Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Montreal World Film Festival - Day 5

Yesterday was ho-hum day at the fest.....I returned to see Le Mariage À Trois, Jacques Doillon’s take on artsy communal lust and love, because the film is so dense with “deep” dialogue that, while enjoyable, I wasn’t sure I had fully understood it. Sure enough, I had. (It's that kind of film.) And, once again, I held on to every line of dialogue. This audience, smaller than the one the day previously, also seemed to get the film more than the first audience, who seemed to write it off if they understood it at all. There was even a round of applause from people other than me! The picture has made me a real Doillon fan and I’ve already reserved two of his earlier films for DVD rental: Raja and Petits Freres.....The next film was With Love...from the Age of Reason (d. Yann Samuell) starring Sophie Marceau as Margaret, a fast-rising careerist who one day receives letters she wrote on her seventh birthday, seven being the age of reason. The letters reveal how Margaret, who also changed her name from Marguerite, has strayed from her idealistic youthful values. This is a slick film which ultimately is heart-warming. It will have a strong appeal to middle brow audiences, nothing more......Next was The Singularity is Near, A True Story about the Future (d. Anthony Waller). It’s a documentary about American futurist Ray Kurzweil and his predictions for the coming age of advanced artificial intelligence, where avatars will become so human-like they’ll demand equal rights with their biological counterparts. The film leaves one thinking we’re still living in the Dark Ages.....Finally, Tannöd (The Murder Farm) from Bettina Oberli (German & Swiss co-production). Based on Andrea Maria Schenkel’s novel this film is a whodunit set in rural Bavaria. There’s nothing technically wrong about the movie and Julia Jentsch as Kathrin gives an appealing performance. But the film has the look and feel of been-there, done-that. We know the rural landscapes, we know the dark forebodings and religious imagery. To improve the film the director needed to somehow approach the material from a fresh perspective.

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