Skip to main content

SIFF 2009, Day 2

I Know You Know (2008) dir. Justin Kerrigan

To Jamie (Arron Fuller), Charlie (Robert Carlyle) is a hero.  He dresses suave, he appears to know everyone, but Jamie knows his father is in trouble.  Charlie confides in Jamie that they are in danger, if they are found, but that Mr. Fisher will protect them.  Through the eyes of the child, the obvious explanation is that Charlie is a spy and Charlie convincingly plays this role.  So convincingly, that he begins to believe it himself.

I Know You Know is an intriguing film.  It was suspenseful and consistently engaging.  Both Fuller and Carlyle were quite good, especially Carlyle who needed to move from creating a fantasy life in order to protect his son from knowing the truth then the development of mental illness, when his lies become his reality.  I Know You Know was a good flick that ended with an emotional punch to the gut that I really was not expecting.   

Nurse.Fighter.Boy (2008) dir. Charles Officer

The title is a nice synopsis of this quietly, moving Canadian film about a Jamaican family in Canada.  This was a lovely film, but very difficult to write about.  It follows the lives of an immigrant family of two, a night nurse and her son as she struggles with sickle-cell anemia.  Their lives become entwined with a boxer, Silence, who is boxer finding himself suddenly in charge of a boxing gym after the sudden death of the owner.  The film has little dialog and thus, we learn about these characters from their habits, the music they listen to, and the choices they make.  Probably due to this, Nurse.Fighter.Boy has an intimacy with these characters that is a bit of a rarity.  This was a lovely film, with an excellent soundtrack that can be downloaded at the Nurse.Fighter.Boy official website.

Still Walking (2008) dir. Hirokazu Koreeda

Hong Kong action-cinema may be the genre that resulted in my falling in love with Asian cinema, but it is the subtle Japanese drama that resulted in my complete adoration of Japanese cinema.  Still Walking, or 歩いても、歩いても, is easily compared to Ozu's family dramas, with similar focus on family dynamics and slow pacing.  In the film, Yokoyama Ryota returns to his childhood home during an annual family reunion to commemorate the death of his brother, who drown 15 years before.  He brings his wife and her 10 year-old son home to meet the family.  His sister is already there, loudly entertaining her rambunctious clan as their mother tries to work in the kitchen.  All the while, the family patriarch hides away in the examination room, left from the days when he practiced medicine.

Still Walking results in a contemplation on all of the the promises that are never kept.  Unlike, Tokyo Story, the emphesis is placed on the surviving children.  On the disapointing choices that they've made in life, on their failures, and the things they try to keep from their disapproving parents.  Ryota is unemployed, but keeps quiet on this matter.  But he also makes promises to his parents that are never kept.  But in the end, life goes on and much remains the same and I suspect Ryota has more in common with his parents then he knows.


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