Author Topic: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon  (Read 4151 times)

Lobby

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2012, 01:19:25 AM »
I saw The Tree in the beginning of 2011 and I must admit that it has faded a bit in my memory already. But at the time I thought it was a good take on portraying a family in grief (while not as strong as Rabbit Hole).
 
Morgana Davies as Simone was fantastic. I was also fascinated by the threatening Aussie landscape, the tree coming alive. There was a bit of magic realism in this that I enjoyed quite a bit.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 01:21:27 AM by Lobby »
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Bondo

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2012, 01:29:08 AM »
Yeah, Morgana is charming. For a bit there I was like "is she lisping or is that just an Australian accent" but looking closer she just seemed to be at that point with losing baby teeth. It was kind of endearing though. In terms of degree of difficulty, it doesn't quite match up to Sarah's Key for best performance by a pre-teen. Anyway, I like a lot of elements of the film more than how the film came together, I think that's why it is likely to be a passing experience like you say.
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Bondo

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2012, 11:23:42 PM »
Jellyfish (Shira Geffen, 2007)

Jellyfish is an Israeli film that weaves together the story of three women, Batia (Sarah Adler), a waitress with a catering outfit, Keren (Noa Knoller), a new bride (whose wedding Batia worked) and Joy (Ma-nenita De Latorre), a Philippine maid assisting a man's elderly mother. Each faces a complication. Batia discovers a lost child playing on the beach and decides to look after her until social services can. Keren breaks her foot at the wedding and kind of limps through her honeymoon. Joy deals with being a fish out of water, not knowing Hebrew and missing her home where she has left a child behind.

Keren's story seems mostly about her complaining about everything, often for good reason, often not. Her story seems more about her husband and a mysterious woman in the same hotel who he keeps bumping into. It wasn't quite clear to me how everything fit together. There's a certain sense of loss or absence in the stories. Keren misses her honeymoon. Batia has just broken up with her boyfriend and has found this this lost girl. Both Batia and a photographer who she becomes friends with lose their jobs. Joy is missing her child, amplified when she loses the photo she has of him. Working with elderly individuals, she's also party to people losing their parents. But this could just be me forcing a connection, it doesn't really have a strong resonance.

Frankly, I could have spent the whole film with with Batia and the girl. The girl, seemingly mute at 5 years old, just has this perfect sense of wonder with the world. It is kind of joyous to behold all these little moments. When they were together the film was divine, but it is a fairly small portion and the rest is pretty middling. Some nicely framed shots show a good vision, too bad I can't wish screen captures into existence. Bonus for having the worst Hamlet adaptation ever though. Some promise here but not ultimately a film of great distinction.

3/5
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jim brown

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2012, 11:32:11 PM »
Bondo -
Please add Chilly Scenes of Winter by Joan Micklin Silver to this list.  It is a wonderful and unsung film.

Thanks.

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Bondo

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2012, 11:48:36 PM »
And on Netflix Instant, always a win for recommending.
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1SO

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2012, 07:55:43 PM »
Did Meshes of the Afternoon remind you at all of Lynch? (beyond you despising them both equally?) I saw a lot of Lynch's use of symbolism wrapped up in Meshes.
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Bondo

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2012, 08:07:09 PM »
Meshes was less infuriating. For one it was shorter, but it also felt like all it had was this mood poem. Lynch makes it feel like there is something but he isn't willing to let you have it and thus is more frustrating.
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Bondo

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2012, 05:23:00 PM »
Sugar Sweet (Desiree Lim, 2001)

It's fun what you can call legitimate when a female directs it that would just seem sketchy if directed by a man. Sugar Sweet is the story of Naomi (Saori Kitagawa), a maker of lesbian porn (of the feminist variety) who signs on to work on a reality TV program where there is a story arc between her friend Azusa (Saki) and another woman.

It opens with men berating Naomi for failing to make something that would appeal to men. The brief clip of the work certainly makes it look a bit avant garde; not sure if that's the kind of thing that works for women. Still, at least it isn't off-putting like the example the guys throw up for her to aspire to. This is all interesting enough as a take on portrayals of lesbians in the media.

This is a very poorly produced film though. Extremely ugly cinematography, poor acting, shoddy script. It's about as subtle as a bag of hammers. Being feminist lesbian erotica isn't the same as being good feminist lesbian erotica. I'm not that easy.

2/5

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mañana

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2012, 06:30:54 PM »
To make clean-up easier?
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Bondo

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Re: The Fairer Film: Female Directors Marathon
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2012, 06:41:34 PM »
Nothing Personal (Urszula Antoniak, 2009)

I think there is a reasonable question to be asked, just how ambiguous can you really be about characters and still have them be interesting? Nothing Personal explores the interaction between a young Dutch widow (Lotte Verbeek) and an older Irish widower (Stephen Rea). She wanders the Irish landscape (which is not as green as the nickname would indicate) camping and hitchhiking until she happens upon a house where he offers her food in exchange for some work in her garden. She is initially very hostile in her behavior and ultimately she agrees to stick around and help out on the condition that they share no personal details.

Given this agreement, we aren't really able to gather that much about the two characters. In fact, calling her a widow is a supposition on my part. Eventually she does soften and they fall into a more comfortable silence but share little else. There are intertitles through the course of the film that indicate a relationship unfolding in reverse, starting with loneliness after the relationship, yet it is pretty evident that the story is being told chronologically. And while there are certain things that could fit the idea that there is a certain mirrored effect as one works from the loneliness of a lost relationship back into a relationship, the film doesn't do enough to sell it.

A truly pan-European affair, the film is directed by the Polish (though living in Holland) Urszula Antoniak. Reading some other reviews I saw comment on a certain religious/philosophical notion of humans aspiring to be alone when they are with people and aspiring for people when they are alone. There is a certain cyclical nature to the film but I'm not sure it really fits to that theory. Ultimately, the strongest argument against this film is that I have no motivating arguments in favor of the film. It just feels kind of inert; blank characters and blank themes.

2/5
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