Thursday, September 28, 2017

FNC FILM REVIEWS: LET THE CARCASSES TAN ( Directed by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani)*

A lot of “Kill Bill’ chaos in this gory film that uses all kinds of hyper-close-up shots and horizontal pans that move from one face to the other. It has been placed appropriately in the Temps Zero category of the festival. The betrayals take a back seat to the butchery in this film which  will not appeal to the plot orientated cinephile. Despite the artsy experimentation, the stupid story based on a novel becomes an apocalyptic yawn where guns shoot of in mouths, at art work, at carcasses and lots of rocks. The setting is in Corsica, and the hide-out cast of sleazy characters who live totally on the edge are anti-society, especially cops. They’ve hole up in a ruin by the ocean. After a road hoist where gold bullions are stolen and lives are taken, the gang of guys and a tough gone-mad woman who  has endured  all kinds of bondage (past images) in the sun on a crucifix of sorts, The constant sound of their leather jackets throughout the movie was annoying, but the music was spot-on. Fantasia festival comes to mind when you watch this film.


 AVA (Directed by Lea Mysius) **

An ophthalmologist tells Ava she has retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that starts off with reduced vision in low light and a shrunken field of vision before full blindness sets in.
Ava takes out her frustrations on her mother Maud, a flaky working-class woman who keeps trying to keep Ava’s spirits up during their summer vacation by the sea. Ava is repulsed by her mother’s sexuality, and even more cross when she gets saddled babysitting her little sister.
 Ava meets a disaffected slinky-hipped Spanish gypsy named Juan, who is about 18 and whom she keeps seeing around town whose only companion is his dog Lupo. Ava and Juan end up becoming a kind of Bonnie and Clyde in a ridiculous plot which includes a gypsy wedding and fleeing form the police and Juan’s bother whose bride was once a girlfriend of Juan’s. She comes to the couple’s rescue
as they flee. Stupid euro trash music and over-the-top primitive costumes dawned by Ava and Juan makes this film less than what it should have been. A silly film that shows more breasts than it does intellectual brilliance and inevitability.


HONEYGIVER AMONG THE DOGS (Directed by Dechen Roder) ****

I loved this film, but the title should have been "...among the gods". Its cinematography is an art piece in itself. Chodan a stunning pious woman is on the run.  Detective Kinley follows her into the forest posing as a teacher. Chodan has been accused of killing the head nun of the village’s nunnery. But her mystical references begin to change Kinley’s thinking. Is she really a murderer? The film ahs some funny moments that contrast to the lyrical fell of this Bhutan film. The twist at the end is certainly full of surprise.

(Directed by Mouly Surya)

Poor beautiful Marlina lives high up in the mountains with her hubby who is crouched in the corner. He’s dead and is about to become a mummy. A gang of thugs visit Marlina and steal her livestock and one rapes her. Before they all can, she has concocted a poison that kill all but two. Marline decapitates the leader who has raped her. She has his head and travel on a bus with strangers and her pregnant friend. This film is a bit Kill Bill, Spaghetti Western and the music is right from that genre. Spectacular scenery, macabre humor and blood move the film into its own surreal hypnotic dimension that will surely enter the film cult realm. Men are dastardly in the story, and women are the warrior heroines. The female filmmaker might very well be making a statement about men from Indonesia. Slow moving but we are in it for the long haul.

                               SAMUI SONG (Directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang) ***

Beautiful Viyada is a bored Thai soap opera star married to a Belgian Buddhist sculptor who insists she come to the prayer meeting. A rape happens in their home, and one suspects it was with the consent of her own husband. It is she who is raped by the Buddhist leader, so she hires a man to kill her husband. She changes her life to escape the hell of it all, retreating into a village, but the assassin hunts her down and blames her for his mother’s death; he never got paid, as she escaped. It was very convoluted at the end, as she ends up happily married to the man who raped

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