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TIFF 09: Favorite Moments, Day 4

Daniel Kasman
Colony (Carter Gunn & Ross McDonnel, Ireland):  Aside from a soundtrack by Clogs, this one perhaps wins mostly as an idea. Bees as analogies to human relationships and social/political organization, and the bee/beekeeping industry as an indicative, “canary”-like signifier for both environmental and economic statuses are amazing and unexpected starting points, but that is sadly all they remain in this underdeveloped film which badly wants for a heavy dose of ambition to match its surprising subject.
George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead (George A. Romero, Canada):  A small thing,  and one that this film has in common with both Jacques Rivette and Romero’s Diary of the Dead: thirty-something year old women main characters who are discreetly defined and exist as people independent from group-thought, are athletic and no-nonsense, and not only stand their ground but pretty much shame all other characters with their proactive energy in the films, and in these Romero films, more often than note violent energy.  Michelle Morgan was exemplary in Diary, and Kathleen Munroe in this film has a similar role.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed (J Blakeson, United Kingdom):  The less said about this sorry film school excuse for a “genre” piece (kidnapping, if you must know), the better, but if indeed you wish to swim past the [SPOILERS], then this one, like Colony, wins a note for concept: dramatizing what must be every straight woman’s nightmare, that her boyfriend, after spending some time in prison, will return in cahoots with another ex-con to kidnap and torture her without her knowledge to procure money for their (boy and girl's) ultimate happiness, a plan which is hampered by the fact that in the process of carrying it out it is admitted that oh-by-the-way, her boyfriend and the ex-con are lovers.
Le Streghe, femmes entre elles (Jean-Marie Straub, France/Italy):  Where to go with this?  Its spatially flat and presentational whereas Straub’s last Pavase adaptation was depth-based?  That sounds a bit academic—though a valid point.  Better, perhaps, to translate the dialog—between Circes and another Greek goddess about Circes' time spent with Odysseus—into vernacular English, which essentially boils down to something as utterly enjoyable and funny (especially for this notably severely formal filmmaker) as “I can’t believe you slept with him!” “He’s the most amazing man I’ve ever met!  Yet he didn’t really understand me.”  “You’re being silly, how could you fall for him?”  “Ah love, what an unpredictable thing!” Etc.  Kind of catty and very fun, despite its intrinsic solemnity.


Festival CoverageTIFF 2009
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