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ICMF-FF7: Programmer's Thread

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#161

Post by matthewscott8 »

sol wrote: January 13th, 2023, 1:37 pm If you ask me, Mandibles is a pretty great taken on pet ownership and the unforeseen difficulties it can entail, while Incredible But True is a satire of the quest to stay young/youthful and the incredible things that some folks are prepared to do in pursuit of that quest. But I found both films very funny too - and I know that comedy can be subjective.

In the meantime, I saw In the Earth. Gave it solid (2) support in the spreadsheet. Really liked the middle third of the movie where things become ambiguous (are they crazy; is there something out there?) and the girl from I, Daniel Blake has all the crazy machinery hooked up to the trees.
I don't see it as either or, from an initial completely arbitrary idea you can develop meaning surprisingly well. If you want to understand a system, the quickest way is to disrupt it, any of the 3 random ideas I came up with are disruptive and can start us on a journey to understand perception, body, survival for example. I just find the technique a bit brash / crude and the director quite mean spirited. I will of course be delighted to be wrong in upcoming viewings.
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#162

Post by sol »

matthewscott8 wrote: January 13th, 2023, 3:29 pm I just find the technique a bit brash / crude and the director quite mean spirited. I will of course be delighted to be wrong in upcoming viewings.
In that case, I would make Mandibles a much lower priority than Incredible But True. While the latter film only involves nasty things happening to those who are overly obsessed with maintaining their youth, Mandibles features an innocent supporting character whose verbal communication difficulties are occasionally played for laughs. And while I don't mind the odd bit of mean-spiritedness if the characters bring about their own misery, it definitely felt a little wrong in Mandibles.
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#163

Post by St. Gloede »

matthewscott8 wrote: January 13th, 2023, 8:07 am
sol wrote: January 13th, 2023, 2:39 am
matthewscott8 wrote: January 12th, 2023, 11:56 pm
Spoiler
The film's title is literally a reference to the bizareness of dating / relationships, it's different from choosing to go on holiday with a friend for a couple of weeks, you don't know how the other person is or how long you'll know them, it's anarchic, in such contrast to everything else we do.
Yeah, sorry, I wasn't trying to make fun of the film's title. I have this habit of being "creative" when discussing movies with long titles. :ermm:

In other news, just finished The Timekeepers of Eternity and wow. Definitely top 5 for me of the 45 nominees that I have seen so far. I think it helps though that I had seen The Langoliers so I could see where it had been improved while keeping the original eerie tale intact. An easy 3 for the spreadsheet.
This was one of Perception's wow watches of 2022, it's on my watch list, very intrigued by the visuals. I wasn't making any reference to you shortening the title fwiw.
The Timekeepers of Eternity seems to be the first film I'm seeing of the nominees this year (as Fabian is not nominated yet) and white it was not an as easy 3 for me as Sol that's where I ended up. The hesitation was not so much because I was not entranced by the film, it had more to do with the merit of the project and what the added effects added to what is essentially a 1 hour cut of a 3 hour mini-series, keeping original dialogue/performances, and often with the only alteration being the rendering of the original print to a less crispy black and what look, and of course, most importantly, sprucing it up with the effects that really make the film stand out - tearing it apart, ripping characters out of the frame, and replacing what I read to be notoriously bad CGI in the process. The technique is pretty bold and exciting, and really amps up the madness of the work as a whole and give it a unique identity - but going back to my hesitation, the main drive is still the original plot, acting and dialogue. I did not see the original mini-series, and the reports are not too good, so this may indeed be a very salvaged version - and that's great in itself - but the question remained of how much of an original work this truly was. In the end I settled on the side of it being a great film regardless, with some excellent experimental effects and a work that may drive a lot of discussion towards a topic we don't speak about often: film remixes.

Sometimes it is done by the same director. Rivette is the master of these, releasing alternate, separate films of both Out 1 and La Belle Noiseuse into different films, and then of course you have Robbe-Grillet's remix of Eden and After, N. Took the Dice (the letters are the same but remixed in French). On top of that, you have films like What's Up Tiger Lily, where the film is redubbed into a different story, or collages of previous works like The Green Fog, etc. This is an odd one as it is the same material reworked with added effects.
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#164

Post by St. Gloede »

No one seem to be jumping on my previous nom Gritt (I'll try to find time to repost my write-ups from the old thread this weekend), but I'll go ahead and nominate a very clear sibling film of sorts, that is also making the rounds in term of acclaim in Norway, and fits into what could soon perhaps be called "Norwegian Cringe":

