I saw 16:
Made in Wisconsin
How to Start a Revolution
Phil Solomon: Retrospective
An Evening with Don Hertzfeldt
Robert on his Lunch Break
It Always Rains on Sunday
Labor of Love
So's Your Old Man
The only unexpected stinker was How to Start a Revolution
, and even then that was because I expected more information and analysis, less hagiography. If you want to watch an elderly Gene Sharp water his orchids and walk around Cambridge, MA, though, this would be the film for you. The Zone
was about what you would expect so I can't complain. Labor of Love
was a far better and more interesting treatment of roughly the same subject.
Best positive surprise was Phil Solomon discussing his shorts, and the shorts themselves, which were actually kind of pleasant. It's always hard to know with experimental films just what kind of experiment the filmmaker will decide to inflict on the audience, and I knew nothing about Phil Solomon going in. I spent the rest of that day and the next kicking myself because I had a ticket for Abendland
(about what you would expect -- I think I only fell asleep once) instead of American Falls
. Though truthfully, by Saturday night I probably didn't have the energy left to properly appreciate American Falls
and a few z's was the better choice.Of a Feather
(from the Robert on his Lunch Break program) was a gem and 106 River Road
was also eerily effective.
You can put me down as one who liked Kill List
, which I added on Friday after reading the Isthmus review. I expected something funnier (but then maybe Jay and Gal were just hilarious under their accents, which were just too thick for me) and was surprised and confused by the ending... until I figured out that it was a slow-building horror film, not a hit-man action comedy that goes weird at the end. Then it all made sense Monsieur Lazhar
, and The Intouchables
were my big, conventional films of the festival and they all delivered. They were all stand-outs, but The Intouchables
is the one that's still going through my head days later. Just incredible, from the first scene to the last.
As a regular Cinematheque goer (though less regular over the last year or so) I have to admit that I had been avoiding the Marquee because of the food policy -- if I'm going to see a movie I want to see a movie, not listen to people eating and drinking. Now that I spent a third of my Festival there, though, I'm finding I've warmed up to it considerably. The new Chazen, on the other hand? After a few Cinematheque films there I thought twice about picking any Festival shows in that theater because I still haven't figured out how to make it feel comfortable. By contrast I found myself semi-targeting the Bartell. And for all my purist views about film-going, a glass of wine helped Abendland
go down a little more smoothly...