There’s something strangely amusing about the fact that as we write this the “Film Festival” episode of South Park is playing on TV, something amusing but not actually meaningful.
We’ve had yet another quiet night in (it’s now that we realize that the reason most publications have people who cover the parties and people who cover the films is that one person just can’t do both) but we do know as usual there were several parties going on; someone actually bothered to tell us that last night there was a This Filthy World party where John Waters would be attending. This is how the parties during the festival usually work, the film companies put them on for… Some reason, or other. Publicity? People tend to whisper about them the next day so as not to offend the people who weren’t there. “Whisper… Brad Pitt… Whisper… Cake and jelly… Whisper” and so on.
We didn’t see celebrities as usual, we saw… Films!
Out of the Blue – Perhaps it the fact that we recently talked to JT Petty, creator of the postmodern critique of the horror genre S&Man, but we’ve been thinking about the tropes of horror films a lot recently, and this film seems to use a lot of them. What makes this seem so questionable, however, is that it’s a film about a massacre that really happened. We’re not so sure where we stand on this film; the tension is initially unbearable, the performances are fine and the violence is revolting, but there are too many narrative flourishes and a general air of sensationalism that makes the whole thing just seem slightly sick. Without our own moral worries, however, this is a skillful piece of work. 3/5
Mainline – To be frank, when we went into this we weren’t expecting much from it; we just wanted to check out an Iranian film and it’s the only one that (more or less) fit our schedule. This is actually a very powerful and well shot film that deals with issues that seem tired (heroin!) but are dealt with in a very fresh manner. Heroin is destroying the life of Sara, pining in Iran for her boyfriend in Toronto, and her mother struggles to get her to a rehabilitation centre before the planned marriage. The film shows how heroin affects the lives of the family members without moralizing, and the oppressive grey colorization of the film is a bold stylistic choice. Truly very good. 4/5