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Thread: London Film Festival 50/2006

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    London Film Festival 50/2006

    I saw the following films at this year's LFF:

    KNOWING ME KNOWING YOU (a series of eight shorts about relationships).

    WILLIAM FRIEDKIN: BUG (2006). A stunning film version of Tracy Letts's mind-blowing play about trailor-trash paranoia, in Letts's adaptation. Includes terrific performances, with a surprisingly menacing and gritty turn by Harry Connick, Jr. as an ex-con boyfriend.

    CLAUDE CHABROL: L'IVRESSE DE POUVOIR/THE COMEDY OF POWER 2006). Charbol's rather stultifying, though edifying, chronicle of an investigation of political corruption in France with Isabelle Huppert as the "piranha" investigator Juge d'Instruction who goes after the high-placed crooks tooth and nail.

    TAKIISHI MIIKE: BIG BANG LOVE/46-OKUNEN NO KOI (2006). A very arty, stylized, visually beautiful, slightly empty recreation of a homoerotic prison Manga. The editing does manage to give this a certain film-noir logic along with the self indulgent pretty-boy stuff.

    MARCO BELLOCCHIO: THE WEDDING DIRECTOR/IL REGISTA DI MATRIMONI (2006). A far-fetched but thought-provoking meditation on the Italian South, class structure, and the role of the artist (i.e., the movie director), starring Sergio Castellitto of Bellocchio's similarly ornate L'Ora di religione (Il sorriso della madre) of 2002.

    XAVIER GIANNOLI: THE SINGER/QUAND J'ÉTAIT CHANTEUR (2006). Wonderful vehicle for Gérard Depardieu with the luminous Cécile de France in an off-and-on May-December romance involving a young real estate agent and an aging torch singer, set in the French provincial city of Clement Ferrand. Restrained, heartfelt, and atmospheric. Terrific follow-up by the 34-year-old director of the 2003 Les Corps impatients.

    ISABELLE CZAJKA: L'ANNÉE SUIVANTE (2006). Glum, lackluster tale of a teenage girl who's unable to deal with her cold mom after the death of her dad following a long illness.

    DAVIDE FERRARIO: CARLO LEVI'S JOURNEY/LA STRADA DI LEVI (2006). Documentary based on a trip retracing Levi's eight-month journey by train after his release from Auschwitz.

    GERARDO NARANJO: DRAMA/MEX (2006). Feisty, sexy interwoven tales of couples striking out on their own and just striking out in modern-day Acapulco. Rough-looking, but very promising, with good casting and acting. Not unworthy of the country that has given us Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Ricardo Benet, et al.

    CAM ARCHER: WILD TIGERS I HAVE KNOWN (2005). Daring gay coming-of-age piece about a 13-year-old boy in Portland and his imaginary and real playmates, produced by Guy Van Sant. No-budget but pretty visually, with dialogue that captures the young boys' minds and talk very well.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-07-2008 at 05:24 PM.

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