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ICMF-FF6: Programmer's Thread

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#841

Post by sol »

zzzorf wrote: September 22nd, 2022, 2:10 am Watched 2 more of Sol's nominations, both getting a 2 from me in the spreadsheet.
Great to hear that you liked both of them. B) While I'm still searching for a second 3x3 Main Slate candidate from my nominations, the extra high scores that you have given to these two should hopefully make them attractive reserve candidates for the Just Before Dawn and Documentary slates respectively.

And for anyone else feeling time poor, a quick reminder that Stalking Chernobyl is only 58 mins long and as a Ukrainian documentary, the representation that it would bring to the festival might be good in a year such as this. ;)
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#842

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Ultrasound (2021)

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As Tom mentioned earlier on, this is a real mind-bender. The opening scene is very much powered by a sense of something amiss, and while everything becomes muddled and unclear afterwards, around halfway in the film begins to explain itself. Everything when revealed is utterly fascinating, especially as we are drip-fed information. This is a pretty thematically rich film too. Without revealing too much, it can be said that it is a look at psychology, the power of suggestion and the fear that comes from not being able to trust one's own mind. The film looks great too with lots of darkened corridors and neon. 3/3
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#843

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A Night of Knowing Nothing (2021)

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This boasts some amazing black and white images, particularly towards the end. As a documentary experience, this didn't really work for me, but I am giving this one mild support for the spreadsheet because it looks great. I imagine it would work better for those more well versed in Indian politics/history.
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#844

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A Writer’s Odyssey (2021)

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I real liked the "real world" part of this film with some great images (see above) and much of interest in the father's mysterious superpowers and the curse that causes the writer's antagonist's inflictions to happen on the tech guru. The fantasy world though interested me a lot less and there was a lot of it. Still, enough of interest going on for this to be a solid 2/3 for the spreadsheet even if the film never quite capitalised on its aspects that intrigued me the most.

And that makes 150 checks for me on the ICMFF ballot. :sweat:
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#845

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A Taste of Hunger (2021)

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Discovering that a food critic was served over-fermented lemons at their restaurant, the wife of a renowned chef sets out on an ambitious all-night quest to track down and bribe the critic in this Danish drama. Also in the mix is an anonymous letter the wife finds (addressed to her husband) revealing her infidelity. With these two tangents at play, there are all the right ingredients here for a stressful thriller - and yet what the filmmakers opt for instead is flashback-heavy romantic drama in which the wife's crusade constantly reminds her of how she met her husband. The film looks pretty great either way with tons of neon lighting, both indoors and outside with night streets bathed in neon pink, but I would have preferred to see this as a stress thriller. 2/3

Seen 85% of nominated films now. :party:
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#846

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El año del descubrimiento / The Year of the Discovery (2020, Luis López Carrasco)

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I found the video aesthetics quite intriguing, but at first also a little confusing as I was not sure exactly what it was going for, and was wondering if it was attempting to set the film in the 90s, if it was merging interviews/discussions of people in the 90s with new footage or if it was just utilizing the style for cohesion/period reference. Turns out it was the latter, and the effect does give the film a very different air, allowing us to contemplate the period more directly and see similarities today.

I will say that the large selection of characters and conversations varied in interest, and the choice to let the film linger on more mundane conversations for the first portion of the film for then to escalate the intensity and the specific nature of the events and Spain's history also worked a little like a double-edged sword. Yes, it sets the mood of the time and allows for gradual escalation and immersion, but if you're not fully gripped it can also feel meandering and as if it is dragging out the material.

The use of split screen is another intriguing choice that allows more freedom with the limited pud setting, allowing Carrasco to show both sides of a conversation, but also float away to different characters, move between separate conversations or use one screen for TV/news footage and information. The style choices are simple and effective, but while it was enjoyable, informative and at other times involving, it did feel a little too large and sprawling, and could likely have worked better in a significantly slimmer cut. While it is a film I would recommend, especially for those interested in Spanish history, I can not get fully behind it for the festival. 2/3

Sidenote: I found it quite similar to Malmkrog in some ways, most notably in that it is a 3-hour film (mainly) set in one location, driven by dialogue (and philosophical discussion) and reflecting on the past/Europe's history and place. The form is completely different, but in terms of scope and ideas, I can easily see why Beavis would be attracted to both.
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#847

