September 19, 2011

TIFF Day Eleven

Well, it's all over save for the sleeping. And the laundry. And grocery shopping and general resurfacing. I'll be taking a couple of recovery days and then return with the annual round-up post, with capsule reviews, ranked in preference order, all in one place, for your clipping and saving needs. Until then, check out my last day flicks.

Monsters Club [Japan, Toshiaki Toyoda, 4] Young mail-bomber leading a hermit's life in a snowy mountain cabin faces reproachful family ghosts. Contemplative inversion of the spiral into madness movie starts with its protagonist already mad and invites us to hope for his return to sanity.

Smuggler [Japan, Katsuhito Ishii, 4] Loser's involuntary new job as an underworld clean-up man exposes him to a series of reprisals involving the nun-chuk wielding super-assassin Mr. Vertebrae. Manga adaptation pairs kooky comedy with lovingly detailed ultra-violence.

Countdown [South Korea, Huh Jong-Ho, 4] Icy collection agent's bad-ass search for a liver donor leads him to a game of cat-and-mouse with a glamourous con artist. Bubbling pursuit thriller gradually gives itself over to tearjerking melodrama.

I wouldn't be surprised to see this get a Hollywood remake (sans tone shift).

Pompeya [Argentina, Tamae Garateguy, 4] Meta-fiction juxtaposes the writing of a bloody gangster pic with scenes from the final movie--or is it? Exploration of the cruel allure of the crime genre finds surprising layers by declining to treat the film-within-the-film as a joke.

Warning: you might have to be a writer or critic to dig this as much as I did.

Kotoko [Japan, Shinya Tsukomoto, 4] Hallucination-prone woman yearns to regain custody of her son. Alternately super-upsetting and poignant subjective portrait of mental illness.