Thursday, June 14, 2007

SIFF #11 - Ohmygosh! A feature starring all women!

There is some sort of FilmFestivalPalooza going on here at Moviepie Musings! Lest you all get confused, here's a clarification of the chaos:

Linda and Jennifer have been writing about SIFF (The Seattle International Film Festival) and BIFF (The Bellevue International Film Festival)... which are actually the same thing. Bellevue, for those of you not from these parts, is in the suburbs, and SIFF is treatin' those Eastsiders with fest screenings. Vickie, however, is now simultaneously reporting from WWSFF (The Worldwide Short Film Festival), which is in Toronto, and is scheduled to finish this Sunday the 17th with a bang, at the very same time as SIFF! Don't worry, you are not the only one wiping your furrowed brow with confusion...

Back to SIFF... My strange case of FPE may have cleared up, but the screening of Stealth (Comme des voleurs (A l'est)) (4/8) had me wanting to rub my eyes again in fatigue because if its strangely erratic nature. The film itself was a mostly watchable, respectable road-trip movie between a young gay man named Lionel and his sister Lucie. Lionel has just found out that his Swiss family has a Polish ancestor, and this obsesses him to the point of wanting to marry a cute Polish immigrant (a woman... whoops!) and break up with his longtime boyfriend. Sister Lucie is fed-up with his irrational behavior, so abducts him for a road trip where they encounter the usual obstacles until they arrive in Warsaw and perhaps get to the bottom of their family lore. That's all fine and dandy, but this movie had the most weirdly inappropriate soundtrack that I've ever heard in a film. You know how sometimes you are sitting at a multiplex, watching a tear-jerking drama, and you hear the completely unrelated Pirates score booming through the wall from the neighboring screen? Stealth, a modern road movie with humor and family strife, had a score like a fully-orchestrated Douglas Sirk melodrama from the 50s. Wholly distracting and completely baffling. Plus I have no idea what the title of this film meant in relation to the story. Anyone care to explain?

I grabbed a delicious vegan hot dog from Cyber Dogs (I'm tiring of slices of pizza), then ran up the hill to the Egyptian. I don't know what it is about this last week especially, but I have been consistently getting to the theaters just as they are about to slam the door to stragglers. I find myself tripping through the dark to find a seat, or sitting down in a sweat, just as the lights go down. I'm afraid I've become one of Those People.

Luckily my next film turned out to be delightful. Just the other day, Vickie was lamenting about the lack of good roles for women in the movies. Then here comes I Really Hate My Job (6/8), a breezy little comedy that takes place in one evening within the confines of one restaurant. It is an ensemble comedy with great performances all around by Shirley Henderson, Alexandra Maria Lara, Neve Campbell, Anna Maxwell Martin, and Oana Pellea. There is chaos in the kitchen as Alice (Henderson) has to fill in for the chef, and there is chaos out on the floor as Abi (Campbell) is having a 30th birthday meltdown. In the meantime, there is a dinner reservation for a movie star, and the anticipation of this brush-with-greatness is putting them all on edge. The writing is sharp, fast, and funny, and Henderson and Oana Pellea (as the dish washer) are particularly hilarious in their claustrophobic kitchen interplay. Neve's character's drama-queen-ness does get a bit tiring, but overall the film was highly enjoyable. And for those of you curious about such things, I'm letting you know right now that Neve Campbell will be in the running for Moviepie's annual Breast Performance award this year. The rest I'll leave to your imagination.


Vickie said...

While I am dismayed that you've become one of Those People (what the hell is wrong with you?! shape up!), I am THRILLED that you went to see I Really Hate My Job and even more thrilled than that to hear it was really good. Yay!

Linda said...

I'm sorry Vickie. I am ashamed at my tardiness... (hanging head in shame). I've even come in on TWO films that had actually just started! Frankly, I'm surprised they let me in. I blame the slow baristas. I gotta get there on time, but I also need fuel to survive multiple viewings. :)

Vickie said...

Do you see me folding my arms and rolling my eyes? Do you? DO YOU?!?

I am likewise HORRIFIED to read about you going into movies after they've started.

It's like I don't even know you.