Friday, September 3, 2010

Montreal World Film Festival - Day 7

Thursday it was almost six for six at the festival, the flaw - darn! - being Chantrapas (d. Otar Iosseliani, France-Georgia), my first walk-out. Why? Meandering story-lines in all too typical Eastern European ensemble film.....The day also marked my first “early” (10 am) festival screening (in past years I was routinely at a theatre for the first morning screenings but, hey, I’m doing MWFF/FFM “lite” this year.....First up: Ella (d. Francisco J. Lombardi, Mexico). This tale of an artist and his young wife doesn’t have much to say about art (contrary to the fest catalogue’s description) but is more a probe into how an individual deals with love, betrayal and the criminality surrounding a sudden loss. The film rolls out in an understated and tense manner and there are no scenes wasted.....Living on Love Alone’s theme is about being young and struggling professionally (most of us have been there) but in this case resulting ultimately in the rejection of bourgeois life (a theme in a number of films) where the main character (Anaïs Demoustier) is unable fill the void with a suitable alternative. It’s a good flick from France’s Isabelle Czajka.....In Gold We Trust, also from France and directed by Éric Besnard is an old-fashioned and slickly-produced adventure-crime story straight from the jungles of Guiana. It’s also a tale about corruption in the gold industry and ultimately that there is no honour among thieves. A good fun adventure.....Germany’s Peter Timm’s Beloved Berlin Wall is kind of a screwball comedy about the romance between a West Berlin student and an East German border guard in the days just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The student (Felicitas Woll) finds a cheap apartment just metres form the Wall and begins flirting with a guard (Maxim Mehmet) in the nearby watch tower. Their romance becomes the focus of Cold War intrigue with lots of classic mix-ups reminiscent of 1950s’ Hollywood comedies.....Young Girls in Black (France) is a story of two tight knit high school friends. You know the type: they dress Goth-like, read the deepest literature, and reject the shallow world around them. Good performances, and directing from Jean-Paul Civeyrac.

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