Okay, I’m not going to make it to 50 films. Although, technically I did see a shorts package so that might push me over the line. Short films count, right?
I was supposed to see four films today but bailed on the third one, a documentary called She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry about the women’s liberation movement. I wanted to see it but I was just so tired that I went home for a nanna nap. It meant that I was wide awake for the 9pm session though, fortunately, as it was a cracker. Click through for my reviews for Wonderful World End (kooky Japanese kawaii exploration of social media and female identity), Journey to the Shore (long, slow, pointless Japanese drama about grief) and The Chosen Ones (unforgettable Mexican drama about sex trafficking and slavery).
Tonight, as the lights went up after The Chosen Ones, Alex and I sat there awestruck, moved, talking about the beauty and power of the film, about women and the terrible things some men do. As a couple near us were leaving, we struck up a conversation, asking the usual, “What did you think of that?” Surprisingly, they both had been a bit underwhelmed by the film, “It was fine, it was just a film, it wasn’t that great.” Hmm. I’d really liked it. Oh well.
Then I asked, “What have you seen so far that you’ve loved?” Guess what their favourite film of the festival was? – The Witch. The crappy horror with the laughable ending. The one I gave 2 stars. They loved this film and “everything that was going on in the theatre during the screening.” I’m thinking they meant the laughter. They reeled off a few others they’d liked and I thought quietly in my head, “well I can avoid ever seeing those ones.” When we said we’d liked Magical Girl, they’d liked “the first half because it was funny but then the second half got…”. “Kind of dark?” I said. Yeah.
So, do these two people have no taste in film or am I a film snob? Or will any film, no matter how bad, be liked by someone? I suppose there’s a reason why the cinemas are full of The Expendables 3 and Fast and Furious 16 and Mission Impossible 4 Goodness Sake Ditch Cruise and Give Renner the Job. I like crowd-pleasing feel-good films too. My comfort film of choice is usually a romcom or anything starring Jennifer Garner. Did I just reveal too much? I know what it is to want to turn off your brain as a movie starts, in many ways seeing Trainwreck was that kind of experience for me. But I can do that every week via my local DVD shop, for MIFF, I wanted to be reminded what great filmmaking is. So I didn’t dislike The Witch because it was shallow but because it didn’t do what it promised, it didn’t scare me.
Have I convinced you that the fault is with everyone else? Probably not. Anyway, read my reviews and see the films yourself and then see what you think.