Nomination #8

Syk Pike / Sick of Myself (2022)

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Preferred Slate: Europe

Alternate Slate: NA

Director: Kristoffer Borgli


Links: :ICM: :imdb: :letbxd:


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Sick of Myself is a queasily uncomfortable portrait of a woman of who can't stand to be placed on the sidelines, and have eyes off her, and tries, in increasingly unhealthy and disturbing ways to get the spotlight. Walking a tightrope between reality and her own imagination, this comedy (yes, comedy) is a perfect example of deadpan Norwegian comedy Fans of Ninjababy may recognize a few notes, and it also shares similarities with other big Norwegian films of last year, in particular the pre-mentioned Gritt and of course, The Worst Person in the World. Once again we have a 20/30 something wayward woman in a place of career uncertainty attempting to, in very flawed ways, get what she wants - though this film may even overtake Gritt in uneasy. There were so many times I could hardly watch the screen. It just hurts. It is not graphic, even with it's bloody opener, it is more the establishment of a character who will try to rewrite herself, invent things just to get people to notice her, spin/build the same story too far and then, eventually, go off the deepend. Hilarious and certainly leaning into cultural commentary about attention currency and modern society, Syk Pike is relentless from beginning to end and another example of just how well Norwegian cinema is doing.
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#165

Post by beavis »

St. Gloede wrote: January 13th, 2023, 5:44 pm I did not see the original mini-series, and the reports are not too good, so this may indeed be a very salvaged version - and that's great in itself - but the question remained of how much of an original work this truly was. In the end I settled on the side of it being a great film regardless, with some excellent experimental effects and a work that may drive a lot of discussion towards a topic we don't speak about often: film remixes.

Sometimes it is done by the same director. Rivette is the master of these, releasing alternate, separate films of both Out 1 and La Belle Noiseuse into different films, and then of course you have Robbe-Grillet's remix of Eden and After, N. Took the Dice (the letters are the same but remixed in French). On top of that, you have films like What's Up Tiger Lily, where the film is redubbed into a different story, or collages of previous works like The Green Fog, etc. This is an odd one as it is the same material reworked with added effects.
With "found footage" you always enter a grey area of how much must be credited to the original creators and how much to the new, to what extend does luck and randomness play a role, is there a clear intent, is there re-contextualisation or re-telling, is the new creater more interested in formalism or storytelling, what does knowing/recognising the original material do to your experience of the new film.... it is not possible sometimes to put it in a clear box and rating it can be equally vague... BUT it is a valid mode of filmmaking all the same.

And when done right, I think all they grey and the fuzz becomes less important. This one has got its own style and clear direction on top of the original material ánd on the storytelling and directional front it improves the original material to such an extend that it becomes the preferred version! I had seen the original mini-series and I remember the slightly over-the-top acting style , which I think is kinda great if not objectively good, very clearly. It all came back to me while watching this. It kept that core and the most memorable scenes, but the visual style, the direction and the storytelling this time make the movie just both solid entertainment and artistically interesting. It already has been enthusiastically discussed on the forum, and I can only see that happening again if we select this movie.
St. Gloede wrote: January 13th, 2023, 7:43 pm No one seem to be jumping on my previous nom Gritt
Sick of Myself ... this comedy (yes, comedy) is a perfect example of deadpan Norwegian comedy Fans of Ninjababy may recognize a few notes, and it also shares similarities with other big Norwegian films of last year, in particular the pre-mentioned Gritt and of course, The Worst Person in the World.
Not seen Gritt yet, as it didn't seem like a rec for me, But Sick of Myself I can support with a 3 if you add it to the spreadsheet! I see what you mean with cringe, but there were touches of the absurd and of satire here that made it much more to my liking than straight cringe, which I just don't...

A Human Position (2022) is another Norwegian movie I loved a LOT last year. Not a comedy like the titles you mention and not available anywhere yet, but I just wanted to bring it to your attention as something to seek out. If it becomes available it would be a terrific nomination for the LGBTQ section too.
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#166

Post by St. Gloede »

Added Sick of Myself to the spreadsheet and in that case I think you'll love Gritt as well.

A Human Position was not on my watchlist. Adding it in.
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#167

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Watched The Balcony Movie with further comments on the Central European Challenge thread. In a nutshell, this felt like a generic talking heads documentary to me, other than the singular novelty of all of the interviews being conducted from his balcony. Sure, some of the interviewees have interesting things to share, but 100 minutes of this was a bit much for me even if the concept seems nice and novel at first.

