Friday, August 31, 2012

Poems in the wild #22

Turns out I totally thought I had posted this poem about a week ago, but no! Being on leave will do that to you.

Poem #22 (8 of spades) was released at the Forum Theatre during the Melbourne International Film Festival. (It was dark, yo.)

Ghosts of university
Slink into the house like a slogan
Expectant and pretentious
Hiss at stink of contradiction
Appreciation and hindsight
Slides degrees under the heads
Of sleeping children
I will remove those splinters
Before they wake to infect
Cleave an expectation.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Four-Sentence MIFF Reviews #13-14: The Pirogue, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

The Pirogue (Moussa Toure)

Over 10,000 West Africans have attempted to escape their home countries in pirogues: basically a big canoe. Over 5000 have drowned in the attempt.
The Pirogue follows one such boat-ful of asylum seekers.
Too many characters and not enough back story for any of them meant I was not as involved in their fates as I felt I should have been.
But that storm - truly frightening (and not for the sea-sick of stomach).

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (Ice T)

Ice T chats to lots of his rapper mates about the truly awesome thing that is hip hop and lets them spit straight to camera.
Hilarious, intimate, and pleasantly unconcerned with presenting a 'representative' sample of artists.
Snoop Dog on his song-writing process: "First, I gotta smoke a LOT of weed."
Warning: in-seat dancing may occur.

And that's it for my MIFF films this year! Suppose I'd better go back to work. Hmph.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Four-Sentence MIFF Reviews #10-12: Student, Oslo August 31st, Rampart

Student (Darezhan Omirbayev)

Based on Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment.
A philosophy student moves quietly through his days, registering silently the injustices he sees in capitalist modern life.
Then he buys a gun.
A good example of how to 'show' rather than 'explain' a story, though heavy-handed at times in its message.

Oslo, August 31st (Joachim Trier)

Anders is venturing out of drug rehab and attempting to re-establish his life, despite being obviously still depressed and under-supported.
An unsettlingly accurate depiction of directionless intelligence.
The heartbreaking inevitability of Anders' mindset hit way too close to (past) home in a lot of ways.
I found myself trembling uncontrollably as the credits rolled; it took a while to subside.

Rampart (Oren Moverman)

Arrogant LA cop Dave Brown is certain he can get away with anything, from beating up the man who crashed into his car to murdering a man he decided was a serial date-rapist.
But gradually it all begins to spin out of even Dave's idea of control.
I relished the dialogue in this (script co-written by James Ellroy and the director), Dave's cocksure pseudo-intellectual rants are priceless.
A tightly written portrayal of an almost-complete-arsehole who still thinks he's a pretty swell guy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Four-Sentence MIFF Reviews #7-9: Modest Reception, I Wish, Lovers on the Bridge

Modest Reception (Mani Haghighi)

A rich Iranian couple travel over the harsh winter countryside handing out unexplained bags of cash to the needy.
But their motives and the definition of 'needy' morphs their interactions from blackly comedic to seat-squirmingly cruel.
To be honest, I came out having been immersed, but confused; having expected a twist/explanation for the 'charity'.
Too little story laid over the analogy for this bear of very little brain.

I Wish (Kore-eda Hirokazu)

Two young brothers deal with their parents' separation in different but universal ways: with friends, family, and octopus puffs.
A wonderful bunch of kids bring sweetness, comedy, and demonstrate that lovely ability that children have to just deal with all kinds of shit.
Hirokazu's nuanced adult characters are also in abundance.
Absolutely delightful.

Lovers on the Bridge (Leos Carax)

Alex is off his nut again and scraping his head against mid-lane bitumen when Michele enters his life.
Initially a nightmarish portrayal of everyday homelessness in Paris, full of broken mental furious awfulness.
Alex and Michele introduce the film as a gritty love story that then veers periodically into set pieces of violently chaotic whimsy and frowny-faced convenient magic.
Riveting, unsatisfying.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Poems in the wild #20

Poem #20 (5 of diamonds) traveled to the lovely @snazdoll in Wales, where she released it at Chapter in Cardiff. Despite close surveillance, the poem has yet to be recovered...

