trying to be a heartwarming drama and I admire its attempt to portray the difficulties a young girl faces when she is confronted with the news her father is transgender. However, I wasn't convinced with the performances and I feel that the story didn't capitalise on its main character's catharsis enough to draw me into her world.

The Dog Who Wouldn't Be Quiet 1

Beavis certainly has an eye for films with strong visual motifs and the cinematography here was on point. The narrative was far less successful though, the strongest part of the story (the intriguing sci-fi aspect) is pushed to one side relatively quickly after it makes its striking entrance, and I would have enjoyed it more if the film spent longer on this quirky post-apocalyptic concept.

The Falls 1

I fell for the Director's previous film, A Sun, pretty hard when I caught it in last year's festival nominations and was excited to see his next film. Sadly, it didn't deliver a similar experience, I struggled to connect with the protagonist on an emotional level as the meandering storyline made it hard for me to become invested in her plight. The ending was interesting though it wasn't enough to make up for the rest of the film's shortcomings.

A Taste of Hunger 2

This was a sumptuous visual feast from the outset, with a suitably moody score. The film explores some intriguing ideas surrounding the balance between work and family life though the end felt a little anticlimactic.

Furie 2

A slick and stylish revenge film with some impressive martial acts skills from the female lead. The action sequences were a little too few and far between for my liking but were choreographed well and made good use of a variety of locations.


I have also added a new nomination to the spreadsheet, The Feast - a visually striking, slow-burn, Welsh horror.

@Sol - I had a few films last year that didn't get a single viewing and I think that is normally how it pans out with such a variety on offer for our fellow programmers to watch. If you stick around for next year though you can always renominate any which you don't feel had the attention they deserved, I did this and it has proved quite fruitful for me this year. As you mentioned, we still have a couple of months of viewings to go so there is plenty of time for others to get to more of your nominations and I will continue to check out any that are available to me.
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#505

Post by cinewest »

beavis wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 1:45 pm
cinewest wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 1:33 pm Yes, your paragraph about the film pointed to what made it stand out for me- the way the filmmaker used more abstract poetic imagery to access the interior of her character(s), even shifts in point of view (if I remember correctly). If I might generalize, I think that this concern for "interiors" and a less "logical" process is one in which women filmmakers are enriching the art form.
I understand that generalisation. (we) Just have to be careful that it doesn't become a sexist cliche, as talk about male and female gaze can sometimes lead to. We are afterall all human and not só different. But, the "female experience" is different enough that I do agree (some/most?) female directors bring that into their art. Foremost it seems to be the subject where the difference is, and I am hesitant to take any generalisation towards a conclusion of a less logical process... When it comes to a "poetic" style, for every Denis, Martel or Xinyuan Zheng Lu I can name a Carax, Grandrieux or Alonso...

Not to get off topic here, but I appreaciated your response and understand the sentiment, I think we are very much on the same wavelength concerning the Cloud movie.
Yes, all interesting thoughts, behaviors, and actions can get turned into cliches, but I didn't want to go further into what I meant at the time, just roughly touch on certain things that I liked about Cloud in Her room as well as comment on a quality I have been sensing in the films of various women directors I have seen worldwide in the past 10-15 years.

Of course, all of these films are different from one another, just as the films of male directors are, and yet one welcome sensibility in the world cinema these days is something that might be described as female. Make of that what you will.
Last edited by cinewest on August 3rd, 2022, 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#506

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filmbantha wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 2:24 pm True Fiction 1

An intriguing horror with a decent setup that loses steam pretty early on. The story is a bit all over the place but there were a handful of good ideas that managed to redeem the film somewhat.
Good to have your mild support on this one. I think the fact that it's largely a is-he-or-isn't-he mystery thriller might make this more palatable for non-horror loving jurors than some of my other nominees that fit in with the Just Before Dawn slate.
filmbantha wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 2:24 pm The Trouble With Being Born 1

This was an unsettling and slow sci-fi but not in a good way. It is well made and there are some eye catching visuals so even though it didn't work for me I can see why it may have appeal for others.
I don't know about this one's chances since the European slate looks super-crowded and its eligibility for the LGBTIQ+ slate is questionable. But everyone has given it at least mild support so far and zzzorf has given it full marks, so I guess it depends what the rest of the jurors make of it. Definitely one of the most thought-provoking films about AI that I can think of.
filmbantha wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 2:24 pm Furie 2

