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Showing posts from June, 2007

SIFF 2007, day 8

Tell No One - France, Thriller In Tell No One , Dr Alexandre Beck's (Fran├žois Cluzet) wife was murdered as he lay unconscious, unable to save her. Eight years later, two bodies are discovered on Dr. Beck's property and the authorities begin to ask questions about his wife's death, since things just don't add up. Then some photos of Alex's wife appear showing her badly beaten. While Beck is getting all of this attention from authorities, he starts receiving anonymous messages that suggest that his wife may be alive. Tell No One is a wonderfully gripping thriller for the majority of the film and I was completely drawn in and enjoying the mystery as it unfolded. It also made some rather progressive choices. There is a small band of thugish assassin-types, with a very thin and incredible striking woman with a talent for retrieving information from the unwilling or uncooperative. I thought she was incredibly cool and couldn't believe the torture that she was

SIFF 2007, day 7 (5/31)

I've made it to the end of week 1 of the film festival and this is a record year. We have already been out to 10 full length feature films and there were only 2 films that I wouldn't recommend. One of those I cannot blog about and the other was merely a very average documentary. While Monter Camp wasn't terrible it was very mediocre. But there are already two stand out films and both are documentaries: King of Kong and The Devil Came on Horseback . Also of note is that I have lost 1.4 kg/ 3 lbs in one week since the festival started. At work, we have had the fitness challenge going since the beginning of the year with Hieu tracking our progress. I'm not allowed to play, since according to Hieu, I am already at my ideal BMI (which I told him is meaningless for many reasons, but he wants to run the contest based on BMI, so whatever) so I'm stepping on the lab scale once a month with everyone else as a "control". My weight has stayed firmly at

SIFF 2007, day 3

King of Kong- USA, Documentary This was way more fun to watch than you'd expect from a documentary. Somehow, a movie about Donkey Kong, you know the 1980s classic arcade game, managed to make a movie about an epic struggle between good and evil. The good guy, Steve Wiebe of Redmond, WA decides to attempt to beat the legendary high score set by Billy Mitchell back in 1982. No one had come even close to that score since, until Steve submitted his video. The battle begins when the authenticity of the tape is questioned, then the questions of whether Steve's Donkey Kong arcade game was somehow tampered with, and his struggles continue, but by the half-way point, you really want Steve to be the Donkey Kong victor. He just comes across as a really awesome guy who wants to play fair with the record holder. And this is where the movie gets really fun. Billy Mitchell, the original holder of the record Donkey Kong high score is the perfect movie villain. He wears black and

SIFF 2007, day 4

The Devil Came on Horseback - USA, Documentary Another excellent documentary. Every morning I listen to the news on NPR, but while I think I am relatively well informed on what is going on in the world, I know that my knowledge doesn't have any real depth. I know of the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, but I knew little about the animosities and politics that fuel it. So I took in a documentary on the subject. The Devil Came on Horseback is a call to action to the world to aid the people in Darfur to stop the killing from Brian Steidle. He is an American, ex-marine who was in the region as a monitor, but his job that kept him in Darfur for 6 months only involved the recording of instances of violence in the region and he was not permitted to interfere or try to stop the murders, only photograph and write reports on the aftermath of the attacks on villiages by the Janjaweed or the devils on horseback. After 6 months of recording these attacks daily, he came back to the

SIFF 2007, day 5

This Is England - UK, Drama At SIFF 2004, we went to a screening of Dead Man's Shoes directed by Shane Meadows which was a well made and very memorable thriller starring Paddy Considine. As I had such fond recollections of that film, I was quick to agree to see another film by Shane Meadows. Shortly after getting into a fight at school, Shaun meets a group of friendly skin heads who adopt him, shave his head, and teach him how to dress. While Shaun's mother is a little distressed that her child is spending his time out of school with a bunch of adult punks, she does nothing to interfere since they have helped him stay out of fights and they do take care of him. But the group becomes less friendly when Combo returns after doing his time. Soon Shaun is indoctrinated into racism and violence. This Is England didn't cover as much new territory as I had hoped. I know a bit about skin head culture and England's skin heads are nearly identical to those in the US.