Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009: Day Seven
The seventh day already, and it was a bit of a manic day today, three films and a doctor's appointment, nothing too taxing there, but it is when you get your neck and back cracking into shape and your sore for the rest of the evening. Day Eight is going to be interesting sitting in the videotheque in those horrible seats with a sore back.
The line up of films today was good, The Missing Person, The Girlfriend Experience and Antichrist. So let's have a quick round up of them for you.
The Missing Person was the early morning one, described as film noir from the opening which meant a voice over, a detective story, and for a long time not much happening with scenes that felt a little too long. However don't write it off there, for it got better and there are plenty of people who like that kind of film.
When the detective work starts happening it has some funny moments and some interesting dialogue, and we start to see the characters fleshed out a little, and by the end of the film our lead character has been revealed much more than the mumbling drunk he begins as.
There are some good moments, both funny and intriguing, but I do think that with a little more editing and a bit more concentration in drawing the story out for the audience during the film, that this could have been a lot better. It does end up being a really interesting plot, but it arrives very late in the film.
Then it was straight off to The Girlfriend Experience, and there was me sitting with my old Pornstar69 t-shirt on. I thought it was rather funny being middle aged and all, but other than a couple of double takes no one really bothered, after all you should see some of the others!
Anyway, I wasn't actually expecting a lot from the film as there had been a lot of negative press that I'd read about it, however I was pleasantly surprised. The lead, real life Pornstar Sasha Grey, was natural and moody, as well as gorgeous on screen, you could really see her having a career as a mainstream actress.
Although it starts off a little stilted, which might be more down to the client in the story than the actual actors in the scene, it does settle down quickly and tells a story through its fractured time lines and multiple stories really well. I found myself drawn to the character and sympathising with her, that is until she starts to make some really silly choices.
However that's a good thing as the character goes from being the strong and self-assured opening professional escort to revealing that she's a frightened, jealous and far from certain about herself as you might first think.
There are a couple of areas that are touched on but not fully explored though, and those would have made for some interesting stories looking more into her life and her relationship with her steady boyfriend.
Enjoyable, different, and very interesting.
Finally I saw Antichrist, and that really got a mixed reaction. The film has been receiving mixed press with those not liking it putting it down to the horrific moments in the film, some bizarre sexual violence scenes, straight up horror, and a moment of female genital mutilation, and instantly I'm as guilty as the next for focusing on that and not the film, for out of context they do sound terrible, but in the film it works, hence the BBFC passing the film uncut.
From the opening scenes the film looks beautifully shot, memories and dream sequences have a beautiful feel to them that really captures your eye and looks wonderful on screen. The cinematography is fantastic, as well as that the opening scene is almost heartbreaking.
Willem Dafoe gives a great performance too, and as always he keeps you glued to his character and his performance.
The story leaps from being heavy handed to subtle at times, and I wish that some sections had just been dropped from the film as the symbolic references are either totally lost or blatantly in your face and don't quite fit.
However it's a strong story and does live up to the horror genre, tense, scary and shocking with plenty of moments of people drawing breath or groaning, for the right reasons, although the laugh out loud moment from the audience was definitely for the wrong reasons!
An interesting film, but be prepared for some scenes equalling those of the Japanese film Audition.
Right, that's an unusually long round up, but some good films were had this day. Now onto day eight!
The Missing Person is showing on 24th June at 17:15 in Filmhouse screen 1 and again on 25th June at 18:30 in Cineworld 6 with no general release scheduled for this film, this might be your only chance to see it outwith DVD.
The Girlfriend Experience is showing on the 24th June at 21:30 in Cineworld 2 and again on 27th June at 20:45 in Cineworld 2 and won't be see in a UK cinematic release until 20th November, in the meantime it'll be seen in France in July, Blu-ray in the USA and Australia in September.
Antichrist is showing on the 24th of June at 21:00 in Cineworld 7 and getting a UK release on the 24th of July. It's also expected in a number of other countries throughout the next few months - Russia, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Romania and the Netherlands.
Filmstalker at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009