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With a week left to go, here is how we are looking with films approved for the Main Slate:

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If anybody is having trouble finding any of my nominated films to watch, let me know and I'll see what I can do. In the meantime, I'll continue to watch everything nominated by everyone else.
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#848

Post by Onderhond »

Watched Ultrasound. Good film, lacks something that makes it truly special, but supporting it with a strong 2

A not all that interesting premise, but the film itself turned out to be pretty solid. Ultrasound is a somewhat hermetic puzzle box, telling different stories that seem almost entirely unrelated. Something one of the main characters literally remarks upon around the halfway point. This is a film for people with a little patience in other words. I really liked the fact that the film keeps things obtuse for well past the halfway mark, though the actual explanation isn't all that spectacular. The cinematography is pleasant though, the soundtrack is moody and the performances are solid. Ultrasound is a neat little mystery, a debut that shows lots of potential.
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#849

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The Beta Test (2021)

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This black comedy borders on horror territory as it depicts a Hollywood agent who loses his grip on reality while others around him are being murdered by their spouses. The murders are tied to a series of anonymous sexual encounter letters and with the protagonist responding to one such letter himself, we constantly wonder if the same fate will eventually befall him. Intriguing as this mysteriousness is, it is the incredibly unhinged lead performance from Jim Cummings that truly drives the show, channeling Nicolas Cage in Vampire Kiss, especially as he begins harassing his female personal assistant. 3/3

152 out of 178 nominated films now seen
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#850

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Hotel Poseidon (2021) Belgium

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Looking at the pie chart above, Tom and I discussed which Onderhond pick might have the best chance of securing another 3-vote. He came up with this one as a rec to me - and it was a good selection. I'm always up for a crazy comedy (I nominated Greener Grass after all) and this totally delivered on that front, so much so that I was surprised to see it not credited as a comedy on any major movie website. Whatever the case, I totally dug the whole living, breathing nightmare vibe that the film was going for with its Delicatessen-like sets and strange Overlook Hotel type events as the hotel owner protagonist here sets his world on edge by letting a guest stay for the first time in months. Great industrial-style sound effects and OTT makeup effects too. 3/3

86% of all nominated films now seen
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#851

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Potential Juror/Main Slate List:
1. Marygoround (Maryjki) [2020]
2. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Babardeala cu bucluc sau porno balamuc) [2021]
3. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Gûzen to sôzô) [2021]
4. Summer of 85 (Été 85) [2020]
5. Mad God [2021]
6. It Must Be Heaven [2019]
7. Caught in the Net (V síti) [2020]
8. New Order (Nuevo Orden) [2020]
9. Adam [2019]
10. The Long Walk (Bor Mi Vanh Chark) [2019]
11. Bye Bye Morons (Adieu Les Cons) [2020]
12. Nitram [2021]
13. Adoration [2019]
14. After Love [2020]
15. Twilight's Kiss (Suk Suk) [2019]
16. Matthias and Maxime (Matthias et Maxime) [2019]
17. Just Don't Think I'll Scream (Ne croyez surtout pas que je hurle) [2019]
18. Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (Droste no hate de bokura) [2020]
19. Midnight [2021]
20. Buoyancy [2019]
21. Dinner in America [2020]
22. 12 Hour Shift [2020]
23. Papicha [2019]
24. The Awakening of the Ants (El despertar de las hormigas) [2019]
25. A White, White Day (Hvítur, hvítur dagur) [2019]
26. The Crossing (La traversée) [2021]
27. Luzzu [2020]
28. Straight Up [2019]
29. Moffie [2019]
30. Wandering Heart (Errante corazón) [2021]
31. Ecstasy (Êxtase) [2020]
32. Two of Us (Deux) [2019]
33. Memory Box [2021]
34. Nasir [2020]
35. The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open [2019]
36. Hotel Posieidon [2021]


In Jeopardy
Summer of 85 (Été 85) [2020] 9,771


Disqualified
Wolf [2020] 11,084
The Innocents (De uskyldige) [2021] 10,005
The Sadness (Ku Bei) [2021] 10,104
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#852

Post by sol »

And now Onder and myself are doing equally as poorly compared to the rest of you. :lol:

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#853

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Recap of my recent nominee watching, ratings added in the spreadsheet, quite a few hovering between 2 and 3 with some bad or some good element knocking it one way or the other for me, sorry if you feel like I'm killing your movies. Sundown is the only one I think truly worthy of a strong festival, but there was a lot to like in the others too. I especially would like Night Raiders to be a double bill with "The body Remembers..."; the two native actresses who play leads in both movies are quite remarkable.

