- The Man Who Came With the Snow (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iran/France, 2009)
- Une femme est une femme (A Woman is a Woman, Jean-Luc Godard, France/Italy, 1961)
- Tony Manero (Pablo Larrain, Chile/Brazil, 2008)
The Man Who Came With the Snow
Nice-looking film that is made by an Iranian but set in a former Soviet country. The result: a film that has elements of Iranian cinema, such as the view of an adult world from a child's perspective, as well as the dark look of Russian cinema. In the middle of the night, a man escaping a blizzard enters a village hotel, disrupting the routine of these down-and-out whores, thieves and hustlers. Who is he? Where is he from? What is he doing here? A mystery, this is a nice festival film, something you won't see otherwise, and I like its relatively short length (about 75 minutes) - it's paced just right.
A Woman is a Woman
Another Godard, another soul-less film. Funny, yes. Smart, yes. Cutting edge (for it's day), yes but dated horribly. I sense that Godard feels superior to his audience. I don't perceive the anger with his audience that I do with others, but his films are distant and don't engage me. I'm still trying to understand Godard, and I really need to read Godard on Godard, which I will. Even understanding Godard's intent, I don't think will affect me. Godard doesn't aim to connect emotionally, he's looking for an intellectual or philosophical engagement. I don't watch films for that. For that, I read books or watch TV. Perhaps that's why Godard moved to television as his medium of choice.
Sex, violence, disco - what more could you want in a film? Yeah, this is pretty weird and not what I was expecting. It's no Mister Lonely and it's no Red Faces (and if it was, I wouldn't want to be Red Symons). Our Tony Manero wannabe will do anything to win a look-alike competition - anything. The film is more social realist than anything and it has a pretty gritty (even grimy) look with hand-held camera work that is generally OK but sometimes a little too wobbly. The story is quite good but the visuals are a little spartan. It's OK for a festival film but I can't see how this could get a release other than being sold on its connection with Saturday Night Fever.