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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.



Documentary Posted on 2015-02-06 20:23:55

Reactionrecreation by Anders Østergaard, Erzsébet Rácz, Denmark 2014

When the young accountant Miklós Németh unexpectedly gets elected prime minister of Hungary in 1988, few knew what consequences that would have for Hungary, the Eastern block and, indeed, the world. Through overdubbing, re-enactments and archive footage, the story of how the Iron Curtain fell is told.

The late 80’s and early 90’s was a period of turmoil and changes in Europe, and though I was young, I can relate. We (as in my generation and older) are all fairly knowledgable on the events in East Germany leading to the fall of the wall, and the Glasnost and Perestrojka initiative of Michail Gorbachev, but I, for one, was a bit fuzzy on the importance Hungary played, and especially their approach to the border to their long-last ally Austria. Through the innovative use of overdubbing archive footage, sometimes with voice actors, sometimes with the actual people portrayed, there’s a fresh take on documentary story-telling, and I like; the obviously bad lip-synch is noteble for about a minute, after which you don’t really give it a second thought. Probably, like all documentaries, it’s a bit lopsided, but it seems that it just might be the death of one man, an East German who tried using the Hungarian-Austrian border to flee the eastern block, who tilted the political leanings which led to the confusion that later allowed the Berlin wall to fall. Possibly.

Bechdel test: Fail

5 advisors of 6

Futatsume no mado (Still the water)

Drama Posted on 2015-02-06 20:19:38

Teenangstdrama by Naomi Kawase, Japan 2014

On a remote island in the Japanese archipelago, a teenage boy finds a dead body flushed ashore after a heavy storm. The tragedy leads him to deal with his angst regarding his parents’ separation, but also helps him connect with a girl from school, who suffers from sadness due to her mother’s terminal illness.

Beautiful and sad, ‘Still the water’ tells a tale of growing up, but rather unevenly so. It varies between engaging moments and tedious, between clever storytelling and unnecessary. With the potential to be a great film, ‘Still the water’ misses the mark somewhat.

Bechdel test: Fail

3 tattoos of 6

Ngoui truyen giong (The inseminator)

Drama Posted on 2015-02-06 20:17:33

Seedstory by Kim Quy Bui, Vietnam 2014

In an isolated forest in the Vietnamese countryside lives a man with his unwed daughter and mentally different son. Obsessed with keeping his bloodline, he tries to get his son to be able to plant his seed in a wife provided for him. Such is not easy to purchase, but in his own household he finds the solution.

Excellent cinematography.

Bechdel test: fail

1 red doll of 6