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Filmfestivalen 2015

Release the Draken!

I'm a bit concerned. For the last gazillion years, or at least twelve, I have been volunteering at Göteborg Filmfestival, working alongside the awesomest people at the best picture house in all the land, leaving me free to watch as many films as possible at my leisure. As such, I didn't need to plan so much ahead and buy tickets, I could just watch any film that happened to be the talk of the town at a whim. This year, however, I attend the movie extravaganza as a regular Joe, wielding tickets and all. It will feel different, but I just know, once I sink down in those comfy chairs, that the screen will, as it always does, take me away to far off places, to meet interesting, lovely, sordid, boring and hilarious people. And experience films I will, wielding tickets and all.


The Voices

Comedy Posted on 2015-01-25 21:04:55

Delusionthrillercomedy by Marjane Satrapi, USA 2014

Jerry works at a bathroom equipment factory in a small town. However, his traumatic childhood has led him to be emotionally unstable, and when he meets Fiona, the pretty girl from accounting, he tries to deal with his loneliness, with macabre results.

Marjane Satrapi tackles a serious psychological problem with a delightfully morbid humour, desensitizing horrible situations with vivid colouring and tacky music. As such, on the rare occasions the pro-/antagonist, and thereby the viewer, snaps back to reality, the shock values increase. Small details, like having the disembodied voice of a Briton speaking in English stock phrases (God save the queen, pip pip, evenin’ gov’nor….) and a social awkwardness matching Jerry’s hidden insanity add quality.

Bechdel test: Pass

5 forklifts of 6

52 Tuesdays

Drama Posted on 2015-01-25 20:57:58

Correctiondrama by Sophie Hyde, Australia, 2013

Billie’s mum is a man born in a woman’s body, and eventually he realizes that, and decides to have corrections. During such turbulent times, it’d decided that Billie goes to live with her dad, only seeing her mum every Tuesday for the next year. At the same time, Billie goes through changes of her own, as one is wont to do in one’s late teens.

Both Tilda Cobham-Hervey as Billie and Del Herbert-Jane as Jane/James are brilliant in their leading roles. The transitions parallelled between child and parent are intrigueing and gripping without being melodramatic or judgy. The oft used trope of having an observer doing talking heads sessions as a framing device for the flashbacks seems cliché at first, but it’s not exactly what it seems. Heartwarming, dramatic, realistic, humourous and very well executed.

Bechdel test: Pass

5 haircuts of 6

Zagreb Cappucino

Drama Posted on 2015-01-25 20:52:36

Midagesolution by Vanja Svilicic, Croatia 2014

Petra is recently divorced, and lives in a fancy apartment in Zagreb, which she keeps meticulously clean. When her old friend Kika comes for a longer stay, she begins living life, for all its ups and down.

It’s all pretty straight forward: Petra’s ennui becomes lessened through the exploits of her more extrovert friend, yet boozing, drinking cappuccinos and having one night stands can only take you so far towards happiness. It’s the friendship between the two 40+ women, and the fact that Kika isn’t as joyous as it seems that give the film some semblance of substance.

Bechdel test: pass

3 cups of 6


Drama Posted on 2015-01-25 01:19:41

Suicidrama by Daniel Barnz, USA 2014

Claire is in serious physical pain after a car accident, and in even deeper mental pain due to the loss of her son and the consequent failure of her marriage. When one of the women in her support group commits suicide, her life may just take a turn for the even worse.

Eventually, rom-com leading ladies seem to take on more serious roles, often as somewhat broken women. After Meg and Sandra it’s now Jennifer Aniston’s turn. Although she plays the part impressively low-key, and the drama keeps getting still more dramatic in a gripping way, the film suffers from repeated clichés and predictability. Not everything is by strict formula, though. Some details work well, and the fact that the introduction of a handsome younger man doesn’t lead to hugs and puppies is refreshing. A bit too drawn-out for my taste, but the acting, especially from Aniston and Felicity Huffman adds a notch.

Bechdel test: Pass

3 pools of 6

Men, women and children

Drama Posted on 2015-01-25 01:13:33

Connectivitydrama by Jason Reitman, USA 2014

In today’s constantly connected society, the youth seem incapable of human interaction, preferring online chats and texting. The implications of putting all sorts of details on the internet raises red flags for some parents, alienation for others and a sense of becoming blasé for yet others.

With gorgeous footage of the Voyager traversing through our solar system and narration provided by the incomparable Emma Thompson, the film sets the mood as a pretentious, yet tounge-in-cheeky black comedy, and so it remains for the first third, before turning more into drama. The classic high school stock characters are present: the bitchy cheerleader, the arsehole jock, the sensitive guy who no longer wants to be a jock, the alternative girl…. But it’s all about their lack of communication and their parent’s lack of understanding. Scariest would be Jennifer Garner’s big brothery overprotective mum, logging and blocking all her daughter’s internet and mobile communication. However, Judy Greer as the failed actress desperately using her attention seeking daughter to make up for her lost dreams is as sad, but on the other side of the spectrum. A visually pleasing film that would be more enjoyable had they kept the dark comedy throughout.

Bechdel test: Pass

4 avatars of 6