Hello all! The festival has begun and its as great as expected. Lots of stuff to talk about, but I'll keep to the plan. Here's Thursday's reviews:
Edison & Leo (Neil Burns) - 5/10
A weird, gothic stop-motion animated film, the first ever funded entirely in Canada, best described as Guy Maddin by way of Tim Burton. But with only half the wit and wonder of those two. The problem is that the film never finds a solid tone, lurching from wild flights of fancy to sub-kids' flick romance and back again. Though on paper it sounds like prime melodrama, with lost mothers, distant fathers and remorseless enemies, it never finds the tone that would make those elements cohere into something solid. Still, there's some worthwhile touches here and there.
JCVD (Mabrouk El Machri) - 8/10
I was worried about this one since I saw the first footage online. My concerns were entirely unfounded. This is easily one of the wittiest, most assured films I've seen in quite some time. The premise is simple: During the course of a very bad day, Jean-Claude Van Damme finds himself embroiled in a real-life robbery. From there, El Machri finds several quite clever wrinkles in the meta-fiction genre, mainly by allowing his star to be the quiet, put-upon center of an increasingly absurd situation. Not to be missed.
Tomorrow: Dylan Moran! Tony Manero! And Japanese death metal!