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ICMF-FF7: Programmer's Thread

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sol
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#201

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Fergenaprido wrote: January 19th, 2023, 8:20 pm
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.
Yep, exactly. There is no way of finding out when something is leaving and there have been many times when I have marked something as available on Tubi in my watch-list, only to find out a couple of weeks later that it is no longer available.
Onderhond wrote: January 19th, 2023, 10:14 pm 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.
I know what you mean about the conventionality, though I wonder if that's what might actually help the non-horror-loving programmers to give the movie a higher score. Glad you liked it any case; it was my first nomination this year because for me it is the very best of my nominations, but as anybody who knows me knows, I'm a sucker for neon cinema.
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#202

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Just watched Red Moon Tide (further comments of the Fantasy Challenge thread), which was surprisingly very tolerable with its gorgeous imagery, so I'm joining the chorus of non-arthouse programmers by also giving it mild support (1) on the spreadsheet.
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#203

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Hey zzzorf, just broke the 0/3/0/3/0 streak on your nominations by watching Death of a Rockstar, which I liked overall (mostly on account of the wacky imagery) but which I can only offer mild (1) support to. The film really gave me a bit of a headache and I had to take a couple of breaks and just do something else to escape the barrage of music. Will be intrigued to see what others make of it though. Further comments on the Sci-fi/Fantasy thread.
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#204

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And now it looks like we are back to pattern, zzzorf. :turned: Just added a 3 to the spreadsheet for Rūrangi. Really nice to have about a trans man story on screen (there seem to be far more films about trans women out there), as well as a tale that (mostly) works independently of its LGBTIQ elements. This is also a film that avoids misgendering altogether, and which handles its one and only deadnaming scene with finesse, which is kind of remarkable given that it is about him returning to a town that he has never been back to since transitioning. I could have done without the evil stereotype councilors and all the focus on the best friend, but this was really well done overall.
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#205

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I caught the second Dupieux yesterday, Incredible But True, similarly quirky and weird, similar length (he seems to have an issue with films being more than 80 minutes long) and it is another delightfully inventive film, this time with sci-fi/fantasy touches. Thoroughly funny, and some similar off-beat humour, but overall it felt a little slimmer. What made Mandibules jump over the line for me were the two central characters and their hilarious deadpan hijinks as they mess about in their spaced-out way - coupled with the glorious colours. Incredible But True is a bit more drab looking and is just missing that small added spark - especially with Benoît Magimel stealing much of the limelight with his new gadget (odd to throw two such different sci-fi/fantasy concepts together, though his obsession does balance well with Léa Drucker's obsession as they satirise/play with possible the biggest obsessions men and women have with their appearances). I'll give it a 2 in the sheet.
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#206

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St. Gloede wrote: January 21st, 2023, 8:42 am (odd to throw two such different sci-fi/fantasy concepts together, though his obsession does balance well with Léa Drucker's obsession as they satirise/play with possible the biggest obsessions men and women have with their appearances). I'll give it a 2 in the sheet.
Yeah, that's what I thought too. It seemed weird at first to have these two different plot threads, but then it totally made sense to me. Anyway, good to your sold (if not full) support for this one. It's a film that I am likely to discuss at this stage in the Best of 2022 podcast. :)
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#207

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And well, it's been a week since I last put a nomination up, and as mentioned on Saturday last week, I now looking to drop all of my remaining candidates one week at time to give me time to possibly come across something better. And this is one of those "something better" viewings. And it sure is something!

17. Something in the Dirt (2022, Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson, United States)

:ICM: https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/som ... +the+dirt/
:imdb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14895716/reference/
:letbxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/something-in-the-dirt/

Preferred slate: Just Before Dawn --- Alternative slate: LGBTIQ+; Indie

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Yet another impressive work from the duo behind Synchronic and The Endless, Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson take the lead roles here as two neighbours who discover something supernatural in their apartment block. The pair decide to film and document the phenomenon, which gives the movie a pseudo-documentary vibe, cutting between what we see and what their cameras see. There are also occasional interviews with others supposedly involved with the project, but much of the film pivots on the Moorhead/Benson chemistry and the pair finding out secrets about one another while at the same time failing to work out the secrets behind the phenomenon. The film looks and sounds fantastic too as one would expect from the duo. The inclusion of archive footage and home video footage at various points is particularly eerie and effective and it is always nice to come across a movie with LGBTIQ characters where sexuality isn't the main focus of the story. In this case, one of the characters is asexual and the other is gay - and an avid member of a church that doesn't shun gay people.

