The second half of the festival – for me, since I’ve now left Montreal and the Festival des Film du Monde (FFM) continues until Monday – was less impressive compared to the films I wrote about in my last (Aug. 29) post. Here are my capsule reviews.
#Selfie69 (Cristina Iacob, Romania): It’s unfortunate that so much spectacular directorial talent has to be wasted on a frivolous ditty about three young women wagering on who will be the first to get married. Sexist stereotypes notwithstanding the film’s best attribute is in how the director combined vivid graphics – largely from the social media world – with regular cinematography.
Center of My World (Jakob M. Erwa, Germany/Austria): This well-acted, well-nuanced piece takes a look at the many dimensions of friendship – gay and straight. There's no difference, really.
Ariana Forever! (Katharina Rivilis, Germany) (photo above): This well-paced student dramatic short film centers on a summer camp rape where the victim and perpetrators are all tweens and bound to childhood oaths of loyalty.
Black Widow Business (Gosaigyo No Onna, Japan): As per #Selfie69 what wasted time and talent. This overly long comedy-drama focusses on the thriving Japanese illegal enterprises that set up wealthy older men with fake wives to extract money upon death. It’s a topic worthy of exploration but this almost slapstick drama undermines any social intent.
Tiger Theory (Radek Bajgar, Czech Republic): If you were always skeptical when hearing statistics that married men live happier, more fulfilling, lives than single men, this is the film for you. It’s a one note comedy, with an underlying – if misogynist – message, that wives control marriages to husbands’ despair. The director says his next film, for equality sake, will be a dart at men.