Well, it was the sixth day of the Film Festival today and I only managed one film, although I had planned for three. I missed the Uruguyan sock factory movie, Whisky, and that's a damned shame. And I was meant to see Claire Denis' L'intrus (The Intruder), but after sitting through ninety minutes of very repetitive found footage going under the name of World Mirror Cinema, I just flagged. What I had thought was going to be captivating cutting edge cinema turned out to be a sadly miscontrued effort at reconstruction with a thematic approach. I was pretty bummed and ended up sleeping through long spells. It was just not worth the effort of trying to stay awake (although embarassingly I woke myself twice with the sound of my own snoring).
Fabulous though, was much of my Sunday viewing. I started the day with the marvellous Decasia by Bill Morrison. He takes found footage, but not just any old stuff, it has to be decaying. It's amazing the forms this took - from milky opalescence to crackling edged eye-popping bacterial scourges. There were pulsating shimmering halos around dark black shadows. From the midst of the decay were the remnants of the original images, at times emerging from amorphous blobs, at others being swallowed up by melting milkyness. The old footage in itself was gratifyingly gorgeous - a whirling dervish spins into decay; two nuns stand with their backs to us like forboding black sentinels while little children run in a line (at an orphange?) while the film decay causes apocalyptic light effects; a kimono-clad Japanese woman merges in and out of intricate organic blobs; planes fly through a decaying sky dropping little parachutists. This was a gorgeous eye-fest and anyone who can only handle narrative should go along to film like this and think "art gallery" - this isn't a story, don;t expect a story, just love the images. Meditate upon the beauty. This is the stuff that feeds my soul.
My next film on Sunday was Little Sky. Had quite a cry at this one. Delicately shot social realism in Argentina. Harrowing but inevitable ending.
Oh, and then Campbell Walker's latest, Little Bits of Light. I understand people walking out - I heard a few behind me not too far into the film - as this is not fare for the everyday festival-goer. It's not an easy experience: it's not entertaining, it's discomforting, it makes you feel claustrophobic in its closeness to the characters. Just one couple, just one weekend, and we're up close and personal with them all the way. 9 Songs has the intimacy of a quiet afternoon tea next to this, and I'm not talking sex. Helen is depressed and Alex tries all he can to help her through the darkness of it all - the days are bad but the nights are hellish. Now, I've been in the place she findshttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif herself, and I must commend Nia Robyn on her amazing portrayal of the depressed pysche. It was a rewarding and emotionally satisfying film and the soundtrack of the Mountain Goats went so well with the Taranaki landscape.
To top off the day I got along to League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse. Light relief it was, which is just what I was after since it had been a full-on day.
Monday was good too - The Future of Food - made by Gerry Garcia's wife, nonetheless. US patenting laws are totally scary. Anyone who saw The Corporation last year should get along to this. I sincerely hope this gets general release. People need to know about this shit. Then a bit of fun - - what I would call a Spinal Tap movie for the rave generation. Some great moments and a total pisstake of the Ibiza scene.
Got to try to make it to Tony Takitani in the morning. Let's see if I can get up early and get all my work done!