Recommended to: Chris because he's sure to dig the montage sequences (reminded me of Radu Jude) and the whole blending of fiction and non-fiction elements. It might be worth Brett giving the film a spin too to judge the LGBTIQ content and its suitability for that slate (and there's no violence here) but basically anybody who liked the duo's previous films probably won't be disappointed in this offering.
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#208

Post by Onderhond »

New batch of 5 nominations, with one film from last year returning.

11. Rundfunk: Jachterwachter (2020)

Preferred Slate: JBD
Alternate Slate: Euro

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10699348
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/run ... erwachter/




Liking Jachterwachter comes down to appreciating the type of crude, exaggerated and absurd comedy that forms the backbone of the entire film, the neat presentation is just a fancy bonus. Still, it's what pushed this film to become a personal favorite of mine. Regardless of what you think when the credits start to roll, this is a film that screams dedication and conviction, pushing the limits of what is deemed acceptable and respectable. And for that, it deserves praise.


12. Ribbon (2021)

Preferred Slate: Asia
Alternate Slate: --

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14703070
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/ribbon-2021/




Ribbon is a perfect film for a confident artist who wants to explore her brand, skills and talent in a cinematic setting. It stays within expectations of what the genre is supposed to be, but adds unique touches on top to differentiate it from so many others in the genre. The loveable characters, the stylish score and cinematography, and the slightly fantastical moments all add up to a very likeable and capable drama without any real weak points. It's a solid foundation for possible future ventures, though Non will have to find a stronger and more unique voice if she wants to become a fully-fledged film director.


13. Shiver (2021)

Preferred Slate: Arthouse
Alternate Slate: Asia/Documentary?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13995686
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/senritsu+seshimeyo/




On paper Shiver looks like a film for a very specific audience in mind, but I think Toyoda's direction elevates it beyond its intended niche. Sure enough, it helps if you're used to non-narrative cinema and an affinity for minimal/rhythmic music is definitely a plus, but Shiver isn't some super obscure niche project that will only appeal to taeko fans with a taste for the abstract. It's an extremely well-balanced album film, where the entrancing music and stylish visuals feed off each other, combining into an invigorating and encompassing experience. Toyoda, Hino and Kodo delivered a landmark in the genre.


14. Till We Meet Again (2021)

Preferred Slate: JBD
Alternate Slate: Asia

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt15456878
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/yue+lao/




Till We Meet Again is a true delight. I knew next to nothing about it going in, but it didn't take me longer than five minutes to realize this would end up a personal favorite. Giddens Ko finally banks on his talent and serves a wildly creative and unique film, with the necessary visual flair, a notable soundtrack and strong performances to back it up. It might be a bit too divisive (and certainly not enough like the lauded New Wave films) to make a big international splash, but that says more about broader audiences than it says about the quality of this film. I hope Ko can and will continue on this path, I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes from here.


15. Daughters (2020)

Preferred Slate: Asia
Alternate Slate: --

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11974766
https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/daughters/




Tsuda's Daughters is evolution, not revolution. It doesn't turn the genre upside down, nor is it distinctive enough to kick-start a whole new movement. But that's not a knock on the film. Daughters breathes new life into a genre that's become pretty stale of late, by updating its stylistic vocabulary while making sure all its dramatic beats hit the mark. It's one hell of a debut, hopefully Tsuda's film won't be buried in distribution limbo like so many other great Japanese films. If you get the chance to watch this one, don't let it pass you by.
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#209

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Just watched Till We Meet Again after discovering that Onder had nominated something streaming on... Disney Plus. :ph43r: Anyway, the film was okay; I was actually really digging the first hour which has a large comedy focus and a lot of fantasy elements at play with a neon red limbo and weird tests that the main guy must go through before being reincarnated. Towards the halfway point though the film became really inundated in flashbacks and I began to lose interest. But it's certainly visually striking enough and all. Gave it a 2 for the spreadsheet.
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#210

Post by Onderhond »

sol wrote: January 22nd, 2023, 4:21 am Just watched Till We Meet Again after discovering that Onder had nominated something streaming on... Disney Plus. :ph43r:
Not on ours :( Thanks for checking though!
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#211

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All 3 lists have been updated to the most recent nomination.

