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It's Film Festival time in Melbourne again. It snuck up on me as I had the flu and had felt flat about the festival by the end of last year. But the line up this year is far more interesting to me (though the Festival at a whole has been plagued by political controversies and several movies have been pulled--thankfully none that I really minded about!).

So far I've seen three movies.

A simple, poignant tale of a Turkish brother and sister abandoned by their father. not much to say )

Action Boys
Oh, man! I LOVED this. Korean documentary by and about stuntmen working in the Korean movie industry. Quirky narration and absolutely hysterical. fangirling within )

Thai martial arts flick about a chocolate-scoffing autistic girl kicking a whole lot of gangster ass to pay for her mother's chemotherapy. in every way lived up to the expectations that premise generates (warning for un-PC content) )
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Have not been around much due to house guest and film festival. The festival's been kind of underwhelming overall, but thought I should update anyway.

Evangelion 1.0 You are not alone
Remastered big-screen version of the original Evangelion series )

Urban martial arts flick, Bend-it-like-Beckham style )

Dirge-like boring Chinese doco about the Japanese shrine that commemorates war criminals )

A German documentary about dust )

I've got three more movies to go this weekend.
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Well, I'm off to a great start with the film festival, due largely to the queuing. Each year, the queues are probably the most annoying part of the entire process: they stretch whole city blocks for most sessions. And this is in the middle of winter--so cold and rain are definitely an issue. And as a solo film-goer, it is always a dilemma: do you buy that cappucino to keep you warm (and awake) or do you grab a higher spot in the queue?

Not this year! This year I have: PRIORITY QUEUING. OMG the joy! I get to walk past 200+ freezing people and sweep into the cinema ahead of them. :D Totally worth the MIFF membership $ (even before you consider the other discounts we get)!

Anyway, the films...

Terror's Advocate
Documentary about Jacques Verges, French lawyer who defends terrorists such as Carlos the Jackal and war criminals such as Nazi Klaus Barbi or the Khmer Rouge )

California Dreamin'
Romanian farce-tragedy about a train of American soldiers waylaid in a small Romanian town during the Kosovo-Serbia war )

Animation With Dogs
self-explanatory: 8 short animated features involving dogs )

Three down, eight to go!
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Drive-by post from moi, as I am shortly off to see The Dark Knight at IMAX (having finally convinced their booking system to give up a seat).

Dr Horrible was kinda fun, yes? It made me realise something (spoilery) about my (very biased) taste in Joss-works. )

What else is news? I watched an anime so boring/mad that I started shipping one character with a duck. (Don't ask!) I downloaded Middleman but am hesitating to watch it because it seems like it's about to get canned (feel free to persuade me otherwise!).

And it's that time of year again... the Melbourne International Film Festival started yesterday. This year, I just got a mini-pass (10 flicks) so it won't be as manic as last year and my first session is not until the weekend. I teamed up with a friend to slice through the impenetrably long program and come up with some priority viewing material... it got easier to be decisive after a few glasses of wine, but the results could be ... interesting. I'll report back. :p

random thing that made me LOL )

And finally, a shoutout/invitation to any BSG fans interested in running challenges during this here hiatus we're in. [ profile] bsg_hiatusthon is yours for the co-opting!
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This week's been pretty frantic for me, getting the house back in order and returning to work, so I only managed three movies. Got more lined up tomorrow though--just one week of the festival to go. My early luck with movies seems to have worn off somewhat, but there's still a few to come that I'm looking forward to.

Grace is gone
John Cusack plays a military husband whose wife dies in Iraq )

Azur et Asmar
animated French inter-cultural fable with an Arabian Nights aesthetic )

appallingly dull Dutch movie made worse by projection failure )

MIFF day 3

Jul. 30th, 2007 09:12 pm
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By Day 3 I was getting kinda tired (late night drinkies the day before hadn't helped) but still had lots of stamina. Alas, it was to be my last full day at the festival for a couple of days as I got word that we could move back into our renovated home and the following day was spent moving and cleaning.