I kind of feel a bit bad, zzzorf, as I have now seen two of your brand new nominations and I can't offer either of them my support. I do think I would like Mama, Mama, Mama though -- a film that I heard great things about before you even nominated it -- but I haven't managed to locate it anywhere with English subtitles. Obviously I am happy to watch that one and report back if you or anybody else can point me in the right direction. And I do still intend to watch your other nominations even if this has not been an auspicious start to me working my way through your picks!
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#168

Post by sol »

And on the bright side, with an added 3 from Chris, we now have our second 4x3 film! And it's still only January!!

Potential Jury Qualifiers

1. Earwig (2021)
2. The Timekeepers of Eternity (2021)
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#169

Post by sol »

Okay; this is my last nomination for the moment. :sweat: After this point, I'll do what zzzorf did last year and submit my remaining picks on a 1 per week basis (until I run out of nominations). I am less confident about the chances of the remaining 14 films that I have potentially lined up, so with a one-week gap in between nominations I can give myself plenty of time to get exposed to other stuff and deliberate which of the remaining 14 I should give priority to.

16. Significant Other (2022, Robert Olsen & Dan Berk, United States)

:ICM: https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/sig ... ther-2022/
:imdb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15353964/reference/
:letbxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/significant-other/

Preferred slate: Just Before Dawn --- Alternative slate: English Language Indi

Image Image

Hiking and camping in the woods as part of a romantic getaway, a young woman becomes increasingly unsettled by her boyfriend's behaviour and paranoid over something being out there in this curious horror thriller starring Maika Monroe. For the vast majority of its runtime, this feel like a psychological thriller as Monroe's anxiety often flares up with delicious ambiguity as to whether there is really something strange in the woods or whether her mind is playing tricks on her. In the final thirty minutes, the film takes a sharp turn and introduces some more overt horror, but even then this remains primarily a film about her relationship with her boyfriend and his boundary issues as she finds herself eventually unable ditch him in ways best left unspoiled. Some stretches of the film are a bit too dark to properly make out the action, but this generally rocks.

Recommended to: At least Tom (horror) and Matt (some similarities to In the Earth). Maybe Wayne. Niels has already seen and gave it a positive review, which I believe will translate to mild support in the spreadsheet, probably a 1, maybe a 2.
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#170

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sol wrote: January 14th, 2023, 2:05 pm I kind of feel a bit bad, zzzorf, as I have now seen two of your brand new nominations and I can't offer either of them my support. I do think I would like Mama, Mama, Mama though -- a film that I heard great things about before you even nominated it -- but I haven't managed to locate it anywhere with English subtitles. Obviously I am happy to watch that one and report back if you or anybody else can point me in the right direction. And I do still intend to watch your other nominations even if this has not been an auspicious start to me working my way through your picks!
All good Sol, I realise the fact that not everything is going to be for everyone but I'm pretty certain there are a few that will do good for you out of my picks plus I still have a lot of nominations to come which may offer up more for you.

As to Mama, mama, mama I will have a copy ready for you soon.
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#171

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Just watched Saloum. It was great to see such a highly polished horror from an African country, I could have easily mistaken it for an American movie done in a foreign language if I didn't know better (or any other major film country, was just an example). Even though I did still have a bit of trouble connecting with the movie and while entertained for the most part was left wishing they had done some things better, stuff like exploring the relationships more. Still I am happy to give this a 2 in the spreadsheet as it offers up a lot from an unexpected country for it and shows that anywhere in the world can make a strong movie with the right conditions.
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#172

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Nomination #11

Gaia (2021)

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Preferred Slate: JBD

Alternate Slate: Africa

Director: Jaco Bouwer

Links: :ICM: :imdb: :letbxd: :Crtiticker:






IMDb Plot Summary: On a surveillance mission in a primordial forest, a park ranger encounters two survivalists following a post-apocalyptic lifestyle. The boy and his philosophical father seem to have their own religion, and a mysterious relationship to nature. There are many suspicious aspects to their existence, but when the cabin is attacked by strange, post-human beings one night, she learns that there is a greater threat in this emergent wilderness.

Wikipedia Information: Gaia is a 2021 South African horror thriller film produced and directed by Jaco Bouwer from a screenplay by Tertius Kapp. It stars Monique Rockman, Carel Nel, Alex van Dyk, and Anthony Oseyemi.

It had its world premiere at South by Southwest in the United States on 16 March 2021. It had a limited theatrical release in the country on 18 June 2021, prior to a video on demand release the week after, by Decal. The film received positive reviews from critics, with praise directed at the film's visuals.