600. Bioscoop After Love (2020) 7.5
613. Bioscoop Sundown (2021) 8.0
622. Internet Noche de fuego (2021) 7.5
624. Blu-ray Adoration (2019) 7.5
625. Internet Night Raiders (2021) 7.5
638. Internet Acasă (2020) 7.5

and a few other recent watches that might be interesting for next year
Spoiler
593. Internet The Year of the Everlasting Storm (2021) 7.0
596. Bioscoop Le sommet des dieux (2021) 7.5
597. Bioscoop Heojil kyolshim (2022) 7.0
599. Bioscoop The Island (2021) 7.5
601. Bioscoop Evolúció (2021) 8.0
602. Bioscoop Lingui (2021) 7.5
603. Bioscoop Drii winter (2022) 8.5
605. Bioscoop Corsage (2022) 8.0
606. Bioscoop Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) 8.0
607. On Demand Pieces of a Woman (2020) 8.0
608. Bioscoop Pink Moon (2022) 7.5
609. Bioscoop Wir (2020) 7.0
610. Internet La chica nueva (2021) 7.5
614. Bioscoop Avec amour et acharnement (2022) 6.0
615. Internet Serre moi fort (2021) 7.5
619. Bioscoop One Piece Film: Red (2022) 6.0
620. Bioscoop Brahmastra Part One: Shiva (2022) 8.5
626. On Demand Beckett (2021) 4.5
630. Bioscoop Shin Evangerion gekijōban (2021) 8.5
631. Bioscoop Viimased (2020) 7.0
635. Bioscoop Zee van tijd (2022) 7.5
Both work and the flood of cinema releases are keeping me on the edge of my toes (a new expression? ;)), so I haven't been a very active writer here. But we're moving along at full speed still! :cheers:
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#854

Post by Onderhond »

sol wrote: September 23rd, 2022, 2:01 pm so much so that I was surprised to see it not credited as a comedy on any major movie website.
There's certainly a lot of comedy in there, but a lot of it is quite "local" and language-based, so not sure how well that translates :)
Great to see you liked the film though! By far my best find of last year.
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#855

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@beavis - I was joking about you "killing" Adoration. ;) I still think it's the frontrunner for Centerpiece unless Straight Up or Just Don't Think I'll Scream gets another 3 without a lower score. And I'm very glad you liked Sundown, perhaps the most likely of my 2x3 nominations to a attract a third 3. B)

@Onder - that's interesting, because between the over-the-top funeral directors and the way he gets caught under the young woman's bed, etc., I found a lot to laugh about. The movie that the film most reminded me of was After Hours. I got a similar comedic nightmare vibe from it. And it looks amazing.
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#856

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Hotel Coppelia (2021)

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I don't think I've seen another film about the Dominican Civil War, so this was pretty interesting for that alone, though there is not much context provided, and thus the film mostly seemed to boil down to US troops being horrible to those who they claim to be protecting from Communism. It was all still fairly effective, and damn that roof death scene really got to me. The trans and lesbian representation was kind of cool too but didn't amount to much. 2/3

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#857

Post by Onderhond »

sol wrote: September 24th, 2022, 3:52 am @Onder - that's interesting, because between the over-the-top funeral directors and the way he gets caught under the young woman's bed, etc., I found a lot to laugh about.
Yeah, there's a level of absurdity that will be interpreted differently depending on who is watching. Some will see comedy in it, others will see it as an extension of the Lynchian vibes. But I'm certainly not disagreeing with you, we laughed quite a bit too when we watched it. It's just that from former experiences in movie theaters, I know that many people won't see the humor in certain elements :)
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#858