The Mourning Forest
winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes this year--a melancholy, introspective Japanese mood piece about mourning )

The War Tapes
three US soldiers film their year in Iraq--incredible documentary )

A Mighty Heart
Michael Winterbottom directs Angelina Jolie in the true story of an American journalist kidnapped by terrorists )

Black Sheep
New Zealand comedy-horror in which genetically engineered mutant sheep turn on humans )

MIFF day 2

Jul. 29th, 2007 09:47 pm
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Day 2 proved more sociable, since I caught up with friends between movies and went out for drinks after the last movie--alcohol was definitely required after that one. *g*

Your Mommy Kills Animals
complex documentary about animal rights activists and animal welfare advocates in the US )

My best friend and his wife
Korean observational drama )

My Kid Could Paint That
intelligent and funny documentary about a four-year-old heralded as an artistic prodigy )

A Savage Grace
Julianne Moore stars in a society murder story based on real life )
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Hello LJ! I missed you! :-) This is the first of my film festival posts, hurriedly uploaded from an internet cafe. ;-) I managed to do five consecutive sessions on Day One. I think that'll be my daily record for the festival. As it was, I wound up with a headache. (Note to self: don't forget to pack nurofen tomorrow!) Met up with a couple of friends for Once and Scott Walker and heading off to meet them again today. So far mental health relatively intact. *g* I've tried not to be too spoilery in these reviews.

Tuya's marriage
quirky and poignant Mongolian romantic comedy )

Behind the Veil / Eve and Marilyn
Magnum Photos documentary focusing on Eve Arnold )

reconstructed narrative of the death of Chinese illegal immigrants in the cockle industry in the UK in 2004 )

superlatively awesome modern Irish musical )

Scott Walker: 30th century man
definitive documentary about the enigmatic musician )
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The Melbourne International Film Festival program came out today. It starts on 26 July.

The bad news: Through my own mindboggling stupidity (the details of which I don't want to go into because they make me cry) I am only actually able to go to four full days of the festival--plus two other weekends. 8 days in total out of 19. I am not happy about this but only have myself to blame, so I will suck it up. It means I'll probably just push myself to get as much out of those days and other evenings as I can, until I crash in a heap, ill, as I usually do each year. The idea was to avoid that this year... ah well. :(

The good news: The program's out, so I can begin the obsessive reading, circling, question-marking, planning, scheduling and liaising that accompanies it. I usually spend about a month doing this, but it's out late this year so my obsessing will be confined to two weeks. I'm currently drafting a 'priority viewing' list which I'll then compare with friends and see if we can see some together. There's a real art to picking the right festival movies. So many haven't been widely reviewed overseas yet, so it's hard to know which will be the surprise hits. And it's also really hard to get the right balance of movies. I have a great track record of picking all the truly soul-destroying depressing flicks, and I wound up seriously emotionally overwrought the last couple of years running. *g* This year, I'm instituting a 'one light film to every four heavy ones' policy. I may even up that!

If anyone out there is truly horrendously bored, you can browse to the festival website and tell me what I should see. ;)

And finally, I'll be keeping my own record of the films I go to see, but I wondered if others would be interested in hearing about the festival. Warning: the reviews may get more and more whacked as the Festival progresses. ;) You can read some from last year here.

[Poll #1020647]
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So the Film Fest swallowed me whole but has now (thankfully) spat me back out the other side. As usual, I feel a little tattered and bruised, but no major damage I think... *pats self*

The highlights of my final selection of films were The Host and The wind that shook the barley.

The Host
Korean blockbuster monster flick with humour )

The wind that shook the barley
Ken Loach's Irish Civil War flick, starring the unnerving Cillian Murphy )

So now that that's all over, I'll have more time to play. *waves*

I missed [ profile] talitha78's birthday!! WOE. I hope you got many lovely things and had a great day. You are my fandom hero, sweetie! Best wishes for the year ahead.

