September 14, 2013

TIFF Day Ten: Punk May Not Be Dead, but a Bunch of These Yakuza Will Be

This is Sanlitun [China, Robert I. Douglas, 3] Clueless prat comes from England to Beijing to make his fortune and win back his ex-wife and son. Mockumentary of expat life in owes its style to Ricky Gervais.

We Are the Best! [Sweden, Lukas Moodyson, 4] Trio of teen girl outsiders starts a punk band. Richly observant tribute to the twin powers of rock and girlhood. 

It might just be that this was the movie I needed at this moment, but the above could well warrant a full upgrade to fave staus by the time of the final review round-up.

Why Don’t You Play In Hell? [Japan, Sion Sono, 4] Yakuza boss in a war with another clan wants his bad-ass daughter to be the lead in a finished movie in ten days, when his even more formidable wife gets out of prison. Gonzo cult comedy skewers unhinged film ambition as it builds to a jaw-dropping final act of slapstick hyper-violence.

I Am Yours [Norway, Iram Haq, 4]  Aspiring actress (Amrita Acharia) pursues her yearning for sexual connection despite her duties as a joint-custodial parent and the condemnation of her Pakistani immigrant family. Raw-nerved  drama, driven by a bravura performance, shows how much harder we find it to watch a female protagonist compelled to make self-destructive decisions.

You may know Acharia from her role in "Game of Thrones."

R100 [Japan, Hitoshi Matsumoto, 4] Matters go from kinky to sinister to surreal when a sad single dad enlists an S&M service to add dominatrix attacks to his everyday life. Starts as a mix of offbeat comedy and family drama, only to reveal successive new levels of batshit insanity.