July 26, 2010

film Fest: Day Ten

Animation Now!
I’ll be bluntly honest: I was incredibly disappointed with this year’s Animation Now! I haven’t made it to the past couple of years showings, but from when I have gone there are usually at least one or two films that really stick out. Absolutely nothing in this programme of short animated films resonated with me. There are, again, the usual couple of Eastern European films sitting comfortably with the art-wank doodlings that seem to carry no real point to them.
Is Spike & Mike’s Twisted Festival of Animation still going? Why don’t we seem to get anything from there? No more Don Hertzfeld films? Very disappointing.

Teenage Paparazzo
Yes, yes the director, Adrian Grenier of Entourage was in town for this. So, because he’s a famous(ish) actor type it was a sell-out show. With a lot of young girls. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but I missed out on the Q & A being posted on the door to stop anyone trying to get back in. Yep. I was Security. Grrr.
As I was also acting as Security on the door beforehand (Karate Chop!) I missed the first few minutes of the film. Easy enough to pick up though. Grenier, in his role as a celebrity and usual target of the paparazzi, came upon this 13 year old kid, Austin, snapping pictures. This fascinated Grenier, so he began documenting Austin at work and at home. The whole thin becomes rather cyclical as Austin becomes a minor celebrity in his own right and Grenier begins hunting him. Grenier manages to get in with some paparazzi and discusses the modern fame obsession with professors, historians and celebrities – actors like Matt Damon and people famous for being famous like Paris Hilton.
Nothing new is really uncovered about the celebrity obsession we have; part of it comes down to monkey evolutionary social dynamics, part of it from the media saturation of the modern age.

The Double Hour
My one and only Festival film up at the Penthouse theatre, The Double Hour was unfortunately a bit of a letdown.
This Italian thriller begins with Sonia, a young maid from Hungary working in a hotel in Turin, cleaning a room just as the occupant leaps to her death. It’s one of many things in the film that is an interesting idea in of itself, but carries little relevance to the overall picture. Sonia meets the dark, mysterious Guido at a speed-dating evening and the two start dating. While out at the wealthy estate where Guido works as a security guard, the two are attacked and the estate robbed. Then things get a little strange for Sonia…
There a few decent jump scares in the second act, but it doesn’t all add up. The reveal at the end of the second act is reasonably easy to figure out and loses some (if not all) of its impact. This second act is especially susceptible to unexplained goings on. While there is something of a reason for this, it really isn’t satisfactory to explain everything.

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