Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day four @ SIFF

Had a bizarre night screening on day four--it involves the film being stopped and people walking out of the theatre. Details in a bit. I started the day off with lunch with Nancy on the water at a place called Agua Verde. Our view was of water, bridges, houseboats and the houses that creep up the hills. Pleasant. I went down to the EMP/Sci-Fi Museum (never been) and spent a couple of hours there--too many teenagers running amok! There were legions of them it seemed. The best thing there was the terrific exhibit on the Hatch Print Shop in Nashville. They use traditional wood blocked letterpress techniques to create their designs and I was blown away by what I saw. Not only great design but with pure Americana flavor that is timeless in its simple beauty. 

Went to the Harvard Exit for an afternoon screening of Small Crime. A great thing about film festivals is that you can see films from parts of the world you wouldn't see--Small Crime is a film from Cypress. The star of this light romantic comedy/mystery is without a doubt the setting. It's set on a small island with nothing but blue water surrounded it, rocky terrain, the white + blue sun bleached houses and sun. Gorgeous. I want to hop on a jet right now and go there! I won't remember much about this film for very long but I'll sure remember where the film was set. 

Now to the events of my evening screening of About Elly. I love films from Iran. They always seem to have this no nonsense realism to them that I admire. I depend on movies to take me there as I've dreamed of going to Iran for decades. So, I was excited to see this acclaimed film from Iran and the film jumps right into the action, no credits, verite style. Thirty minutes in the film jumps back in time and I'm thinking, okay, this guy is going non-linear on us after having absolutely no credits. Then the house lights come on and a person at the front of the house addresses the crowd: "I'm sorry but we've made a terrible error. You've actually just watched the 30 minutes near the ending as the film was put together wrong. We are going to re-build it and start from scratch..." at which point there was a lot of anger in the house--a packed theatre by the way. I was not happy! They basically ruined this film for me and countless others by constructing it with events toward the end, then events toward the beginning--who knows what exact reel they'd put where? I'd invested 35 minutes in this, skipped dinner, drove like a maniac to make it to the Uptown Theatre and find a parking place, tried to figure out why the film was starting with no credits and jumping around the time frame and now we were supposed to wait for it to be rebuilt and then stay and watch 35 minutes of the same footage? I took a voucher and got in a few complaints--as did many of those in the theatre--and left. 

I called Nancy and we decided to go watch the Mexican film Rudo Y Cursi at the Guild 45th later that night. The Guild was virtually empty--everyone is at SIFF!--and we watched that disappointing film. The lone bright spot about it is that it did run in its correct order, there was no misplaced reels and the film didn't break while we were watching it. 

1 comment:

larry said...

Bummer....