Todos vós sodes capitáns (Oliver Laxe, Spain)
Another simple one: I like the title. The film is about children learning to make movies, and then having that project canceled and going out from the city into the countryside. The kids don’t have much character beyond documentary glances, but it's thereby an even more lovely, respectful, honoring title for the rascals, as Claire Denis might say.
Rebecca H. (Return to the Dogs) (Lodge Kerrigan, France)
I liked this a great deal for its terseness and concision. A friend said Kerrigan sets out one idea for each scene and delivers it in a simple and exact manner, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Especially for an experimental biopic (of Grace Slick), and perhaps a self-critique (Kerrigan appears as “Lodge Kerrigan” in this particularly meta film). I also liked—to cheat my system and mention something else—that it is impossible to determine whether one of the film’s three dramatic layers exists “inside” or “outside” the others. One is Kerrigan and actors (playing themselves) getting ready to make the film about Slick, another is a fiction that Kerrigan is directing about that preparation, and then we have the third layer, an abstract and less conceptual interpretation of the project through “conventional” cryptic art-house drama. What is unclear is whether this final layer is actually the movie everyone is preparing (thus inside the film about the production, and then inside the production itself) or whether it is an extrapolation from the staged artificiality of those two layers, or, to put it too simply, the “real” characters who exist outside of the re-creation of Slick’s story. Very unusual!
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)
When Boonmee sees the ghost of his dead wife sitting on his bed and he sits up and embraces her is probably the most moving moment of the entire festival. It also at once shows the mystical-magical side of Apichatpong—quietly blossoming an impossible occurrence in the most simple and mysterious manner—along with the documentary side, the pleasure in bodies, light, and texture of the space.