Korean-made documentary about a child Rinpoche in Northern India. he's believed to be the incarnation of a Tibetan lama. Of course those monks can't come find him, and he can't go to them. the real story is about his beautiful relationship with the man who discovered him. peronal, raw, and full of stunning landscapes punctuated with their red monk robes. i take back bitchy things ive said about drone cameras. They were used well and appropriately here. the kid's bio mom was a knitter. the village is incongrously full of people wearing really nice hand knits. North American premiere, good Q&A with the director.
Science Fiction Vol 1: The Osiris Child
Throwback Australian SF that was pretty fucking good. Like, original Mad Max good. Creative world-building, well executed, with solid acting. the evil corporation is running their terraforming projects with prison labor...and doing experiments. Divorced dad's awesome little girl is visiting the colony planet. Mayhem ensues. Yes, it is mostly a string of tropes, including the washed-up pilot, the good guy prisoner, and an armored bus, but that's fine. It ended at a good stopping spot, and I would be very happy to see volume 2.
Irish coming-of-age film about the friendship of the lit nerd and the rugby star at a boys' boarding school. this had good reviews but I was wary because it was likened to Sing Street and I didn’t get very far with that one. (Sing Street had this kind of misery porn going on that I couldn't stand long enough to get to the music.) anyhoo, great framing device of an essay about "your most embarrassing moment" and a notable absence of romance. and women, really, but it's the one setting where that made perfect sense. delightfully funny, a light touch with the cringe, and a sweet message. it shows again, worth seeing.
this was originally a multi-screen art installation. I would like to see it in that form, but this was beautifully edited. Cate Blanchet plays 13 roles, declaring and commenting on the Manifesto of each of a dozen art movements. (the festival crowd didn’t fully get into it until we got to the Dogme 95 part.) it was wry and funny and visually stimulating. it deserved more focus than I was able to give the late show on a school night.
intimate, talky film that felt like a play. blurb gave the impression that it would be a comic ideological clash over dinner, between New Age healer Selma Hayek and wealthy developer John Lithgow. the laughs were spread far apart and, well, there was almost no sparring, just this slow reveal that Hayek's character had a tough life. and no, there's no connection or redemption or change for anyone. very meh, in spite of excellent acting. and the end blows.
Completely delightful feature length version of the adventures of Shaun and his farm friends. What with one thing and another, the farmer is suffering memory loss in the big city. And the animals are off to save him. Stuff I love: no character speaks words, the city is different but not Evil, the farm is modern and not in some magical past, the people are representative of the actual population of a UK city (full range of skin colors, different clothes and hair, tattoos, headscarves). There was peril but nothing as intense as A Close Shave. It was clever, funny, and full of heart. Highly recommended.
Doc about dogsled racer Lance Mackey. Very smooth blend of archival content and footage shot for the film. Mackey is a champion racer, a cancer survivor, and an all-around character. Nice Alaska slice of life in addition to the sports story, excellent cinematography. loved it, got to greet him and his dog Ace after the film. This was the world premiere. Look for it, especially if you love dogs.