A slick and stylish revenge film with some impressive martial acts skills from the female lead. The action sequences were a little too few and far between for my liking but were choreographed well and made good use of a variety of locations.
I'm thinking that the lowish action quota might actually make this one jive better with the jurors who haven't seen it yet, plus it's pretty big on the visuals, which I think the remaining jurors will appreciate. And I think it would be nice to have something from Vietnam in the Asian slate, which I assume is usually dominated by Japan and the three Chinas.
filmbantha wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 2:24 pm I have also added a new nomination to the spreadsheet, The Feast - a visually striking, slow-burn, Welsh horror.
I'll keep an eye out for that one if it drops on any of my streaming services. :thumbsup:

And nice to see you getting in a trio of my noms. I still have a bunch of your left to watch that I am eagerly anticipating. :woot:
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#507

Post by Fergenaprido »

Saw some more nominations and eligible films the last half of July.

New nominations:
15. Yo, adolescente (Memories of a Teenager) (2019 Argentina) - 3 - LGBTQ+, Latin America
I know this will be a divisive film and not everyone will enjoy it, but I liked it too much to not nominate it. Basic premise is that a teenager tries to discover his sexuality in the wake of a tragedy in his city and the death by suicide of one of his best friends. Based on a book and at least some real events (the tragedy in question was a fire at a concert in Buenos Aires in the early 2000s), this film was kind of messy, but then life as a teenager is also messy, so it worked for me as I didn't need everything to make logical sense. Available on Netflix in Canada, maybe elsewhere.

16. Monsoon (2019 UK) - 2 - LGBTQ+, Indie
I thought someone had already nominated this one. From the director of Lilting (2014), this follows a British man who fled Vietnam as a child as he returns ahead of his brother to find a place to deposit the ashes of his dead parents. The film kind of meanders as our protagonist fumbles his way through awkward encounters with old friends, new lovers, and random people he encounters. The main draw for most people is probably Henry Golding, the male star of Crazy Rich Asians, in the lead, and he doesn't cover up his tattoos in this one (including his traditional Iban coming of age tattoos on his shoulders, which a Vietnamese person obviously wouldn't have).

Films nominated by others:
None

Other films I've seen but haven't yet nominated:
Sublet (2020 Israel) was just okay, and I think we have better films for the LGBTQ+ and Asia slates.
Accomplice (2021 USA) was a throwaway watch for me.

August should be a better month for me to catch up on festival noms, though I am going on a two-week vacation the last half of the month so probably won't be watching many films then.
My Nominations
Holdovers
1. Divine Love (Divino Amor) (2019 Brazil) - 3 - Latin America
2. Matthias and Maxime (Matthias et Maxime) (2019 Canada) - 3 - LGBTQ+, Indie
3. Summer of 85 (Été 85) (2020 France) - 3 - LGBTQ+, Europe
4. The Shiny Shrimps (Les crevettes pailletées) (2019 France) - 3 - LGBTQ+, Europe
5. Young Hunter (El cazador) (2020 Argentina) - 3 - LGBTQ+, Latin America
12. The Awakening of the Ants (El despertar de las hormigas) (2019 Costa Rica) - 2 - Latin America - directed by a woman
New
6. Wildhood (2021 Canada) - 3 - LGBTQ+, Indie
7. Night Raiders (2021 Canada) - 3 - Indie, directed by a woman
8. Hvítur, hvítur dagur (A White, White Day) (2019 Iceland) - 2 - Europe
9. Wolf (2021 Ireland) - 3 - Indie, directed by a woman
10. The Long Walk [Bor Mi Van Chark] (2019 Laos) - 3 - Asia, directed by a woman
11. Luzzu (2021 Malta) - 3 - Europe
13. The Fever (A Febre) (2019 Brazil) - 2 - Latin America, directed by a woman
14. A Perfectly Normal Family (En helt almindelig familie) (2020 Denmark) - 3 - LGBTQ+, Europe - directed by a woman
To Watch
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
Wandering Heart
Vai
Kapana
White on White
Marygoround
Two of Us
Straight Up
Other Films I'm considering
Holdovers
1. Young Juliette (Jeune Juliette) (2019 Canada) - 3 - directed by a woman
2. nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up (2019 Canada) - 2 - directed by a woman
3. The Last Serb in Croatia (Posljednji Srbin u Hrvatskoj) (2019 Croatia) - 2
4. The Blond One (Un rubio) (2019 Argentina) - 3
Others
Parwareshghah (The Orphanage) (2019 Afghanistan) - 2 - Asia, directed by a woman
Indianara (2019 Brazil) - 2 - Documentary, LGBTQ+, Latin America, co-directed by a woman
Anbessa (Lion) (2019 USA) - 2 - Africa, directed by a woman - nb: American funding, Italian director, Ethiopian cast and setting
The Death & Life of John F. Donovan (2018 Canada) - 2 - Indie, LGBTQ+
Hayom Sheachrey Lechti (The Day After I'm Gone) (2019 Israel) - 2 - Asia
Lemebel (2019 Chile) - 2 - Documentary about a queer activist. The film was good, but it was learning about this person I'd never heard of that was the most rewarding. - Documentary, LGBTQ+, Latin America, directed by a woman
The Goddess of Fortune (La dea fortuna) (2019 Italy) - 3 - LGBTQ+, Europe
The Barbarians of the Bay (Les barbares de La Malbaie) (2019 Canada) - 2 - Indie (Quebec)
If Only (Magari) (2019 Italy) - 2 - Europe, directed by a woman
Coalesce [Les affluents] (2020 Cambodia) - a 1 or a 2 from me, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. Not sure if it would go over well with this crowd, but it's something I may nominate if we're lacking for Asian films by the summer.
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#508