My Two Cents: Having just watched the nominated African horror we have I felt obliged to nominate another, one I rated a touch higher mind you. An interesting South African horror with a nature message built in I think this will be a great addition to already nominated Saloum.
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#173

Post by zzzorf »

Nomination #12

I Will Make You Mine (2020)

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Preferred Slate: Indie

Alternate Slate: N/A

Director: Lynn Chen (F)

Links: :ICM: :imdb: :letbxd: :Crtiticker:






IMDb Plot Summary:Three women wrestle with life's difficulties while confronting their past relationships with the same man.

Wikipedia Information: Lynn Chen wrote and directed the 2020 film I Will Make You Mine, which was the third in the Surrogate Valentine trilogy and was a selection of the 2020 South By Southwest Film Festival.

My Two Cents: I watched this movie nearly two years back for the purpose of the festival, mainly to find a movie nomination more worthy of the Indie tag then I had been giving. Since then I have earmarked this as something I think Beavis would enjoy and have been meaning to nominate it but I have always gone with something else, well until now anyway. I can't be absolutely sure but I believe this is the only Mumblecore film I've actually enjoyed somewhat, though I don't have much experience with the genre. As to it being part of a trilogy I haven't seen the rest but from my viewing, and other reviews I've read, this is fine as a standalone film and doesn't really need much prior knowledge. A good debut from the actress/director and seems to fit in with the very female-viewpoint films I have nominated this year.
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#174

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Nomination #13

Everything Is Cinema (2021)

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Preferred Slate: Asia

Alternate Slate: N/A

Director: Don Palathara

Links: :ICM: :imdb: :letbxd: :Crtiticker:






IMDb Plot Summary:Chris, a young, independent filmmaker moves to Kolkata with his wife Anita, who is also a movie actress, to work on his documentary.

Wikipedia Information: Don Palathara's Everything Is Cinema, a relationship drama presented in first person narrative, featuring only Sherin Catherine had its premiere at the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Cinema Regained section.

My Two Cents: I really debated nominating this as the main character is such a real sexist-pig male stereotype with no redeemable qualities but I really want to see how other people take it. In the end, forgetting him is a good look at what COVID lockdown did to a lot of already strained relationships.
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#175

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Nomination #14

Stop-Zemlia (2021)

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Preferred Slate: Euro

Alternate Slate: N/A

Director: Kateryna Gornostai (F)

Links: :ICM: :imdb: :letbxd: :Crtiticker:






IMDb Plot Summary:An introverted high-school girl Masha sees herself as an outsider unless she hangs around with Yana and Senia who share her non-conformist status. While she is trying to navigate through an intense time of the pre-graduation year, Masha falls in love that forces her to leave her comfort zone. From a debutant Ukrainian director Kateryna Gornostai, a deeply personal story about self-discovery and the patience it requires.

Wikipedia Information: Stop-Zemlia (Ukrainian: Стоп-Земля) is a 2021 Ukrainian romance, coming-of-age and drama film directed and written by Ukrainian director Kateryna Gornostai, and starring Maria Fedorchenko, Arsenii Markov, Yana Isaienko and Oleksandr Ivanov. The feature film portrays a teenage coming of age story. All the depicted events are fiction, but creative team attempted to portray them as improvisations. The characters had a set of activities when the script was written, but they gained traits once the actors were found. The film was first released on May 3, 2021 in Berlin International Film Festival, and received the Crystal Bear for the Best Film in the Generation 14plus competition. The film received positive reviews from critics. Later the film appeared at the 12th Odesa International Film Festival (OIFF) on August 19, 2021, where the film received the main award of the festival - the Grand Prix. Kateryna Gornostai also became the winner of Duke in the nomination Best Full-Length Film. On March 9, 2022, the film was awarded the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine.

The film's director, Kateryna Gornostai, opened the presentation by stating that the title 'Stop-Zemlia' is important to the film's success, and the film ended up keeping the same title in English, as so not to lose its intended impact. Kateryna spent about a year looking for real people to play the heroine and the class of students, and the chosen actors then underwent a 7 week acting workshop together before filming began.

My Two Cents: Yes, another Coming-of-age nomination, who would have thunk it. Nothing overly stands out in this one, just a simple look at a part of life of a group of teens, it just all feels natural. I think this one could be a bit of a sleeper hit in the festival but if 107 Mothers is anything to go by I think Sol, who I believe could have been its biggest fan, my lose it a bit with the faux documentary parts to it.
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#176

Post by Onderhond »

Supporting Significant Other with a (1), decent horror but nothing too special.
Supporting Gaia with a (2), really liked the vibe of that one.

