September 09, 2012

TIFF Day Four

Something in the Air [France, Olivier Assayas, 4] High school student navigates the contradictions of art, politics, and love in the early 70s. Evocative autobiographical drama sticks to matter-of-fact approach, resisting the usual urges to either romanticize the era, or send it up.

The Last Supper [China, Lu Chuan, 4] Shaky memories and revised histories intermingle as the dying first Han emperor recalls the betrayals that allowed his rise from street rat status. Uses the resources of the historical epic to present a fragmented political allegory.

The Land of Hope [Japan, Sion Sono, 5] After Fukushima repeats itself at another nuke plant, a farm family on the literal edge of the evacuation zone struggles with the aftermath. Sweetly drawn--and therefore, all the more harrowing.

7 Boxes [Paraguay, Juan Carlos Maneglia & Tana Schembori, 4] Delivery kid's assignment to transport the titular containers in his wheelbarrow leads to pursuit, danger and death across a sprawling market. Sharp, fast-paced action thriller from an unexpected quarter.

Dust [Guatemala, Julio Hernandez Cordon, 4] Suicidal busker searches for the remains of his father, disappeared by the death squads, while pursuing a vendetta against the man who denounced him. Strikes an elusive tone mixing quotidian naturalism, incongruous humor, and blunted pathos.

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