Sunday, August 02, 2009

MIFF 2009 Day 9 - 1/8/09

I'd planned to see the Roy Andersson shorts but MIFF-fatigue got the better of me and I took the early part of the day off. I wasn't impressed with either film I did see.
  • Hansel and Gretel (Yim Phil-Sung, South Korea, 2007)
  • Double Take (Johan Grimonprez, Belgium/Germany/Netherlands, 2009)
Hansel and Gretel
Koreans are great with horror, when they get it right. Unfortunately, this isn't one of them. It looks great, but the story is a narrative mess and is way too long. A man crashes his car on an isolated road and is lead by a child through the forest where he is taken to a remote cottage. The film re-imagines the Hansel and Gretel tale, subverting expectations along the way. It starts out almost farcical and perhaps would have been better had it stayed that way. When the story becomes darker, its horror never quite convinces. The story is all over the place and I found it very unsatisfying. It's my least favourite film at MIFF yet.

Double Take
I imagine there's a large festival demand for films like this one, but Double Take did nothing for me. Basically it's a visual essay with what I felt had very little to say and padded the film's very long 80 minutes much like a reality TV show - the way the same scene is repeated over and over again.

OK, Hitch had body doubles. OK, The Birds is a metaphor for the Soviet threat and tapped into people's anxieties of the era. And OK, JFK was assassinated because of his liberal stance on the Cold War. I could see it all coming a mile away, and it took so long to make its points, and it made them without substance. This is not my kind of film at all - neither satisfying as a documentary and nor for its playful manipulation of Hitchcock's signature image.


Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, I totally agree with you. In fact I took it one step further and walked out on it (I was the tall gentleman who walked past you when walking out after intitially going out earlier to get a wine and a choc-top that I thought would help me get through it!)

Paul Martin said...

Double Take or Hansel and Gretel?

Anonymous said...

sorry mate, Hansel and Gretel. I thought is was awful, first 20 minutes or so showed potential and was quite quirky but went downhill fast.

Glenn Dunks said...

I actually thought "Hansel and Gretel" was quite offensive. Nothing in the first two acts of that movie earned the director the right to turn his film into one about child rape, abuse and torture. It was no better than a "Saw" or "Hostel" film.

dmk said...

You were so right about Double Take.

Boring as shit. And so damn overlong and confusing too.

Paul Martin said...

See D, we do agree sometimes. I didn't really find it confusing though, just very, very thin and insubstantial.