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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.


Listen Up Philip

Comedy Posted on 2015-01-29 22:44:32

Authorisation by Alex Ross Perry, USA 2014

Philip is a 30-something novelist, about to publish his follow-up to his reasonably successful debut. Though the fact that he’s a published author has helped him get a decent apartment in New York and a loving girlfriend, his insecurity prompts him to alienate anyone around him, whether or not they supported him or no. He finds a mentor in the equally bitter former best-seller writer, struggling to make his comeback, but that doesn’t really help either of their personalities, nor their writing or management skills.

Jason Schwarztman plays the same role he always does, and is genuinely jerkassy towards all and sundry, including himself. It’s hard to sympathize, and thus easy to cheer for his girlfriend as she steadily acknowledges that she’s becoming his ex. Jonathan Pryce as the aging mentor is stellar. The film itself suffers from being very uneven; sometimes it’s just too much, or too boring, yet other times one gets completely invested in the happenings. The actual lines are remarkably well written, hovering just below the verge of sesquipedalian loquaciousness, but what else is there to expect when many of the characters are authors, and quite pretentious, at that?

Bechdel test: Fail

3 Laphroaig of 6

Kaguyahime no monogatari (The tale of princess Kaguya)

Adventure Posted on 2015-01-29 22:41:27

Fairymation by Isao Takahata, Japan 2013

From Studio Ghibli (Spirited away, My neighbour Totoro et al) comes the aquarelle animation adaptation of a Japanese folk-tale from the 900’s, in which a simple old bamboo cutter one day finds a tiny princess in a bamboo shoot, a princess that all of a sudden turns into a baby girl. She grows quickly, and the bamboo cutter and his wife do their best to give the girl all she could wish for, as the princess from the heavens that she truly is. But suitors and riches and the lifestyle of a proper lady is not what she wants, and she starts longing for wherever she can call home.

As beauty goes, this one raises the bar. Every cell is a piece of art, carefully hand painted in water colour. The story is gripping, joyous, tear inducing and dramaturgically perfect. A feminist story with origins from feudal Japan that somehow doesn’t feel out of place. To add to this film’s credit, the acting (both the voice acting and the animated facial expressions and body language) is spot on. What’s missing is hard to tell, but to mark it a masterpiece, that little extra something is lacking. That doesn’t stop ‘The tale of princess Kaguya’ from being an awesome and stunningly beautiful film.

Bechdel test: Pass

5 treasures of 6