September 17, 2011

TIFF Days Nine and Ten

I hit the wall hard on Friday evening, and the wall hit back. Hence this delayed/doubled catch-up post. I shed screenings from the start and end of Saturday in the hope that I'll recover enough to keep my strong final day line-up intact.

Generation P [Russia, Victor Ginzburg, 4] Ad man spends the post-Soviet money grab era on a drug fueled rise through the unstable new power structure. Hallucinogenic satire based on a Victor Pelevin novel.

A Mysterious World [Argentina, Rodrigo Moreno, 1.5] After his live-in girlfriend dumps him, an affectless nebbish drifts through a series of droll and/or melancholy incidents. Bored art about bored people.

As readers who follow this blog with a stalkerish attention to detail will already recall, chairs and my legs have not been getting along lately. TIFF venues, in the order in which their seating is killing me:

  1. Scotiabank 2

  2. Jackman Hall

  3. Scotiabank 11

  4. Scotiabank 1, 2, 4

  5. Ryerson

  6. Elgin

  7. AMC

  8. Isabel Bader

  9. Lightbox

Not reviewed: Roy Thomson, Princess of Wales

Tyrannosaur [UK, Paddy Considine, 3] Violent widower (Peter Mullan) learns to see rage from the other side when he connects with a devout charity shop worker whose husband abuses her. Performances and characterizations register despite a script with showing vs telling issues.

I hit the limit of my physical endurance during Carré Blanc [France, Jean-Baptiste Leonetti] and left the theater. What I saw of this condominium fusion of 1984 and Soylent Green did not engage, consisting nearly exclusively of down beats. But for all I know it turns masterpiecey in the last 10-20 minutes.

Juan of the Dead [Spain/Cuba, Alejandro Brugues, 4] Band of Havana ne'er-do-wells copes with an epidemic of flesh-eating, undead "dissidents." Hilariously adds zombie action to the national "everything's fucked in Cuba but it's all right" template.

If you've been under the impression that there is still a functioning film censorship system in Cuba, this splattery satire will spin your head around. The government is listed as a funding partner!

Headshot [Thailand, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, 4] His vision upended after miraculously surviving a bullet to the head, an ex-cop turned assassin finds his destiny closing in on him. Moody Buddhist noir sees Ratanaruang returning to the style of his early classic Last Life in the Universe.

Superclasico [Denmark, Ole Christian Madsen, 3] Dejected wine shop owner goes with son to Buenos Aires to get his wife back before she divorces him for a football superstar. Fluffy, episodic comedy leaves too much of the narrative heavy lifting up to the voiceover narration.