Post by St. Gloede »

Btw, Beavis, I think you forgot to rate some of the new nominees in the sheet. You mentioned having seen Falling and Father amongst others.
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Post by Onderhond »

Watched Sweetie, You Won't Believe It, giving it a 1/3

A comedy with crime and horror elements from Kazakhstan. That certainly was a first for me. Sweetie, You Won't Believe Me does a pretty decent job combining various genres into a single film, but it fails to stand out in any discernible way. It's a film I felt I had seen before many times, often better executed too. The film looks fine, the performances are okay and the plot is pretty quirky. The biggest problem is that the comedy doesn't quite work as well as it should. The timing is a little off sometimes, and it's just not as edgy as it wants to be. It's still solid filler, from a country that isn't quite known for producing explicit genre films, so it's definitely worth a watch.
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Watched a Niels nom, but it felt like a Tom nom. Super stressful and British with a horror edge? Everything Tom loves.

All My Friends Hate Me (2021)

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As per the title, this British black comedy focuses on a young man who becomes increasingly worried that all of his friends are turning against him during a birthday getaway. Also in the mix is a stranger his friends picked up at the local pub who may or may not have it in for him. While the premise is pretty simple, this is quite an anxiety-driven ride and absolutely enthralling at its best as we get totally lost in his paranoia. The film has an especially remarkable sound design, full of exaggerated noises that may or may not be in his head. The stranger is a very dynamic character too; sometimes he seems genuinely malevolent but at other genuinely friendly, with the film really tapping into the awkwardness naturally felt whenever meeting anyone new, not knowing what they are like. An easy 3/3 for me.
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Post by Onderhond »

Yeah, I've channeled my inner Tom for that one. Glad you liked it sol!
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Post by beavis »

St. Gloede wrote: August 4th, 2022, 7:30 am Btw, Beavis, I think you forgot to rate some of the new nominees in the sheet. You mentioned having seen Falling and Father amongst others.
I'll fix that now

in the meantime, just made reservations for the World Cinema Festival at the end of this month, Chile is the main theme this year

Machuca ( Andrés Wood - 2004 - Chile )
Jesús López ( Maximiliano Schonfeld - 2021 - Argentinia )
Freda ( Gessica Généus - 2021 - Haiti )
Perro Bomba ( Juan Cáceres - 2019 - Chile )
Karnawal ( Juan Pablo Félix - 2020 - Chile )
Utama ( Alejandro Loayza - 2022 - Bolivia )
1976 ( Manuela Martelli - 2022 - Chile )
My Small Land ( Emma Kawawada - 2021 - Japan )
La vaca que cantó una canción hacia el futuro ( Francisca Alegría - 2022 - Chile )
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Post by St. Gloede »

