Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tiff day 8

Shanghai blew me away. A remake of the Costa-Gavras masterpiece Z set in modern India. The story is almost more believable and you actually get to know the characters in a way you didn't in the original. (Though why so many metaphorical titles for the Indian new wave?). We're not in Bollywood anymore, Toto.

Yellow - again a title that I have no idea what it meant - was the story of a promiscuous drug-addicted grade schoolteacher who loses her job after having sex with a student's father during a school event and goes home to Oklahoma where you see that her family, (mother is Melanie Griffith, grandmother is Gena Rowlands et al) are even nuttier than she is. Surreal excursions where characters break into opera or become animated or morph into animals to show the lead character's drugged up view punctuate throughout. A Robert Altman film on acid, literally.

Second Indian film of the day, "Mumbai's Raja" or Mumbai's King as the tiff program puts it. I guess they thought nobody would know what Raja meant. (!) It's a slice of life, neorealist portrait of a kid in the slums of Bombay. A real anti-slumdog millionaire, it being so gritty I wanted to shower after.

Last one was Canadian, "Krivina", a glorified barely reaching student film quality "meditation" on the Bosnian war with interminable long shots of a guy walking through Bosnia searching for another guy. At the end it turns out the guy searching for another guy was really in the imagination of a third guy.  Given how many worthy Canadian films with a story are excluded from Tiff to make room for pretentious twaddle like this makes me crazed. I want my hour and 15 minutes back, (though it felt twice as long).

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