Day 9: September 12

I'm a wreck.

Didn't quite make it through the MM screening, which is really no fault of the film. After letting the Haneke film wash over me, I just wasn't sure I was going to be able to hold on. Sadly, I didn't, and was in snooze mode, half awake, half asleep for the alien comedy. Too bad, I'll have to see it again.

However, between screenings, I was one of the few granted the privilege of clambering on TOP of the Uptown's domed ceiling. The pirate's nest of mouldy wooden boards, dusty insulation and sharp tension wires made for quite a trip.

Can't quite get it in my head that my favourite theatre of all time will be closed tomorrow. I've seen the Eglinton and York pass on, but this one's even more of a blow.

Meanwhile, the press screenings have been exhausted, and most of the flicks have played their runs by now. Most of the talent have gone home, and there's clearly a sense of winding down. Major newspapers have even declared their picks for the fest for the Friday morning editions. Meanwhile, there's a couple more things to check out, some pieces to pick up, and one more day to go.

    

Brown Bunny
Directed by: Vincent Gallo

Pilloried at Cannes (20+ minutes have been shed since then), this is hardly the worst film I've seen - it's not even interesting enough to be classified as that bad. A very quiet and subdued road movie, it's basically a handicam trip across the states as Vinnie Gallo picks up chicks. In its current, shortened form, I can see quite a few people actually enjoying the film. I did get a chance to talk to some people who had seen the Cannes cut, and, quite frankly, leaving those elements in (prolonging some of the more boring scenes, and especially the original ending where he kills his car and a bunny hops out) would have spelled disaster. Still, as a truncated work, it stands as a road movie tone poem. Not great, but not completely shite either.
Grade: C-

    

The Corporation
Directed by: Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbot

This ambitious, three hour doc delves into the psychology and psychopathy of the modern corporation. Since it is legally classified as a person (a fact), the corporation is subjected to a form of close scrutiny biography - where it came from, who it went to school with, the troubles it got into in its teen years, and where it's got to go in the future. An impressive array of interviewees, from Michael Moore to Milton Friedman, give their take on modern capitalism. It's a bit cheeky at times (the narration begging the question and being a bit too strident at times unnecessarily), it stands as an extremely well crafted analysis. Unfortunately, it's certainly catering to the converted, and it's highly unlikely to persuasive anyone against such points of view in the first place.
Grade: A-/B+

    

Le Temps du Loups
Directed by: Michael Haneke

This quiet, contemplative look at a social apocalypse is intensely harrowing and stark. Haneke's usual flamboyance is downplayed significantly here, with small movements and moments serving to tell his tale about the breakdown of society. It's strangely similar to a Lord of the Flies or Survivor scenario (in a good way), with inadvertent political alliances shifting constantly due to changing circumstances. This gets mixed with the fears and superstitions of religious fervour in times of crisis, and the strange insanity that this results in. These descriptions, however, doesn't really do justice to the work - it plays out with such quiet confidence that when the key events actually occur, they seem all the more startling. A great, mature work.
Grade: A-/B+

    

Save the Green Planet
Directed by: Jang Jun-hwan

Wasn't entirely awake enough, both mentally and physically, to fully review this film. Still, what I did see looked fun and goofy, with crazy costumes and bizarre jumps in logic. The bee-keeping alien flick supposedly got slammed in Korea, after being sold as a romantic comedy. When Harry Met Sally this ain't, but it seems like quite a fun ride and it's worth checking out this, the director's first film.