Saturday, September 13, 2008

TIFF 2008: Day Nine & Ten

I'll just group these together, since I'm trying to quickly get them on here. We leave the festival Sunday morning and this is my last stab at finishing off these little reviews. It was a great festival for us this year, with nearly every film being at least worth catching. I don't know if I've softened critically, or if I just got lucky, but all the talk about this being a really bad year just didn't pan out for me and my wife. Anyway, I'll put up a proper assessment of the festival in a day or two. Here's how the last two days worked out for us:


Che (Pts. 1 & 2) - 7/10

Tokyo Sonata - 6/10

That grade is deceptive, because this has to rank as the festival's biggest disappointment for me. I'm a big fan of Kurosawa's other films, so I had high hopes for this one. And for a while, my expectations were met. For all the talk of this being his first non-genre film, all the elements of horror and dread were there, only drained of their supernatural explanations. At least that's how I saw it--much of the rest of the audience seemed to find it all hilarious, for some reason. Still, it was compelling and depressing stuff. And then...well, I can't really say. Let's just say that Kurosawa sort of takes one thread of the film into outright comedy, which absolutely deflated me. It's fascinating, but it just doesn't work, and even the sublime ending couldn't shake my frustration with the movie.

Parc - ?/10

Here's a conundrum: this movie was terrible. Absolutely, 100%, top-to-bottom, terrible. It has some beautiful compositions, a great opening, good musical cues, and one of the stupidest freaking stories and executions I have ever seen, festival or not. But: because of this, it is wildly entertaining. I was never bored and by the end, I was enjoying the film a great deal. This is badness on an epic scale. Stupidity so bone-deep it shocks you into submission. This is the real "so bad it's good" that everyone talks about, but never finds. So how do you rate it? All I can really do is separate the rating. It gets a 1/10 for quality, but a 7/10 for misguided entertainment.


The Sky Crawlers - 6/10

Burn After Reading - 7/10

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