Skip to main content

SIFF 2008, Blog#10

Cherry Blossoms - Hanami
Dir. Doris Dorrie
Contemporary World Cinema Program
North American Premiere

This is absolutely my favorite film of the festival. Upon leaving the theater, I kept thinking that it touched me similarly to Ozu's Tokyo Story. After further reflection, this is in many ways a remake of Tokyo Story. It is similar in so many ways, but this is in no way a criticism of Cherry Blossoms. It is just as powerful as Ozu's film about the interconnectedness of family. And just like Ozu's film, also made me want to pick of the phone and call my mother.

In Cherry Blossoms, after Trudi receives the news that her husband may not have long to live, she drags him off to visit their children. Rudi would rather stick to his normal routine, but he humors his wife as they stay with their children and do some sightseeing. Eventually, this journey of understanding brings Rudi to stay with his son, who has fled to Tokyo. There Rudi meets a young, homeless Butoh dancer and through this meeting comes to truly know his wife.

This is a beautiful film. I found myself moved so personally by the way the adult children interact with their parents, their life decisions, and also by the couple's lack of understanding of each other despite having spent decades in a happy marriage. So much is taken for granted, that we forget to really look at the other person. This isn't really sad in itself, but just something that happens and like Tokyo Story, this film about a German family strikes very similar emotional chords. And the ending was so sad and beautiful that I left the theater in tears, along with most of my fellow SIFF attendees.

And I definitely wasn't alone in loving this movie. It won the Golden Space Needle for being highest rated this year at SIFF. And it was well deserved.



The Wackness
Dir. Jonathan Levine
Contemporary World Cinema Program

Ever have the experience where you know the movie you are watching is good, but you just cannot find it in you to enjoy it? That was The Wackness for me. The performances were fine, but I couldn't relate to the characters at all. I found no connection and it wasn't shocking enough, funny enough, or even Wacky enough to carry me though. So I'm sure plenty of people enjoyed it. I heard them around me laughing and having a good time, but this did nothing for me.

Gah, I cannot even bring myself to care enough to give you a synopsis. If you want to know more, check out the trailer... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1082886/trailers-imdb-vi3068592409

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

Horror?

From Blogger I apparently have no clue what a horror movie is. Or at least, when the challenge rolls around and I take the leap and attempt to watch 31 horror movies, I suddenly feel as if I have no idea what that means. There are times when it is obvious that a movie is horror; Friday the 13th, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre . Once I dive into the challenge, I begin to question whether the movies I'm seeing really count. This year, I've seen Buried, Carrie, Clean, Shaven, Nosferatu (1922), Scanners, Sisters , and I sell the Dead . Nate protested Sisters, saying DePalma's movie about a pair of disturbed Siamese twins isn't a horror movie. And he has a point, but how is one supposed to choose movies without having seen them before to really know whether they are horror? Especially since I'm only using the challenge to catch up on movies that I should see because they are classics and to re-watch a few others that need to be revisited. But picking the

My attempt at Filmspotting's Top 5 List

I just finished listening to Filmspotting podcast, episode #296, and I've been inspired to begin a small project. My concept of great cinema has changed now that I live in a place with so many choices. When I lived in Anchorage, I primarily saw movies at the local Art House, Capri Cinema. Rand, being an out gay man, tended to show a lot of GLBT cinema as well as the better known independent/art house films. The years I lived in Columbia, I watched more mainstream film and really, just about everything that came to town that sounded at all interesting. But in Seattle, the choices are overwhelming by comparison. Sometimes I'll see a classic film, or a film with a lot of buzz, and there are a lot of foreign language films, because of the wide variety of cinema I have access to, I am now a very devoted fan of Asian cinema. The filmmakers in Hong Kong, Korea, China, Japan, Thailand are incredible. And this isn't at all limited to the genre films that have made Asian film