He looks like a young Graeme Garden
Pinstripe fingers clip open
new orange Penguin
single-handed Kerouac.
Expensive prescription glasses
modeled on the actual Ginsberg.
Riffs on beat poetry easily a
quoting the Goodies. 
He saw the best minds of his
generation laugh at Bill Oddie.
In case we’re watching: examine
the same page for 20 minutes.
We babble about string while he
waits for someone 
to say ‘Moloch’.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Four-Sentence MIFF Review #6: Patience (After Sebald)

Patience (After Sebald) (Grant Gee)

Hypnotic, monochromatic cine-essay on W.G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn.
Writers, artists and critics with various connections to the book explore Sebald's walk through Suffolk in terms of human loss, landscape as history, the uncanny, and other such things that make my brain magnetise in a happy way.
"The English and European tradition is of walking as recovery, the American practice is of walking as discovery."
I really, really want to read it now.

Four-Sentence MIFF Reviews #2-5: Le Tableau, 11 Flowers, A Letter to Momo, The Man on the Roof

Le Tableau (Jean-Francois Laguionie)

In the land of The Picture, class war wages among the fully coloured Allduns, the unfinished Halfies and the barely-drawn Sketchies.
But where is The Painter?
Playful animation techniques colour an inventive world.
A man in the audience looked like Stringer Bell.

11 Flowers (Wang Xiaoshuai)

Towards the end of the Cultural Revolution, 11 year old Wang Han's main concern is for his new shirt, but there has been a murder in the village and the politics of the land are changing.
Warm and fascinating in domestic detail, starring a gorgeous bunch of hilarious young friends.
Funny boys are funny boys, the world and time over.
"If they don't arrest the killer, Wang Han, you'll never see your shirt again!"

A Letter to Momo (Hiroyuki Okiura)

After the death of Momo's father, she and her mother move to the slow-moving country town where the latter grew up.
Momo is withdrawn and bored until three bumbling goblins show up to protect her/wreak havoc.
Along with the screwball Japanese weirdyness of the magical creatures is a very human story of grief and growth.
Beautifully paced and gently moving.

The Man on the Roof (Bo Widerberg)

Gritty realist police procedural gritty realist police procedural gritty realist police procedural HELLO shooting from rooftops exploding helicopters lots more guns the end!
Notably crazy array of hats and facial hair.
"I also volunteer!"
"Are you Police?"
"No, I'm a garage mechanic."
"Fine. Get him a gun."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Four-Sentence MIFF Review #1: That Summer

The first in my series of completely flippant and totally unconsidered four-sentence reviews of the films I'm seeing at the Melbourne International Film Festival this year. This is mainly so I can remember vaguely what they were about (and also to keep myself amused).

That Summer (Philippe Garrel)

Banal shaggy-haired French hipsters engage in shallow relationships and cry an awful, awful lot.
I'm pretty sure this wasn't meant to be a parody of a French drama.
High point: where everybody at a house party dances around Monica Bellucci like she's a Maypole.
Which is fair enough, really.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Poems in the wild #21

 Slightly out of numerical order, but poems #20 and #21 have both been given to friends to release, and #21 (Jack of diamonds), given to Essie, Sajee & Arty to release in Perth was released first, so it is blogged first! 

It was released at Cicerellos, Fremantle (which looks rather nice):

Play out slowly to mountains
Concrete and iron sprout
leaves and sandstone.
The city escapes me and
narrows my track to parallel.
Laburnum reads as Laudanum.
I never clacked along
this daydream til today.
Am I the only one gone
this close to the end of the line?
Warm sun wires my
ticket checked twice.
Not valid for zone two
no one cares, I am the 
golden traveller today. 
All fine.