06 March 2011

At the movies

Took the morning session of the Fargo Film Fest today. It featured 8 films- most were short. Here's the run down and what I thought of each.
An Affair with Dolls- Confusing at first but then you realize it is a the meta-narrative of the story we don't see. So it's a meta story acted out with the dolls that in the end you feel sadness for the protagonist- the lady trapped in this odd relationship who is acting out the story with dolls. And this was a foreign film- in Swedish I believe.
The Cleaning Lady- A period piece, looking at how the time following the assassination of  MLK- specifically in Baltimore, MD. The film was made in Moorhead. It was a good story. 1968 was believable, but 2 things bothered me a little - I thought the protagonist - the cleaning lady - had way too short of hair for 1968- and trying to create the Mad Men feel with insertion of references to martinis. Otherwise it was pretty good.
Dragon's Breath- Feng Shui becomes a super power. Film seemed to be trying to fuse quirky Stranger Than Fiction narrative with Marvel superhero films. It was good.
Thought of You- Animated short. It was a song and dance that I felt were done superbly. Beautiful animation sequences of a couple dancing individually and then separately.
Tami Tushie's Toys- Documentary about a mother who sells "adult toys." Nothing raunchy about it. In fact it doesn't really focus so much on the toys. Ok, there are a few shots of what she sells at these Tupperware like parties. Anyways, Tami lost a child and decides to leave the regular 9-5 grind to have more time with her family. It just happens this is the line of work which she has found to allow that to happen. And to blow your mind even more, her and her husband are people of faith. I liked it.
Between the Bridgerock- Another film made in Moorhead. Some guy has the same name as a super star and faces a bit of tension in his life because of it. Very good. An excellent piece. The actor who played the super star was really good- he was also sitting a few seats a few rows away from me. For some reason he just had "the look."
Something Fishy- Excellent film from Australia that subtly (or perhaps not so subtly) deals with race. It was filmed it really cool location where the tides change and make for unique landscapes.
Make, Believe- Another animation but with narrative of people talking about how they used their imaginations as children. Really good.
Lines of Communication- Documentary short about animator Angela Steffen. She had an entry in last year's film fest and this documentary was made while she was in town. She talks about her father and how creating the animation for Lebensader was something she did for him while he suffered with an illness. It was vague at times what the film was trying to get across. It seemed to be an interview with the animator interspersed with clips from her time in Fargo and her animation.
A Lutefisk Western- Interesting, a bit funny, and well down in places. A western? Well, I guess it sort of takes place out west, but this is no horses and guns type of western. Not sure I would have used the apartment they used. Too clustered. But they used Dempsey's Pub! So the story follows a guy named Gunnar who inherits a piece of land which 2 antagonists want for a treasure buried beneath. Gunnar is the only one with a map to this treasure. Gunnar was well casted. The bad Canadian was good too. Although the mysterious seductress performed well- I think the whole art direction on her was wrong. She played vamp well- but mysterious, nope. She should have had more of a look that suggested mysterious and sexy.
I have links above to either the film, info on the film, or the trailer to the film. Overall, I had a great time at the movies. It inspires me to make more- heck make even one more.

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