For reference, my ratings translated to support: 8-10 = 3, 7 = 2, high 5-6 = 1, 1-low 5 = 0
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#177

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Watched Mamá, Mamá, Mamá and added a 3 for it to the spreadsheet. I think it would make a good talking point film since the narrative isn't entirely clear (or at least to me, it wasn't) but this is a film chiefly about mood and feelings, existing in an interesting headspace between dreams, reality, memories and fantasy. Very well acted by the young cast too.
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#178

Post by Onderhond »

Tried Timekeepers of Eternity. It really didn't work for me, so no support. (0)

A weird little experiment. Director Maragkos took The Langoliers mini-series (based on a Stephen King novel), condensed it, threw some visual effects on top, messed with the score and editing, then called it a day. It's a genuine remix, not something very common in the world of cinema, this film didn't convince me it should be. I like the idea of a remixed film, in principle. It's just that I found the execution to be incredibly poor and lazy. The effects look cheap, they are incredibly repetitive and they aren't transformative enough. I wasn't a big fan of the mini-series, but this film did nothing to improve on it, except limit the runtime. I'd call it a failed experiment, but I'd love to see other (more skilled) directors have a go at it.
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#179

Post by sol »

Just finished being sick of myself, er - I mean watching Sick of Myself - and it's an easy 3 for the spreadsheet. I was a bit cautious going into this one because I wasn't the biggest fan of the recent Norwegian dramas that have been mentioned in the same breath, but this is really very much its own film. The dark comedy elements have already been mentioned, but what I think is worth mentioning is the reality blurring. It happens more towards the end than the beginning, but we are treated to several sequences that run on for a minute or longer before we realise that what we are seeing is just what is she imagining under stress and worry. Human anxiety caught on film. All very cool, though my favourite sequence was inevitably the horror one where it is rather obvious that it is indeed a dream. The film also has a bit in common with Anitiviral, though probably not enough to recommend it to Onder.
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#180

Post by sol »

Also just added a 3 to the spreadsheet for Gaia (more comments on the Sci-fi/Fantasy Challenge thread). I seem to be having a pretty good day with festival candidates, though I was tossing up whether or not to give this one full support for the most part. Not big on the creatures, the father/son stuff and that ending, but it sure was an atmospheric and often unsettling ride.
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#181

Post by zzzorf »

At least after a bad run of my nominations you have found a few to like again, hopefully that keeps going for you.
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#182

Post by sol »

:thumbsup: and I seem to be on quite a roll; just added a 3 for The Girl from the Other Side to the spreadsheet (further comments in the Sci-fi/Fantasy thread).
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#183

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Watched Strawberry Mansion yesterday, very nearly went for full support, but I landed on a thick and confident (2). Big thanks to beavis for pushing this film, it's exactly the kind of cinema I love, and it's one of those blind spots I can't seem to solve myself.

A film I nearly loved. It's the slightly lazy take on lo-fi that kept me from being fully immersed. I get that it is a very conscious stylistic choice, but at times I felt it was more of an excuse to skimp on the execution of the fantastical elements. It's a minor critique though, if you like weird and absurd cinema, this is an easy recommendation. Somewhat shoddy visual effects aside, the film is one huge explosion of mood and creativity. It's impossible to get a grip on the film, the plot shoots off in a different direction every five minutes and the lore has to be explored and pieced together as you go along. Audley and Birney delivered a pretty spectacular film, a little extra budget might push them into personal favorites territory.
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#184

Post by beavis »

:cheers:
very cool
I hope I have more discoveries like that for you, but I find it very difficult to predict what you'll respond positively on ;)
you might want to checkout earlier stuff from Birney though... he's a lo-fi cross between Gondry and Dupieux often
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#185

Post by St. Gloede »

Nomination #9

Pacifiction (2022)

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Preferred Slate: Arthouse

Alternate Slate: Europe

Director: Albert Serra


Links: :ICM: :imdb: :letbxd:


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A neon-clad, moody anti-thriller, trading more on suspicion and uncertainty, than a steadfast plot, Pacifiction arises as one of the clearest masterpieces of the modern era, with a length fitting the decaying sense of grandeur it depicts. 

Benoît Magimel strikes up an enigmatic and simultaneously off-putting and intriguing figure as the high commissioner, the friend of all, high and low, spending his time quieting natives, striking deals, and looking after the uncertain interests of France, all while starting to suspect he might become sidelined, be it by his own government, the navy or foreign forces.

