BIFF Round up

I was flicking through some of my old drafts and came across this one for some reason I never posted rounding up the last of the movies I saw at BIFF in 2007. So here it is, only a few years later. There were some good ones and not weird ones but all good movies. Head over here to check out the other BIFF posts from 2007.

Well after movie 4 I sort of got side tracked by life. So here are movies 5 to 13. One of the bummers is that I have been slightly running round like a chook with its head cut off this week is that I have managed to doze off in 5 of 9 I saw in the past week. Hasn’t really mattered in most as I was able to find my self pretty quickly but there was one or two when I went hang on a second what I have just missed?

We were undoubtedly the largest group in the cinema with there been 8 of us and 2 girls that Thor ran into that she also knew
Watching parents made me realise that I quite possibly know a bit more Icelandic than I think I do as I was able to pick out quite a few words that I knew as well as following the conversation loosely when my eyes were resting. I was unsure about it been shot in black and white but it worked in keeping the film quite gritty. Just as I like seeing movies filmed in Brisbane especially to pick out familiar sights it was also cool to play pick out the Reykjavik sights in Parents, I think they drove past the apartment block where my sister used to live (Herdis, have you seen Parents?) and there was obliviously a few cafes that they used which were familiar to Pabbi. It was gritty, dark, slightly depressing but also sort of uplifting in showing what parents go through and the decisions they make for their children.

Quinceañera with short film out of milk
Was the movie that made me say I have to go to BIFF this year. I first heard about it last year some time when it was doing the festival circuit in the northern hemisphere and I remember watching the short and knowing that I had to see this movie. I really, really enjoyed it. It was the perfect blend of angst and comedy set against a community which is grappling with gentrification.
The short film was a laugh but also a good look at how a child sees her mothers affair as it happens right before her eyes.

The Future is Unwritten: Joe Strummer
I missed a bit of this film due to going to sleep but from say the 80% that I did see, I really enjoyed it. They drew heavily on the large wealth of archived material and in particular the use of the audio from his BBC World Service radio show London Calling. It was remarkable. One of fun things about the film was that it kept on coming back to people sitting round a fire, singing and chatting in various locations around the world. The film was knitted together quite well in how they used

Eagle vs Shark
This was everything I thought Napoleon Dynamite was going to be and more. A film from New Zealand which was really, really, really fantastic. The right amount of laughs, the right amount of darkness and the right amount of everyday blandness and of course good old New Zealanders and the word awesome. This was in my top handful of movies for the festival. It was just a crackpot.

I had high hopes for this one but I missed the middle of it since I dozed off and I never quite caught it again. It tells the tale of two Alegiran women during the recent civil war

Donkey in Lahore
This was the first of two Brisbane produce docos that were screened together at GOMA, both of which were delightful. I was on my seat for most of Donkey in Lahore as I crossed my fingers and hoped that it was going to work out for Amber and Amir. A fantastic movie.

Unlikely Travellers
Unlikely Travellers was the subject of a fair bit of controversy over the subject matter of this documentary and it was a very, very thought provoking film.

An Old Mistress
This was a last minute addition to my viewing schedule and it really surprised me.

Based on the paragraph description in the BIIF booklet, it sounded like a pretty nice movie about a busker who through chance manages to make a break. Little did I know that two leads are both accomplished musicians before they are actors. The busker is played by Glen Han of The Frames and the female lead is Mar Irglova. Even more surprising was that The Frames were in town to support Bob Dylan and popped into to the theatre to play a few songs acoustically for us.

BIFF Movies 3 & 4

Movies, Movies, Movies

First up was Dol: The Valley of Tambourines. A movie set in Kurdistan, starting in Turkish Kurdistan, then Iraqi Kurdistan then onto Iranian Kurdistan before returning to Turkish Kurdistan. The opening scenes they were warm and for a second you weren’t in geopolitical hotspot, you were with two young loves. It was scary, sad and thought provoking. There are three very different Kurdistans shown but they all have the same turmoil in the life. It was good, the landscape and the horses were stunning but something was missing to make it fantastic for me.

Unfinished Sky and Yolk.
Yolk is a 15 minute short film about a teenage girl with Down Syndrome, an egg, a boy and a mother (possibly single) who is frazzled. Shot round The Gap area it was great to be able to recognise local landmarks. I didn’t love it or it didn’t really grab me with the first viewing. It was better than average than though.

Unfinished Sky. A movie I have been waiting to see since I heard about it been filmed round Boonah last year. It was dark, gripping, contentious, a romance and a comedy in one. It was real in so many ways and I think what really made it that real was the decision not to subtitle Tahmeena when she was speaking in Dari. As the movie is really about John and his response to Tahmeena entering his life rather dramatically. He can only understand what she says once she has learnt some English until then her speaking Dari is just noise. It isn’t been released in cinemas till next year some time but if it happens to be screened at a Film Festival near you, I would highly recommend seeing it. I can’t express in words how much this movie is and what it counts for and what it portrays. The highlight of the festival for me so far and I think it will be hard to top.

Anyway I am off to The Troubadour to see Svavar Knutur and co

BIFF Movies 1 & 2

This evening I saw my first two BIFF Movies. The first was Bamako. I missed the first 10 minutes because of traffic chaos and perhaps that is why I never quite got my teeth into it. It was one of the movies that I was most looking forward to seeing but I ended up drifting off quite a few times. Reading some reviews I think if I had caught the beginning it probably would have made more sense for me. One of the things I loved about it was the fact that they were holding a trial in this courtyard – World Bank vs the people and the everyday life of the courtyard just continues on during the trial. That was funny.

Between the two movies I grabbed bite to eat and headed over to Captain Burke to take some photos of the city and the Story Bridge. Here is one photo.

Story Bridge

The second movie I saw was Control and I just, this movie in terms of the art in it was the best for sure I have seen in a while. The cinematography was just so perfect. I was apprehensive about the decision to film the movie in black and white before I saw it but from the very first frame it just clicked. This movie needed to be in black and white for the pure starkness of the movie.
Joy Division
is not a band that I have ever really gotten into other than loving Love Will Tear Us Apart for which I can vividly remember the film clip for. Seeing the movie though definitely made some of the songs click a bit more as to the context in which they were based. I will say it again, a really really great movie. Just so raw and powerful but still with the occasional laugh.