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Marygoround (2020) Poland

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This film about menopause and incorrect hormone patch dosages didn't do a lot for me as a narrative, but as a mood piece, is pretty neat. Her apartment looks absolutely amazing, frequently shot with dark blue filters and the occasional bit of neon. In fact, there is a fair bit of neon, particularly in the scenes set at night. Her work colleagues are an interesting and very varied bunch too, and at less than 80 minutes, this is a pretty breezy watch overall. 2/3

87% of the entire ballot now seen!
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#859

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Ste. Anne (2021)

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An interesting attempt at blending an emotion-driven story with a less convention and more experimental structure. Definitely not a film for me but I see the appeal: great landscapes, ample weirdness (a ghostly figure watching them flick through photos) and deliberately sparse dialogue.

156 out of 178 nominated films now seen!
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#860

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Tlamess (2019) Tunisia

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Clearly inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, this Tunisian oddity circles around a soldier who encounters a monolith in the jungle, which empowers him with telepathic communication. There is some other stuff going plot-wise, not all of it well-explained, but this is cinematically breathtaking throughout, full of long, unbroken takes, panning aerial shots at night and tracking shots on ground level that creep around. The telepathy is also well conveyed through eyeball close-ups with subtitles, with the blinking and twitching of the eyes in question injecting a real amount of emotion into the communication. 3/3

And that gives us another 2x3 for the African Slate. ;)
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#861

Post by sol »

Oh and c'mon, guys -- with five days left, let's see if we can change this! B)

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#862

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Futura (2021) Italy

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I was surprised to discover (after watching the film) that Chris nominated this one because it in many ways seems to embody the sort of talking-heads style documentary that he doesn't usually like. I then discovered just before posting here that it was co-directed by Alice Rohrwacher (it is not obvious on the Letterboxd main page) whose films Chris of course digs. And I loved The Wonders and liked Happy as Lazzaro, if not as much as him, but yeah unfortunately I can only give the documentary mild support overall. I liked the teen boys discussing getting rid of all money to solve Italy's problems, but much of the conversations became a bit repetitive for my liking, same things stated over and over, etc. The black and white archive footage was interesting though.

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#863

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Father [Otac] (2020) Serbia

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This sometimes feels like pure misery porn with one adversity after another befalling the protagonist, and misery porn really isn't my thing. The film's bureaucracy satire is very sharp though and I love a good bureaucratic madness tale. The corrupt social services officer is also very well portrayed, constantly berating the protagonist for making a "spectacle" of himself. And without ever actually doing that, Goran Bogdan shines in the lead role. We keep expecting him to lash out with some much anger visibly shaking him at times, but he always remains admirably controlled. Solid conclusion too. 3/3
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#864

Post by sol »

I'm adding Greener Grass here too, by the way. Recently given a 3 by Chris on the spreadsheet but not posted about here yet.


Potential Juror/Main Slate List:
1. Marygoround (Maryjki) [2020]
2. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Babardeala cu bucluc sau porno balamuc) [2021]
3. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Gûzen to sôzô) [2021]
4. Summer of 85 (Été 85) [2020]
5. Mad God [2021]
6. It Must Be Heaven [2019]
7. Caught in the Net (V síti) [2020]
8. New Order (Nuevo Orden) [2020]
9. Adam [2019]
10. The Long Walk (Bor Mi Vanh Chark) [2019]
11. Bye Bye Morons (Adieu Les Cons) [2020]
12. Nitram [2021]
13. Adoration [2019]
14. After Love [2020]
15. Twilight's Kiss (Suk Suk) [2019]
16. Matthias and Maxime (Matthias et Maxime) [2019]
17. Just Don't Think I'll Scream (Ne croyez surtout pas que je hurle) [2019]
18. Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (Droste no hate de bokura) [2020]
19. Midnight [2021]
20. Buoyancy [2019]
21. Dinner in America [2020]
22. 12 Hour Shift [2020]
23. Papicha [2019]
24. The Awakening of the Ants (El despertar de las hormigas) [2019]
25. A White, White Day (Hvítur, hvítur dagur) [2019]
26. The Crossing (La traversée) [2021]
27. Luzzu [2020]
28. Straight Up [2019]
29. Moffie [2019]
30. Wandering Heart (Errante corazón) [2021]
31. Ecstasy (Êxtase) [2020]
32. Two of Us (Deux) [2019]
33. Memory Box [2021]
34. Nasir [2020]
35. The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open [2019]
36. Hotel Posieidon [2021]
37. Greener Grass [2019]
38. Father (Otac) [2020]