It is a bloated, outmoded way of life, and while his suits may not be pale white (they are still typically pale), he is very much the embodiment of colonialism in an environment of today, though really, the era could just as easily (with a few changes in technology and music) have been the 20s, 40s, 60s, etc. A timeless fable, perhaps of madness, or rather megalomania, but this is a megalomania shared by more than him.

The dirty, libertine world conjured up by Serra's atmospheric shots and pace, coupled with characters with uncertain loyalties, motives and goals, and a mystery that may lead to everyone's doom, fuels n enigmatic, questioning suspense that last throughout its runtime. That said, those wishing for more straightforward plotting may indeed be disappointed, if not bored and I can certainly see it being a rather divisive film when we start doing the roundups of the year that was.
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#186

Post by St. Gloede »

Oh and talking about incredible experiences, Beavis nom, Unrueh is one of the most excellent and unique films I have had the pleasure of seeing.

Unrueh / Unrest (2022, Cyril Schäublin)

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Anarchism is visual serenity? 

"Anarchism is order", symbolised by the famous AO, has long been one of the slogans and basic premises/goals of anarchism. In what could be been a biography of one of the key anarchist theorists, Pyotr Kropotkin, this premise is taken into the form and narrative of the film itself. Composed with utter serenity and precision, and depicting, if not serenity (rather faux serenity) then certainly precision, Unrest is a dare to explore history through ideas, concepts, labour and indeed precision itself as opposed to being driven by its characters or a story. While Kropotkin, or perhaps the potential love interest in the form of Anarchist watchmaker Josephine, could take shapes of protagonists, the film spends large portions of its time away from them, painting this peculiar historical portrait with few if any equals, and it is all done through the magic of cinematic form, but before we breakdown the form, let's look at the story.

We are informed in a short text that it was while visiting a small Swiss village mainly comprising of clockmakers and farmers that Pyotr Kropotkin became convinced of anarchism, and it is this visit and the town we will spend our time within and be captivated by. The title, "Unrest", fittingly refers to just this balance device that keeps clocks ticking, with the film itself dedicating a decent portion of its runtime to the process of the unrest's creation, often with stopwatches nearby to see just how many seconds said the process takes and if they match the factory's goals of increased production. This town is special in its high composition of anarchist activity, and yet, even with the political theory clearly spread, everything, up to and including the owner of the factory and core power broker appears to be "harmonious", there is simply no "unrest", and this is where we can return to the contradictions in play, and indeed the compositions.

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What is unique with the framing is how it treats people in relation to their surroundings, often placing those we may view as our key characters in the corners of the frames, presenting a visual equality and more interestingly, promoting the time, place and community/collective as more central to its storytelling. In close-ups, characters speak almost as if speaking directly to the viewers in the clearest, pure and simple fashion, while the broader compositions feel more lyrical, almost like serene paintings.

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You may by this think that Unrest is a poetical, philosophical or perhaps theoretical exercise, and it may indeed be all three, but beyond beauty and serenity, Schäublin manages to introduce a great degree of humour, through contrast. Everyone is polite, and no one wants to break the serenity, even the policemen smile and wish people a good day, and get it back in return as they keep voters away from the ballot boxes. Everything is formal and everyone is obsessed with time, indeed it is a town with 4 times, each equally valid and involved in an almost ideological battle of precision - and this precision runs through every image we see and every confrontation and encounter. The power of the factory owner is supreme and merciless, but it is done with a polite smile, with everyone expected to act accordingly in any and all events. It is a rather exceptional construction for this alone.

The opening, with Kropotkin's extended family/friends in Russia discussing him and his newfound beliefs is absolutely fascinating, in part because they provide so much exposition, even direct ideological exposition to what anarchism is (federalism as opposed to nationalism/statism) is rather exceptional in how it "gets away" with such exposition, along with showcasing parts of Kropotkin's romantic nature, while still feeling fitting within the very carefully composed style - and even ties in with the photograph obsession/trading we see as a recurring motif in the Swiss village.

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I would be tempted to say that Schäublin's purpose in this harmony, and serenity is to still showcase a degree of clarity for the audience to grasp and put into context. While harmonious we still see power and power imbalance based on ownership, the plight of the workers, the ideas of ararchism presented clearly and what it confronts presented clearer still. Intriguingly, at the very end we are treated to something far more dreamlike, or should we say poetically than what we have seen before, opening up new possibilities, yet still feeling so fitting with what we have seen pass before.

