Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thinking of Sydney

I've been receiving the Sydney Film Festival newsletter, and I had some romantic idea a while ago that maybe I'd get away for a long weekend to check it out for the first time. Maybe zip up there on my motorcycle or fly up and hire a car (or bike). Well, it was a nice idea, and I did a little research of films to see. I say 'little' because that trip just ain't happening (this year at least), and there's no point doing the detailed research that a serious visit to a film festival warrants if you ain't going.

Well, for what it's worth, I thought I'd post the list I put together. Readers in Sydney might be interested to check these out. Those marked with an asterisk are those I've seen that I'd definitely recommend to others. Needless to say, I'll be looking to see these if they appear at MIFF.
  • Climates* (Iklimer, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, France/Turkey)
  • Container (Lukas Moodysson, Sweden)
  • Inland Empire (David Lynch, France/USA/Poland)
  • Poison Friends* (Les amitiés maléfiques, Emmanuel Bourdieu, France)
  • Rescue Dawn* (Werner Herzog, USA)
  • The Violin* (El violin, Francisco Vargas Quevedo, Mexico)
  • Away From Her (Sarah Polley, Canada)
  • Beauty in Trouble (Kráska v nesnázích, Jan Hrebejk, Czech Republic)
  • Don't Touch the Axe (Ne touchez pas la hache, Jacques Rivette, France/Italy)
  • Flanders (Flandres, Bruno Dumont, France)
  • Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant, USA)
  • Once^ (John Carney, Ireland)
  • Syndromes and a Century (Sang sattawat, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Austria/France/Thailand)
  • The Walker (Paul Schrader, USA)
  • Control (Anton Corbijn, USA)
^ Once has a confirmed commercial release through Icon Films (Aug. 30)

Meanwhile, I'll be getting my coverage of the Sydney Film Festival from Matt at Last Night at Riviera and Geoff at Film Alert.


trent said...

Paul, you must see Syndromes and a Century. Must must must must must. Don't read another thing about it, just go in with what you know and forget it all if you can. No description or analysis can do it justice anyway. Must must must must must.

Paul Martin said...

It sounds like some lucky bunny has just returned from SFF and seen a film he really liked. When you say "must, must, must", Trent, is that unambigous? Just joking, mate. Thanks for the comment, I take that as a good recommendation.

Reading into your comment, I also suspect that there's things about it people won't like - maybe I won't like - but that it has qualities that make it worth seeing. I've already noted it as something to see if and when it screens in Melbourne.

I'll find out on Wednesday if it has a MIFF screening - I'm forgoing my regular Cinémathèque screening to attend the official launch of MIFF. The full program will be announced, as well as the opening and closing films.

trent said...

Heh, yes, I believe that is the most amount of musts I have given to a film recently. I haven't had much time to dwell on the film yet but...well I can't say anything really, I wish I knew someone else who had seen it. You know that feeling? But as I was walking home in an hypnotic state it was very clear to me that it's a film that you, Paul, must see, and I felt the need to reinforce your own desire to see it.

When the full MIFF program is announced, will it include the dates and times of screenings or does that come about later on? Sounds like it's going to be quite an event on Wednesday night--be sure to post about it, I'm dying to know the full program too.

Paul Martin said...

While we have some differences of opinion (Fight Club for one), Trent, I think it's fair to say we have a reasonable 'meeting of minds' as to what constitutes a good film and the context of a film within a bigger picture. So, I take your recommendations seriously, and yes, I do know that feeling of wanting to discuss a shared experience. Heck, that's what I go to films for!

Mind you, while I will highly recommend a film (like I recently did with Christophe Honoré's Ma mère), I'm mindful that if I recommend something too highly, it might build up expectations that are then disappointed. So, when you say "must, must, must", I appreciate that you're not telling me why. I'll find that out in due course.

Paul Martin said...

And are you aware that this film was banned in its own country, Thailand?

trent said...

Yes I am aware that it cannot be screened in Thailand. I am utterly against censorship of any form and signed the online petition--it's very obvious that the committee responsible for these things is totally out of touch with the rest of the country, just as it is here. Still, when you see this film, you mustn't dwell on this fact and go looking for the scenes that have upset certain sensitivities. I doubt you would do that anyway as the film is too transfixing for such triteness.

And no I'm not going to reveal anything about it to you, that would be diabolical! I find you to be a cinematic brother, Paul, and from now on shall refer to you as Brother Paul.

Paul Martin said...

Those who are opposed to censorship (and I count myself among them) may be concerned to know that the Office of Film and Literary Classification is in the process of being absorbed under the umbrella of the Attorney General's office. That's right, folks, our very own Mr. Smiley, Phillip Ruddock will be responsible for what films we see and what films we don't.

I'm not completely informed of all the details, but my understanding is that this is to take effect from July 1 coming, and that it took place without any community or industry consultation. Nor even consultation with the OFLC!

As for 'Brother', I thank you for your generous sentiment and take that as a general agreement about 'meeting of minds'. Without meeting in person, I don't like to presume too much about anyone. Are you coming down to Melbourne for Mister Lonely at MIFF?

trent said...

Just fooling around Paul. I am coming down for Mister Lonely at all costs, but I really need to know when it is screening first so I can plan my trip. Believe it or not it's not something I'm too concerned with right now as I continue to be mesmerised by last night's film--I only wish it was the last movie I saw as I can't bear to see anything else right now, not even Inland Empire. At least I'm not seeing anything this day.

Doesn't Ruddock basically control the OFLC already? A video game was refused classification recently because his office appealed the original decision to classify it. He's a fascist and we need him out.

Paul Martin said...

I think the MIFF program will probably appear on their website on Thursday, after the official launch on Wednesday. Mind you, I thought their last press release about Cannes films making it to MIFF would have been announced on the website, but that didn't happen.

I'll probably post about it tomorrow night, after I get home from the launch. Stay tuned.

As far as I am concerned, the current government is in the seed stage of fascism. For some people, it sounds extremist to call them that now, because they can't see the parallels with other fascist regimes (who all start out just like Howard & co.). If the electorate continues to give them the stamp of approval by voting them in, then gradually the fascism becomes more and more overt.

Remember that the wharf dispute was nearly ten years ago now, in the early days of the government. Anyway, I don't like politics, and I try to avoid it. I've said enough.

trent said...

Yep politics is stale which is why it should keep its nose out of the arts.

I look forward to your post about the MIFF launch.