In Jeopardy
Summer of 85 (Été 85) [2020] 9,795


Disqualified
Wolf [2020] 11,084
The Innocents (De uskyldige) [2021] 10,005
The Sadness (Ku Bei) [2021] 10,104


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#865

Post by zzzorf »

Just want to point out while I'm enjoying the graph don't be disheartened by it. Since you were so late in the game we haven't had a long time to get a major consensus for you choices and we are more likely to choose different movies each of your 30 to watch. Next year if you are in it from the start we are more likely to watch more and therefore have a better consensus. As for Onder it is more the fact that even though he has been with us all year he didn't actually nominate many movies.
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#866

Post by Onderhond »

zzzorf wrote: September 26th, 2022, 9:37 am As for Onder it is more the fact that even though he has been with us all year he didn't actually nominate many movies.
I've been struggling a bit with the "general availability" clause of the festival for my nominations. Even the ones I did nominate seemed to be quite hard to get to, and are often only available in limited countries. I'm glad people have tried to watch them and that I even got one in though, so no worries!
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#867

Post by sol »

zzzorf wrote: September 26th, 2022, 9:37 am Just want to point out while I'm enjoying the graph don't be disheartened by it. Since you were so late in the game we haven't had a long time to get a major consensus for you choices and we are more likely to choose different movies each of your 30 to watch. Next year if you are in it from the start we are more likely to watch more and therefore have a better consensus.
Sure - and if I participate again next year, I'll try to get all 30 nominations up by the end of January. :unsure:
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#868

Post by beavis »

Just had to give A Taste of Hunger a 0 on our spreadsheet for leaving a bad taste in my mouth :(

I am a fan of Boe and the title and poster of this one promised something special. I wasn't prepared to get a relationship-drama with clunky twists and turns that you see coming from miles away and at the same time don't feel believable, earned... or like anything you'd want to see for that matter. I rated it a 6 still, because technically it's allright, but I can't support it for our program.
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#869

Post by zzzorf »

I've watched 2 more of our African nominees:

In Another Life - This is basically what I would assume the 7up series is like but with the African twist. It was somewhat interesting but fully didn't keep my attention through its entire runtime. 2

You Will Die at 20: I enjoyed this one immensely. The cinematography was beautiful and while a simple story it had me really interested to see where it was going. 3
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#870

Post by Fergenaprido »

Eyimofe - I'm giving this a 1.

After the first ten minutes or so I thought this would be a solid film, but it never really coalesced into anything substantial for me. The first story was better than the second, and I'm glad they had an epilogue so that the film could sort of end on a positive note. But beyond that, there was very little aside from the premise keeping me engaged in this. I had to give up the first night 2/3 of the way through because I was bored and allowing myself to be distracted by every little thing. Even picking it up and finishing it today wasn't much easier. I almost gave this a 2, because it's shocking to me how underseen this film is despite winning a slew of awards and getting picked up by Criterion so quickly, but most of the rest of the films under consideration for the festival haven't even had that chance for discovery and I think are more worthy of it. I wouldn't be against it in the African slate, because it does have an audience... I'm just not part of it.
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#871

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Like those above me, my most recent visit was to the African slate:

In Another Life (2019)

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Giving this one a 2/3 for the ballot because it was incredibly stylish, from aerial pullback shots to expressionistic lighting to some amazing tracking shots as they run, viewed only from the waist-down. The content was a bit less interesting for me; the interviewees all seemed to repeat the same ideas. I also wanted to know more about the project and in particular whether it was difficult re-locating everyone as per the Up series. Will be up for a sequel though.

And that makes 160 checks for me on the ICMFFF ballot, which rounds up to 90% of all nominated films seen.

