Thursday, September 9, 2010

More from the Venice Film Festival...

Venice Film Festival is moving along swiftly and we're already over half way there. However, it still isn't ceasing to amaze me. And I'm talking about the festival in general not just the films. Before I go any further, I must apologise for the repeated reference to Quentin Tarantino below. (I'm in no way a fan, but he is the head of this year's Venice jury and therefore here he is God!)

A few days ago I saw the Chilean film Post Mortem (Pablo Larrain). I was one of the last people let in from the long queue and the only remaining seats were the front row of the balcony in Sala Grande. These are the best seats in the house! As soon as I'd taken my seat I looked down and saw Mister Tarantino himself. I couldn't help but be bowled over by the event. As it happens this is the best film I've seen here yet. It is a dramatic love story covering every single emotion. Hopefully it will get widely distributed and everyone can see it at the IFI.

Other great films I've seen include Essential Killing by Jerzy Skolimowski, starring Vincent Gallo. This war/ survival film is similar to The Road, but I think the latter is marginally better.

Silent Souls (Aleksei Fedorchenko) was another favourite of mine. It is a Russian film based around death. It is stylishly 'slow' (like any good Russian film) and slightly more avant-garde than many others, so an international release may be less likely.

In the last few hours I saw Balada Triste de Trompeta by Alex de la Iglesia. Huge hype has gathered around this film since it's premiere screening last night, at which "Tarantino laughed harder than anyone else there". It's a Spanish film that could be the next Pan's Labyrinth. It combines Tarantino and Tim Burton's style, but still feels very fresh and new. I was in the minority who thought the film was just ok, but I'll be very surprised if it doesn't reach Ireland in the coming year. An Oscar nomination is also a possibility.

The last film I'll mention here is the Happy Poet. It's an american 'indie' flick, that is actually independently produced, unlike so many 'indie flicks' these days. The main character struggles to start up an organic food stand. It is an endearing parallel of a film maker trying to get his film made without selling out.

There'll be further blogs form the Venice Film Festival in the coming days.

Conall O Duibhir
Member of the Young Cinephiles Jury
Venice Film Festival

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