A marvellous and possibly unique work, though I see that Schäublin's first feature, Those Who Are Fine (2017) has a similar visual style - moving it far up my watchlist and making me think this is a young director we can expect much from in the future.
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#187

Post by St. Gloede »

I also caught's Sol's nomination Mandibules, which is such a fun, bizarre little flick, which yes, goes for a "gimmick" like so many other films by Dupieux, but feels far more like a "hangout film" with two zany, utterly amoral idiots and the hijinks they get up to. Quicky, frequently clever and never self-serious it is just a really fun ride.
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#188

Post by beavis »

nice write up as always!
I do also still need to see his first one, I have it marked up as a film to see for "my" country in the World Cup (even though I did already have four movies selected before taking the manager mantle on), so will definitly make work of it soon-ish.

Pacifiction is one, like I said, I would personally leave for later, but I am happy to give full support for it, of course!
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#189

Post by beavis »

@zzzorf

link to the spreadsheet in the opening post should be replaced with this one
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... =680819982
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#190

Post by St. Gloede »

I don't mind leaving Pacifiction for later either, and I think we should be mindful of longer films in general, but good to get the machine started.
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#191

Post by sol »

St. Gloede wrote: January 18th, 2023, 3:21 pm I also caught's Sol's nomination Mandibules, which is such a fun, bizarre little flick, which yes, goes for a "gimmick" like so many other films by Dupieux, but feels far more like a "hangout film" with two zany, utterly amoral idiots and the hijinks they get up to. Quicky, frequently clever and never self-serious it is just a really fun ride.
:satstunned:

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My reaction to Chris liking Mandibles so much (the guy on the left)

That's amazing to hear. B) I'm pleasantly surprised by how won-over you were by the film, but of course you're entirely right that it fits into the hangout cinema mold that seems so popular these days. Glad to have your support for the film!
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#192

Post by zzzorf »

Nomination #15

Rurangi (2020)

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Preferred Slate: LGBT

Alternate Slate: Indie

Director: Max Currie

Links: :ICM: :imdb: :letbxd: :Crtiticker:






IMDb Plot Summary: After skipping town a decade ago, transgender activist Caz Davis returns to the remote, politically divided dairy community of Rurangi, hoping to reconnect with his estranged father, who hasn't heard from him since before Caz transitioned.

Wikipedia Information: Rūrangi is a 2020 New Zealand LGBT-related independent drama film directed by Max Currie. The queer and trans-positive drama was written by Cole Meyers and Oliver Page. It stars Elz Carrad in his feature film debut, along with Arlo Green, Kirk Torrance, Awhina-Rose Ashby, Aroha Rawson, Renee Sheridan and Ramon Te Wake. The film had its world premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival on 26 July 2020. It was screened at the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, where it won an Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, and was released to New Zealand theatres on 4 February 2021. All of the trans characters in the film are portrayed by trans actors. The project was initially slated to be a five-part web series, but was made into a feature film instead.

My Two Cents: I honestly don't know what I can add to that Wikipedia write-up (though if you read more of the page it can I guess). This movie is such a positive in the world where we always see movies done with a cis-gender approved narrative yet this came from a country (and in particular the native culture) that makes it so more hard hitting. Something that I watched the the trailer and had to watch it with my wife (and actually I got two of my daughters to watch it as well). One of my nominations that I will definitely be pushing for come August/September.
(note for Sol: SBS on Demand only has this till the end of February so if you are watching the majority of nominations I will put this high on your watchlist if I was you)
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#193

Post by sol »

zzzorf wrote: January 19th, 2023, 7:11 am (note for Sol: SBS on Demand only has this till the end of February so if you are watching the majority of nominations I will put this high on your watchlist if I was you)
Thanks; added to the tail-end of my watch-list for the month, but if possible I'll try to squeeze it in earlier.
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#194

Post by Onderhond »

Watched Dozen of Norths. As expected, I liked it a lot. It felt like a more arthousey take on Cat Soup. I appreciated the art style, the music was the biggest detractor for me. A solid (2) support.