I am really amazed with the activity of this year's festival. We are already at 99 nominations and we aren't even through the first month of our process. We already have the shapings of a great festival this year and there is still a lot more to come. Keep up the good work everyone.
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#212

Post by Onderhond »

Speaking for myself, I got a little lost in the slow updates and availability worries last year, so I wanted to ensure I at least got a good set of nominations in at the start. I'll probably add another five in a few weeks, then leave some spots open for upcoming discoveries.

But yeah, we've been doing pretty well this month. :D
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#213

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Thanks for updating the lists, zzzorf. :thumbsup:

In other news, just watched Ali & Ava, which was certainly well acted but not a film that really clicked for me. Added mild support (1) in the spreadsheet.
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#214

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Watched Corsage. Maybe expected a little more, but supporting it with (1 - high 5 rating), which is quite high for a costume drama.

A costume drama with (slightly) more contemporary elements. It's a film that offers a more down-to-earth and sobering take on a famous historical figure, not unlike Larraín's Spencer. While Kreutzer's intentions were good, I don't think the result is quite as strong or outspoken as it could've been. The more contemporary score was a lovely surprise and the cinematography is solid. Vicky Krieps did a pretty good job too, but somehow the drama and Elisabeth's plight didn't quite hit me the way it was supposed to. It's certainly a step up from most costume drama, but I'd hoped for something a little extra.
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#215

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Just watched The Timekeepers of Eternity. This was a fun watch but in the end it just felt like a good fan edit. As a big fan of the original mini-series in getting truncated into the smaller runtime meant a whole lot of what made me enjoy it is missing. Still as I said I had fun and gave it a 2 in the spreadsheet.
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#216

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I've been watching a lot of nominations these past couple of weeks so here is my brief thoughts on them:

The Wandering Moon - The story explores a troubling issue from an unusual perspective and the film is well shot though it feels a little bloated and wasn't really to my taste. 1

Sick Of Myself - I'm surprised to see the high praise for this, I thought it was an okay film with some amusing moments but the onslaught of dream/imagined sequences became a little too frequent for my liking. 1

Ali & Ava - Excellent performances in a gritty British drama, this was a surefire hit for me. The scene where Ali & Ava have their own silent disco was superb, the juxtaposition of the two music styles was really something. 3

The Girl From The Other Side - A pretty and enchanting animation. I wasn't entirely won over by the flimsy storyline though I was more than happy to be lost in the impressive visuals. 2

Reflection - I really struggle to connect with the films of Valentyn Vasyanovych despite my best efforts. His subject matter is incredibly bleak and morbid and should be something that resonates with me but sadly there's a disconnect somewhere. Some of the vignettes in this film are excellent but there are just as many that leave me bored and waiting for the next chapter. It's a well made film that I can appreciate but it also left me cold 1

Goddess of the Fireflies - I had a lot of fun with this coming of age tale. The performances were strong and the characters were mostly well-written. My main gripe with the film is that it is set during the rise of Grunge music and the IMDB description even mentions this, yet the soundtrack was sadly devoid of grunge artists. I love the music of this era and it was a real shame that a story set during this time didn't have a soundtrack that reflected this. 2

Incredible But True - Another wacky and wonderful film from Quentin Dupieux. Like most of his outings this was wildly unpredictable and very funny in parts. It feels like the main concept wasn't fully explored for all of its potential and the ending felt a little abrupt. I would have happily spent another hour in this strange universe, which is why I felt a bit disappointed that it ended so swiftly. 2

Sissy - I struggled to connect with any of the annoying characters in this comedy horror that was mostly devoid of laughs and scares. The production values were strong and the performances were good - most characters certainly irritated the hell out of me and I gather this was the intention, but it didn't really work for me. 1

