Skip to main content

SIFF diary, part 9

Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody? and Lonesome Jim

“Are you the Favorite Person of Anybody?” is the question posed by John C. Reilly to the people he encounters on the street. Actually, he is conducting a simple survey asking first whether they are anybodies’ favorite person and then a few clarifying questions. This four minute short was very entertaining. Each person he encounters gives a different and sometimes surprising answer to his query. Not the best short or the most imaginative short that I saw this festival but good none the less.

The four minute short film, written by Miranda July (Center of the World) and preceded Lonesome Jim, the new feature directed by Steve Buscemi.

Lonesome Jim is a very understated and peculiar little film that caught me totally off guard by how much I enjoyed it. Jim (Casey Affleck) has moved back home to Goshen, Indiana defeated after a failing to make it in Yew York City. Jim is chronically depressed and has a habit of pointing out just how hopeless and pointless life can be while admiring his wall of photos of great writer’s who came to untimely ends, usually as a result of suicide.

Lonesome Jim has a very dry wit about life disappointments and about the small midwestern town life. I’m not finding the words to adequately describe the experience of watching this film, but there were a lot of laughs and I grinned throughout. And I am amused to report that Ricki’s I, II, and III are actual bars in Goshen and that one of them displays the scooter that Evil (Mark Boone Junior) rides through town. The only thing that would have made the small town Indiana town feel even more genuine would be if they had gotten the rights to some John Cougar’s music.

Lonesome Jim was not among the best films that I saw during the SIFF, but one of the films that I enjoyed the most. I have some complaints concerning the drab, grey look of the film and the quality of the digital video it was shot on (Buscemi needs to spend some time with Rodriguez because digital doesn’t have to look this crumby) and the performances were purposely understated and thus, un-remarkable. In general, Lonesome Jim worked and is a film that I look forward to watching again, especially on those days when the future looks as bleak and disappointing as Jim’s.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhastan

Right after seeing Sacha Baron Cohen's film, Borat, I was disappointed. I didn't laugh nearly as hard as I had hoped and it wasn't quite as outrageous as I had expected. But in retrospect, I have to admit the comic brilliance of Borat. Sacha Baron Cohen has adeptly created a film about a fictional man, Borat, from a fictionalized Kazakhastan and used this creation to show the hipocracy of America. Using tactics pioneered by reality television shows, Borat travels across America on a quest to find his true love, Pamela Anderson. On this journey, he meets numerous people who share their thoughts about a multitude of things, exposing the way some Americans really believe about race, class, homosexuality and the other sex. It is a very interesting film. Sure, it gets laughs from ambushing Pamela Anderson with a wedding bag, traveling with a bear, and a bit of naked wrestling, but this film is also very smart in its sly portrayal of the wealth of prejudices that are ali

Girls who are boys, who like boys to be girls...

Where does one begin? Peaches Does Herself is a German concert movie of Peaches. Written by, Directed by and starring Peaches. But how does one describe this experience? Normally, I skip the Face the Music program of films at SIFF each year, but Peaches Does Herself was described as the queerest film in the festival. As it turns out, I knew exactly one Peaches song prior and still know little to nothing about her, but it didn't matter. I enjoyed the music and most of all, I loved her persona. Her sexuality was on display and was not only unapologetic, but read as loud as if it were a billboard with "fuck normalcy and judgement, this is who I am" in bright pink neon. To give an overall impression of the film, I've decided just to lay out what happens along with stills. I suspect that is the best I can do for readers to decide whether this is something they should seek out. The film begins in Peaches' bedroom and after the dancers climb through a giant vu

Brand Upon the Brain! And more horror...

Brand Upon the Brain (2007) - I'm on so much crack! I'm a huge fan of horror. Guy Maddin! I love his movies and he was just in Seattle to perform Brand Upon the Brain! I'm certain I've written about Guy Maddin's films in the past, because he has been in Seattle several times for screenings and discussions of his work, especially since he spent quite a bit of time here casting, filming and scoring Brand Upon the Brain! with all local talent. What is so unique about Guy Maddin is that he creates modern, silent expressionist horror movies. His other films have been scored and therefore have the look and feel of a 1920s era silent picture without being silent. Brand Upon the Brain! is a silent movie and his best feature thus far. Like much of Maddin's previous work, this is totally autobiographical, or to quote Guy, "The thing is literally a true story - only much, much better." The main character is the prepubescent, Guy Maddin (Sullivan Brow