Looks really interesting. Looking forward to hearing about your findings.
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#514

Post by Onderhond »

Watched Friends and Strangers, not bad, but didn't leave a big impression on me. 1/3 support:

A nice but slightly tepid indie road movie. The title is pretty apt in that we follow a guy around who runs into several people on his way, some are friends, some complete strangers. The outcome of these encounters is always the same though, there's a feeling of slight disinterest and lack of commitment that keeps these meetings superficial. What could have been the premise of a rather dark and sullen drama is actually quite light and breezy. I wouldn't go as far as to call it a comedy, but getting to hang out with Ray is pretty chill. The film does dig a little deeper at times, though I must say nothing much left a big impression on me. Just a pleasant little road trip in a nice setting, with pleasantly quirky characters.
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Post by sol »

Watched a beavis nom:

The Cloud in Her Room (2020)

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This mounts some very pretty imagery, most notably falling cigarette ash shot to look like snow. Some of the areas the main character visits look stunning in black and white too, particularly a series of underground caves and a nightclub with lighting on the walls. The deliberate pacing and seemingly random collection of events though made it hard to for me to get invested in the characters. With some awesome inverse colour sequences in the mix, I think I actually would have preferred for this to go down an entirely experimental, anti-narrative route. Still, it's interesting enough that I can offer mild support.
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Post by sol »

Nineteenth nomination:

19. Attack of the Demons (2019, Eric Power, United States)

:ICM: https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/att ... he+demons/
:imdb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10567388/reference/
:letbxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/attack-of-the-demons/

Preferred slate: Animation --- Alternative slate: Just Before Dawn

Image Image

As per the title, this animated horror comedy involves three young adults trying to survive one Halloween evening amidst a curse that has turned half their town into demons. It is a pretty simple premise and between the blocky character design and less-than-stellar vocal work, this is not an easy film to get into at first. Around halfway in though, things begin to grow increasingly bizarre and the final twenty minutes has an uncanny amount of animated bloodletting and imaginative gore effects. There is a lot of delightful weirdness too, like a disembodied human head scurrying about. With a cool 80s style music score and some intelligent movies vs. music vs. video games debate, the first half is decent, but it is really the second half that is worth watching for. And, as with the best animated movies, it is hard to imagine the second half being half as effective as live action.
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Post by sol »

Watched a Tom nom:

Cross the Line (2020)

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Set mostly at night in neon-drenched locations, this looks pretty great, but the constant handheld camerawork made it hard for me to bask in the rich neon hues - and as a narrative I thought that the film fell short. It meanders about for more than 35 minutes before the inciting incident occurs and the main guy's decisions before and after the incident are questionable, making him a bit of a hard character to get behind. Obviously there is something to be said for decisions made when panicked or stressed, but Mario Casas never quite made his character likeable enough to remain interesting to me when common sense escapes him. All that said and done, the film ends on an amazing unsteady gradual zoom-in, and the visuals are kind of pretty, so 1/3 from me.
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Post by sol »

Watched a Wayne nom:

Bombay Rose (2019)

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I thought that the child labour angle was pretty interesting here with constant police raids and bribes. The film is not really about this though, focusing on a romantic angle for the most part and full of much seeming randomness. The whole thing just felt really unfocused to me to the point that I couldn't care less about any of the characters. There are also several musical interludes, which I found dull and the animation did not even really impress me.

I actually gave this a second chance since I first started it a couple of days ago and gave up after ~20 minutes when I realised that I wasn't being pulled into the story. I went back and started watching the film from the beginning, but without better luck; this still failed to jive with me, so I have to give it a 0/3.
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#519

Post by sol »

Okay, here's something that I have been wondering, and which would be good to know moving forward:

When selecting films for the other (non-main) slates, is the main thing taken into account the average juror score or the total number of points? I have a heap of films that I have been reluctant to nominate since I know that they would get some instant 1/3 votes, but if the average doesn't matter, maybe it's better to nominate stuff that my fellow jurors thought was above-average as opposed to stuff they haven't seen and might not get to see by the deadline...
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#520

Post by beavis »

Programmers, not jurors
A combination of factors are taken into account. Total, average, amount of 0's, production year, personal preference of one or more programmers ... we all have a chance to propose a selection based on our own weighing of all that and then we make some final decisions together based on what we've got.
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