This weekend I am recovering from last weekend, which was Lost Weekend V, a film festival put on by the Winchester Film Club at the Winchester Alamo. It is the fifth such film festival that Andy Gyurisin, Force of Nature, promoted, and third such festival that I have stupidly sat through because it is stupefying. That’s me up there, after about movie number twelve or so. But, made it through, seeing nineteen of the offerings:
1. The Lobster: when a movie has a rather absurd premise―if you do not find a mate in forty-five days, you are turned into an animal of your choice―then it must proceed to an appropriately absurd conclusion. But, this one did not. It just…stopped. And there was no tie-in between anything in the movie and the rather startling mule-murder opening scene, which killed this one for me. Mule and all. Two stars.
2. The Vanished Elephant: this Peruvian movie had me on the edge of my seat quite intrigued and wondering what in the blue blazes was going on until…I found out what in the blue blazes was going on. Really? That’s what this was about? Oh, dude. Someone needs to be slapped around for this. Two stars.
3. MacBeth: c’mon, it’s Macbeth. With Magneto. And lots of sword play. But…but…some of your favorite lines are missing, no pricking’s of thumbs or boils and troubles, and that was not cool. Also, there’s a lot of dead time in Macbeth (no pun intended). Reaaaally slooooow. Yeah, yeah, heresy, but even Shakespeare had his down moments. Three stars.
4. 45 Years: Talk. About. Reaaaally. Slow. A body frozen for sixty years and a wife getting all militant about something that happened ten years before she met her husband…seems like this’d be a good ‘un, huh? No. Not. At. All. And there are some things that simply should never be filmed. I’m sure Tom Courtenay was a stud in his time, but it is well past his time. I’m still having nightmares. One star.
5. Wild Tales: Holee. Crap! Best wedding scene ever. Ever. Five stars.
6. Nina Forever. This horror movie couldn’t decide if it was a porno or a slasher film, so you get double portions of both. Think ménage a corpse, and an uninvited corpse at that. Bit disturbing with a somewhat annoying end, but, hey, porno and slasher, what’s not to like? Three stars.
7. Men and Chicken. The Scandinavians are a crazy lot, just crazy. Last year, they gave us The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, which was just nuts. Now, we get this Danish movie, which has the wackiest bunch of characters since Money Python’s Holy Grail. If you’ve ever had the urge to beat someone with a stuffed animal, you’re in for a treat. Five stars.
8. Boy and the World. Oy. Another pretentious animated film made by Third World revolutionaries decrying Capitalism and All Its Horrors. You know, “capitalism,” a horrible economic system that has created the computers and programs and graphics and technology that Third World revolutionaries use to make films decrying its horrors? One star.
9. A Tale of Tales: Wowzer. A real kick-butt fairy tale with three separate stories going on at the same time that sort of twine together towards the end, but not quite. Still, amazing. With a human Dobby. Five stars.
10. An Honest Liar. Outstanding documentary about The Amazing Randi, with a reveal in it that was supposed to be shocking but, meh. I think Randi did yeoman’s work exposing the frauds out there. Yeah. I’m looking at you, Uri Geller. Five stars.
11. Sea Fog. Whoa. Knock you on your ass intense, this one is. Which seems to be par for Korean movies. What’s going on over there? Five stars.
12. Louder than Bombs. First world self-absorbed people desperate to Feel Genuine so they create a lot of self-induced Problems in order to Feel Genuine. Probably what life is like on the Upper West Side, which explains a lot. All female cast. One star.
13. Monster Hunt. Speaking of what’s going on in Asian countries…China, what the hell? This film, up until about two weeks ago, was the number one movie there. It is so juvenile that I assumed it was targeted to eight-year-olds. But there are no eight-year-olds in China, so, huh? China’s population is in desperate need of quality entertainment. We need to start beaming Netflix to them. One star.
14. Victoria. Another “whoa!” Talk about a chance meeting that goes completely off the rails…this starts out slowly, but just wait, just wait. Five stars.
15. Youth. I friggin’ loved this movie. It is my favorite of the weekend. First, it’s Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel. You could have just followed them around with a camera and had a great movie. Imagine a sterling screenplay along with it. And the one minute or so of the most beautiful woman in the universe reclining naked in a spa is just cherry on top. Five stars.
16. Mustang. I friggin’ loved this movie. It is my favorite of the weekend, and is the best reason I’ve seen so far for strapping on armour plate and going on a Crusade. Five stars.
17. Men go to Battle. I didn’t think it was possible, but someone made a boring Civil War movie. Oh, wait, sorry…Cold Mountain. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, keeps your interest, but it’s a character study more than anything. Unfortunately, the characters aren’t the most scintillating. Three stars.
18. Carol. My test for gay movies is this: replace the couple with a straight couple, and go from there. In this case…pedestrian. Standard. Seen it a million times. Move on. But I guess because it’s set in those horribly oppressive ‘fifties in which all of us lost our souls or something, then This Is Compelling. I really don’t know why leftists have such a hard-on for the fifties. Relax, guys, you won. And Cate Blanchett would make any woman turn gay so, really, what are you doing here, Hollywood? Two stars.
19. Liza the Fox Fairy. Outstanding, more Scandinavian silliness except this is Hungarian and it’s like…you know…oh, fucking hell. Death as a 1960’s Japanese teen idol. Cool. Five stars.
And there was some kind of fifteen-second or so book ad between some of the movies. Yeah. There was.