I probably missed a bunch else besides... feel free to fill me in! *g* And yes, I may actually be around a leetle more now. And will stop posting about boring movies you have no intention of seeing. I promise the next post will be fannish-ish. ;-)
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Well, the film festival ticks on, and my lucky streak has ended. Today I was scheduled to see C.R.A.Z.Y., but the parking restrictions got the better of me. After circling city blocks for half an hour I decided to fork out for a parking centre spot, only to hit Melbourne's only Sunday CBD traffic jam. I missed the session. I've also been OD-ing on documentaries prior, of which the best was Iraq in Fragments, though the camerawork in the middle third had a hypnotic effect on me--I kept nodding off!

In other news... I made an icon. Yes, that's right. This icon. Does this make this a GIP?! Jen! Where is [ profile] nehellania?! See! I listen to you! I took you up on your dare. *g* Jules, I'm still quaking in my shoes about your mayo-peanut-banana combo. I'm pleading for an extension due to the high price of bananas here in Aus right now. We have a banana crisis, miss! Really.

Anyway, isn't Maggie cute?! *g*
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I found a Smallville connection at the Melbourne International Film Festival! *is ridiculously proud of herself* And I have a new actress to fangirl!

Her name's Jodelle Ferland, and she's only 11 years old. She played Emily Dinsmore (S2's Accelerate: Lana's childhood friend, cloned by LuthorCorp), and she stars in Terry Gilliam's movie Tideland, which is based on a novel by Mitch Cullin. I haven't read the book but the movie was seriously warped. I wouldn't recommend it for the sensitive or the squeamish (there's some pretty confronting content), but Jodelle's performance is out of this world... kinda literally!

Jodelle plays Jeliza-Rose. The basic plot is that after her mother dies from a heroin overdose, she and her father return to the rural farmhouse where he grew up. Jeliza-Rose attempts to deal with her bizarre life by play-acting with her 'friends' (bodiless Barbie doll heads) and eventually with Dickens, a disturbed soul who lives next door, browbeaten by his even-more-disturbed sister. The cinematography is gorgeous and the score's fantastic. Gilliam explores the fluid connection between reality and imagination in a typically whimsical manner, blending the fantastic and the grotesque. It's definitely not a movie for everyone. You can check out more images from production here.

Jodelle is high on my 'watch' list now. Her impressively longIMDB bio tells me that she's a Johnny Depp fan (of course!) and provided me with this gem of a quote: "They like to cast me for scary roles. I think it's because they want you to be scared, but also want you to like the little girl." Honey, you got it in one!

Oh, and she's also been on Supernatural. Not that I care. ;-p *pokes tongue at half her f'list*
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Well, the countdown is on until I am sane again and/or have time to myself. I'm getting through record amounts of work, and I'm three films into my Melbourne International Film Festival. This is a brief rundown of the films I've seen so far for anyone who's interested.

An Iranian film about female soccer fans )

Maggie Gyllenhaal in purple jeans singing 'Eternal Flame' )

An inconvenient truth
Essential viewing--it gets a mainstream release next month, but I couldn't wait that long )

In other news, the Israel-Lebanon war is alternately breaking my heart and enraging me. It's getting to the point where I can barely watch the news. I'm sure my cries of frustration are not appreciated by my boy! Today I watched the Lebanese protest in Melbourne with a feeling of complete impotence. It makes me wish for a swifter-moving, more interventionist UN. There doesn't seem to be even a flicker of hope for a ceasefire any time soon.

That's all I got for now. But as I say, I can see a flicker at the end of the tunnel of busy-ness--not this week, but next week perhaps ...
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Ah, yeah. )

However, there is a sort-of silver lining. It's called MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival) and it started yesterday. It's other name is That Torturous Annual Event That Usually Winds Up With K in Bed with Exhaustion and/or the Flu.

Quick rundown of MIFF )

So if I've been hideously slack about answering comments or commenting on posts, please forgive! I still hold hope of being back to 'normal' in a few weeks time. Or perhaps I'll just reach the 'don't care' stage at work a lot sooner than I should.


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