My Neighbour Adolf - This was a fun and charming comedy, despite its incredibly morbid backdrop that retains its distance for the most part. The humour does overstep the mark in one or two places but this was a pretty cool discovery. 2

Something In The Dirt - This is another excellent outing from Benson & Moorhead; I seem to much prefer their lower budget efforts like this and Resolution when the focus is more on the character development and relationships instead of the spectacle. 3

I have been watching a few Latam films as that seems to be one of our weakest areas so far. I will probably nominate Kings Of The World, which combines emotive storytelling with some impressive visuals and a great young cast. I have also watched Marte Um and La Civil which would both get a 2 from me, others may find merit in them and they are good films, just missing that something special for me to want to support them and nominate them myself.
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#217

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Glad you liked My Neighbor Adolf, Tom. :thumbsup: I wasn't sure how well it would go down with my fellow programmers because comedy always tends to be divisive, but to me it is much more of a Rear Window-ish paranoia tale and on along those lines, something that I think others will respond well to as well.

Sorry you didn't like Sissy more, but I appreciate you giving it a go.

In other news, I just saw Absolute Denial from Tom. Added a 3 to the spreadsheet and further comments in the sci-fi challenge thread. The film goes on for a bit too long after 'something' (being as vague as possible) but with its textured background black-and-white animation style, this would be a pretty cool addition to the Animation Slate. Currently streaming on Roku US.
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#218

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Also just watched Reflection, for which I will join Tom in offering mild support (1). Loved the deliberate framing during the first half of the film that kept us at a distance to everything, though the overall film didn't quite click for me either.
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#219

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And with another week passing before I made my last nomination, here is my next. It is a re-nomination, and while I know I said earlier on that I was done with re-nominating narrative movies, that was before Matt joined the team and there's a chance he would like this one. Also, I had forgotten that Chris hadn't yet seen it. Like Tom, he's big on stressful cinema, so I could imagine this one working well for him (already comes with 2/3 support from Tom).

18. Enforcement Shorta (2020, Anders Ølholm & Frederik Louis Hviid, Denmark)

:ICM: https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/shorta/
:imdb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11081050/
:letbxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/enforcement/details/

Preferred slate: Europe --- Alternative slate: n/a

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Their department under scrutiny over claims of police brutality, two cops must fend for their lives when the ghetto they are patrolling is overtaken by rioters in this gritty Danish thriller. It is an idea with real promise as the cops find themselves targeted for the misdeeds of other officers, and there is much tension and suspense as their car is stoned and they have to flee on foot incognito. There is a pretty intense dog attack in the mix too and the film certainly seldom bores with a bit of a living, breathing nightmare feel to the mess the cop end up in.

Recommend to: Chris for the abovementioned reasons, but this tells a gripping enough story that I could easily imagine almost everyone taking to it (maybe a bit violent and nasty for Brett though).
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#220

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sol wrote: Yesterday, 8:29 am
In other news, I just saw Absolute Denial from Tom. Added a 3 to the spreadsheet and further comments in the sci-fi challenge thread. The film goes on for a bit too long after 'something' (being as vague as possible) but with its textured background black-and-white animation style, this would be a pretty cool addition to the Animation Slate. Currently streaming on Roku US.
Really pleased to see your support for Absolute Denial Sol, I knew the concept would be something that appealed to you and I hope the other programmers find it as enjoyable. What really amazes me about the film is that it's a passion project from Director/Writer Ryan Braund, as it showcases a huge amount of talent and ambition. I hope it acts as a calling card to enable him to get more support to bring similar stories to the big screen in the future.

I watched another of our animated nominees this week, The Summit Of The Gods, which I really enjoyed. I am totally fascinated by Mount Everest and all of the disastrous attempts to summit its peak, with Jon Krakauer's account of the 1997 disaster, Into Thin Air, being one of my favourite books ever. I liked how the lore surrounding Mallory's lost camera was utilised as a macguffin and there was some superb animation during the final troublesome ascent of the mountain. This was an easy 3 for me, I would have definitely nominated it myself. It seems like I am having a good hit rate with Matthew's nominations :cheers:
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