Yamamura is best known for directing shorts, this is his first longer film. It's probably easiest to describe it as an arthouse version of Cat Soup, a surreal road movie that is more a succession of random scenes than it is a logical narrative. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but I definitely appreciated the artistry and creativity on display here. The animation style feels more European than Japanese, but the drawings are intricate and imaginative. I was less impressed with the score, which is very classical in nature, and was distracting more than once. Still, Yamamura serves an intriguing, surreal journey that was well worth undertaking, I like this format better than his shorts.
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#195

Post by zzzorf »

Nomination #16

Death of a Rockstar (2020)

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Preferred Slate: Animation

Alternate Slate: Indie

Director: Röckët Stähr

Links: :ICM: :imdb: :letbxd: :Crtiticker:






IMDb Plot Summary: "Yellow Submarine" meets "Rocky Horror Picture Show" meets "Tommy" meets "Jesus Christ Superstar" in this fun, colorful, subversive, love letter to classic rock n' roll and 20th century American pop culture.

Wikipedia Information: N/A

My Two Cents: If that IMDb plot outline doesn't get you pumped for this movie than anything I write here isn't going to work. Seriously though this movie is a blast, a throwback Rock Opera that has a lot to say. It has a serious message to it, among all the pop culture references it had in its run time. I had a great time with this, would have even been better with a few drinks under my belt (maybe a difference from a 9/10 I gave it to a 10/10) but even sober this is just a great throwback.
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#196

Post by sol »

Watched I Will You Make You Mine - possibly the wrong zzzorf nomination to prioritise, but films often disappear from Tubi with little or no notice so it seemed like a logical pick to watch while I still could. It is interesting to hear zzzorf describe it as a film that works without having seen the other entries in the trilogy because I really felt like I was missing something. The actor who play Goh was great though; such a down-to-earth guy. Couldn't get myself to care about the women in his life though, and the black and white photography did nothing for me. Then again I have been never been big into mumblecore.
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#197

Post by zzzorf »

sol wrote: January 19th, 2023, 1:12 pm Watched I Will You Make You Mine - possibly the wrong zzzorf nomination to prioritise, but films often disappear from Tubi with little or no notice so it seemed like a logical pick to watch while I still could. It is interesting to hear zzzorf describe it as a film that works without having seen the other entries in the trilogy because I really felt like I was missing something. The actor who play Goh was great though; such a down-to-earth guy. Couldn't get myself to care about the women in his life though, and the black and white photography did nothing for me. Then again I have been never been big into mumblecore.
From my knowledge Goh is the main character in the other two movies (as well as directed by the actor) I can't say for certain but I think this one (since I haven't seen the first two) but the sense of reviews seems like this can be seen as a stand alone due to it being directed by one of the female stars instead. But yeah, for you I wouldn't have prioritised this, it was more a Beavis movie to me, but I understand others needed to see it to make it a possible festival movie, the whole reason I nominated it of course. Mumblecore is such a select crowd, one I'm not normally part of, but for some reason this one just seemed to work somewhat for me.

Ona side note, you are really hit or miss with me this year aren't you (well actually more miss than hit disregarding my re-nominations) going either 3 or 0 with no inbetween.
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#198

Post by sol »

zzzorf wrote: January 19th, 2023, 1:45 pm Ona side note, you are really hit or miss with me this year aren't you (well actually more miss than hit disregarding my re-nominations) going either 3 or 0 with no inbetween.
Oh yeah, I noticed that. Probably a bit too early to call it a pattern, but we'll see have to wait and see. :ph43r:

In all seriousness though, if I wanted to hazard a guess, I would say that it has something to do with the diversity of the films that you nominate. I recall last year you nominated the best film that I saw specifically for the festival (Caught in the Net) as well as my least favourite (Violet Evergarden). You're actually almost on track to maintain that bizarre feat this year, however, Gaia is only my second favourite specific festival watch so far after Sick of Myself.
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#199

Post by Fergenaprido »

sol wrote: January 19th, 2023, 1:12 pm but films often disappear from Tubi with little or no notice so it seemed like a logical pick to watch while I still could.
Tubi does have a leaving soon section: https://tubitv.com/category/leaving_soon
Though from what I can see, it never tells you the exact date that something is leaving.
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#200

Post by Onderhond »

Amirpour is growing on me. She isn't quite there yet, but her films always offer something unique. Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon was good fun, supporting it with (2)

Amirpour's latest is another fun genre blender. After a somewhat hesitant start, Amirpour is getting more confident with each new film she directs. Small things keep me from rating her work even higher, but the promise of getting something that isn't quite like other films out there is a powerful selling point. It's a fun concept, Amirpour commits to the fantastical elements, the performances are solid and the presentation is colorful (both the cinematography and the soundtrack are pretty interesting). The film did get a bit more conventional in the second half, which is what kept me from a higher rating, but that's just some minor nitpicking. Good film.
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