Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Cinemanila Film Festival Reviews # 4
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan) *** - A group of men including police, prosecutor, a doctor and the murderers drive through the Turkish countryside in search of a dead body. This is Turkey's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category this year and I don't think it's gonna make it in (but then again, I said that about Milk of Sorrow). Not because it's not any good but its lumbering pace may be a trial for a lot of people to sit through. It was a little trying at times for me but the film's hypnotic and GORGEOUS photography of the exotic locale and the fascinating character bits of the ensemble made the film well worth it.
Nightfishing (Chan-wook Park/Chan-kyong Park) *** - I'm not a fan of Old Boy but Chan-wook Park is an intriguing filmmaker whose films I'd wanna see more of. This is a film shot entirely on an iPhone 4 and it looks pretty darn good. But beyond the gimmick, the film tells the story of a fisherman who catches something and there's an intriguing twist. It's only half an hour long but it's a solid piece of work.
This Is Not A Film (Jafar Panahi/Mojtaba Mirtahmasb) *** - A little background for those not in the know: Controversial Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi was arrested, tried and sentenced to six years in prison and a ban on writing and directing films and travelling abroad for 20 years by the oppressive Iranian government. This documentary is sort of slyly giving the middle finger to the government as Panahi and Mirtahmasb document one day of Panahi's house arrest as he awaits for his appeal. Nothing particularly earth-shattering happens but it is an intriguing look into the private life and career of one of the world's most important filmmakers and the importance of artistic freedom.