Not sure how much else I'll get to over the next three days. On the Count of Three should be a definite because it opens in theatres tomorrow, but otherwise I've probably gotten through everything else I would be likely to give a 3 to, I think, though I have some of the unwatched 18 films on tap if I feel up to it. Hopefully everybody else is still up to watching nominated films too. I'm still crossing my fingers that we'll get a third 3 for Sundown or Official Competition in these last few days. Is anybody after specific recommendations otherwise? I am still looking to increase my very low 17/30 = 57% score.
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#872

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On the Count of Three (2021)

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Director Jerrod Carmichael has great chemistry with co-star Christopher Abbott and their lively banter carries this throughout its more downbeat stretches. Given the premise though, it is hard not to wish that the duo went wilder during their planned final day alive. The movie also operates far better in dark comedy and thriller mode than in sentimental. The vast majority of the film works though with a great entirely diegetic song soundtrack that the characters often comment on, plus a brief but very interesting turn from Henry Winkler, though Lavell Crawford steals the show of the supporting cast. 3/3

That makes 161/178 films seen = 90.4% of the entire ballot seen.
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#873

Post by Fergenaprido »

I watched a Georgian film for the around-the-world challenge because it was on Mubi and was short (70 minutes) and it was nominated for the festival.

Except it wasn't nominated. :facepalm:

I mixed up Beginnings (2020) with Comets (2019), probably because they're both recent Georgian movies currently streaming on Mubi, and zzzorf recently saw Comets so I guess I thought that was the one that was nominated. Beginnings is twice as long, though (160 minutes on Mubi, though imdb only lists it as 125).

Anyway, aside from my minor f*ck-up, it was still a pretty good film, probably a 2 from me. Posting here, though, because I think it's a film that beavis in particular would enjoy, even if it's too late to be eligible for the festival.
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#874

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:cheers: I'll look into it!

Your post also reminds me that I should open a Juror thread now, but I'm off to the Camera Japan festival for the whole day and the next, so I won't have the time and energy to do that this weekend (or yesterday, or the day before, I'm kinda running on fumes lately)... maybe someone wants to step in, otherwise it has to wait a short while.
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#875

Post by St. Gloede »

I added my final ratings to the sheet yesterday. Sadly I have not had the time to write up my thoughts yet, but Greener Grass was the only additional 3/3 rating (gave several 2s though).
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#876

Post by Fergenaprido »

beavis wrote: October 1st, 2022, 8:00 am :cheers: I'll look into it!

Your post also reminds me that I should open a Juror thread now, but I'm off to the Camera Japan festival for the whole day and the next, so I won't have the time and energy to do that this weekend (or yesterday, or the day before, I'm kinda running on fumes lately)... maybe someone wants to step in, otherwise it has to wait a short while.
I think it can wait until after the weekend is over, no rush. :thumbsup: If you prefer, though, I can open the thread for you based on last year's format.
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#877

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That's about it. We haven't made a final decission on what/which movies to send on i think, but i'm ok with sticking to the list we've kept updating throughout. More than that is not needed. But i'm in the cinema now, typing this on a phone with one finger ;) and my mind is occupied by other stuff... 😁
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#878

Post by St. Gloede »

There was some discussion earlier that we could talk about cutting the list down if it became too big, but as it is of a similar size to last year I think we're all in agreement to send it as is.
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#879

Post by sol »

So we send 37 titles then, removing Adoration as the centerpiece?

This was my last number crunch - viewtopic.php?t=5747&start=800#p778548 - I haven't checked if anything has changed, but if nothing has, I suppose Adoration is obvious choice?

--

Of course, if we are going to delay things, it would give Ferg and zzzorf a chance to catch up with the films that I recommended to them ;) so I'm not against a delayed start. But yeah, we can move forward if everyone else wants to. :)
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#880

Post by zzzorf »

beavis wrote: August 16th, 2022, 10:36 am I would like it if we could select a talking piece doc like Caught in the Net for our centerpiece this time!
St. Gloede wrote: August 16th, 2022, 10:40 am I would be onboard with Caught in the Net as our centrepiece, very interesting choice.
sol wrote: August 16th, 2022, 11:49 am Oh, and for what it's worth, I agree that Caught in the Net would make a great (and unusual) centerpiece film.
While we are talking our centrepiece I just want to bring up these quotes from August. I know that Adoration ended up with more support (mine only just scraped in as a 3 but a 3 is a 3 and am fine if it is chosen) but I just wanted to remind everyone we were looking at making a more distinct centrepiece.
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