Gleek Hunt!

Sniping gleeks as if it were no thang. Holla!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Portland International Film Festival

I hit the second weekend of the 29th Annual Portland International Film festival this weekend. Aside from having a sore throat that made it feel like getting punched in the throat every time I swallowed and getting bitten by some form of arachnid or insect two nights in a row at our piece of crap motel, I had a great time. I seriously did. Massive kudos to Eef, aka Mr. Ethan Nicholle (www.myspace.com/eef ) who drove in from Vancouver after a weekend of playing rock shows with his band, Lunaractive (www.lunaractive.com or myspace.com/lunaractive). We had a dutch hetero-man date. It was great.

Movie run-down:
-Kinky Boots: A feel-good about yourself British comedy about a guy who inherits his father's shoe factory and saves it by making women's boots for drag queens. Not groundbreaking, but well done by making its characters earn your respect, not your sympathy.

-Animated Shorts: Some boring abstract stuff, but some rad stuff from Vinton Studios, which is now Laika studios. Got to see the latest short from Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, James/Giant Peach). Overall, worth the time.

-The Proposition: A Western set in Australia's developing outback, written by musician Nick Cave and starring Danny Huston, Guy Pearce (Memento), and John Hurt (who rules). Slow paced and very moody, as a perfectionist sheriff makes a poor choice in letting Guy Pearce, an outlaw, have a chance to make good by bringing in his brother. Sort of like John Ford Meets Sam Peckinpah, in the best of ways.

-Sympathy for Lady Vengeance: Having viewed the first two films in the trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy), I was pretty excited to see the final installment. Though they were films that were quite flawed, they contained a visceral and epic quality that really stuck with me, despite how over the top they were. What a massive disappointment. Director Chanwook Park gets non-linear AND medieval on our butts, and it just doesn't work too well. It feels scattered, as he links characters and their unnecessary backstories to his main story, which could have used some beefing up. A fantastic moral to the story, though.

-Innocence: I've never watched a movie like this before. It was abstract, slow, and didn't follow a central character. I think it was a metaphor for girls growing up, but I'm not sure. I felt like I'd accomplished something after watching it though. For true film fans only.

NOTE: The final two films I saw on Sunday, and I was dead freaking tired. Take reviews with a grain of salt.

-Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story- Scattered British docu/comedy about attempting to and actuall adapting the convulted novel Tristram Shandy. Pretty funny and heady stuff, very British. I wish I wouldn't have been so tired. Fans of Christopher Guest (Spinal Tap), should like this flick.

-The Hidden Blade: Sequel to Twilight Samurai, which I haven't seen. This film was completely enjoyable. It very well could have been a Western, in the most classic sense. Beautifully filmed, very reminiscent of Kurosawa in his prime. Not groundbreaking, but did everything it did with the greatest of skill.

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