Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day two @ SIFF

I hadn't scheduled a film for early in the day so decided to head down to the Egyptian Theatre (a couple of lobby photos are included) and see a documentary called We Live In Public. I'm glad I went as it was a very interesting doc about a lot of things--the loss of our shared privacy as we willingly give away information and chunks of our lives on social networks such as Facebook, Myspace or Twitter; a profile of the .com millionaire/performance artist Josh Harris who created some ahead of its time ultra-reality experiments on the web in the late 1990s/early 2000s. The craziest was the Quiet project that saw him sink 20+ million into the construction of a bunker in NYC right as 2000 hit. Dozens of people who signed up had to stay for a month, were furnished all the food, drink, drugs they wanted, everyone slept in pods with complete lack of privacy--TVs were everywhere, in your pod, in the shower, in the bathrooms. There was an on site gun range and interrogation room meant to break people down. Everyone was urged to wear uniforms (when they weren't cavorting around naked) and have cult like meetings in a appropriately designed room. At first everyone is into it--then it turns into chaos and madness. Riveting. Harris' next online project was to show every waking hour of him and his girlfriend's living experience--so detailed cameras were installed in the toilet. Not as interesting as the bunker but that was wild. Directed by the same woman who made the documentary Dig! which I really loved, We Live In Public is a fascinating look at our culture, our attention craved mindsets and one man's extreme measures to vault himself into the public consciousness. 

Later at night I went back to the Egyptian to see a dark comedy from Denmark called Terribly Happy. I have mentioned in earlier posts about how I'm on a Danish kick and just really love their sense of humor and will add this quirky film to the list. It's full of lots of dry, deadpan moments that seem to populate their comedic style as a Copenhagen cop moves out to the boonies and discovers a town populated with eccentrics and their own way of doing things. If you go against the grain here--you run the risk of ending up in the bog outside of town. I think I'm going to like any film that makes repeated references to "the bog". I just love that word: bog. I did have to ask a couple in front of me who were blabbing away non-stop (a rarity here as usually audiences are stone silent) if they were going to keep talking to each other the entire film (only my second confrontation of the year Guy if you are reading this, ha). 

Day two--both films were worth seeing and enjoyable. Day three has another Danish film scheduled and a new one I'm watching because Jeff Daniels is in it and that's usually reason enough to check it out. 

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