September 14, 2011

TIFF Day Seven

Rebellion [France, Mathieu Kassovitz, 4] Negotiator from the gendarmerie (Kassovitz) sent to defuse a hostage taking by insurgents in New Caledonia, discovers that the real obstacles to peace are the electioneering politicians back in Paris. Gripping examination of the steps that turned a 1988 colonial crisis into an atrocity.

Like Bloody Sunday or Night of the Pencils, this belongs to a genre that might be termed the anti-procedural. Instead of a look at a problem being solved, you get the moment by moment breakdown of a spiraling disaster.

Life Without Principle [HK, Johnnie To, 4] As global markets melt down, the robbery of a loan shark ripples through the lives of a disparate but interconnected group. Coolly controlled ensemble drama of fate and finance.

A Simple Life [HK, Ann Hui, 5] Film producer (Andy Lau) sees to the care of the elderly family maid who helped raise him. Beautifully observed drama driven by a conflict so delicate as to be nearly imperceptible.

Nuit #1 [Canada, Anne Emond, 2] Man and woman exchange self-lacerating confessions after a one-night stand. Stylized language and behavior might be easier to buy into on stage, free of a visual realism that calls its credibility into question.

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