July 30, 2010

Film Fest: Day Thirteen

Well, despite finishing work at the day-job early and hauling ass down to the Paramount, I still missed out on 25 Carat. As it was Sold Out. A little surprising, as I thought it was flying under the radar a bit but I guess all I can do now is hope it gets some sort of release later. At least I was able to go home, catch my breath and do some dishes!

Gerard Depardiu stars as Serge in what could be thought of as a coming-of-retirement-age tale. Forcibly retired from the meatworks at 60, he has to set off across country, collecting proof of the various oddjobs he's been doing over the years in order to claim his pension. He's a sweet natured, somewhat naive elephant of a man.
The film is filled with some hilarious scenes (Serge's retirement party and Serge and four other men bawling their eyes out in a crappy hostel restaurant are stand outs), and some very random ones. These are moment of pure, unforeseen strangeness; such as Serge and his elderly cousin jerking each other off. It's a brief scene, seemingly unconnected to anything else and not mentioned again. It just adds to the overall feeling of slight oddness. In a good way.
What it's really all about is a man, a couple, who have worked their entire lives and only now learning how to live. How to live, breathe and be happy.

How I Ended This Summer
I got the feeling I may have enjoyed this film, if given more time and space around it. But with my head packed with films, I just couldn't get into this. We have yet another unsympathetic protagonist. In fact, he's a bit of an asshole.
Two men are stationed on a remote Soviet monitoring station in the Arctic. The old hand who's been there most of his life and the young man who's come up for the summer. It becomes part psychological thriller, part survivalist film. But it's hard to sympathise with the young guy when he's brought it all on himself. It becomes somewhat touching at the end, but as I said, given more space in my brain I think I would have appreciated the whole a lot more.

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