Archive for Edinburgh International Film Festival

A Day Late

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on July 11, 2014 by dcairns

vlcsnap-2014-07-09-14h57m59s78

I am SO disorganized right now. Thus I posted about Italian compendium films yesterday when I should have been linking to The Forgotten, and I totally forgot to have an intertitle on Sunday. That’s what comes of attending two film festivals back to back, I guess.

Anyhow, here is The Forgotten, inspired by a couple of screenings at EIFF, and meeting the delightful Jack Gold, whose saucy screen credit appears above.

There’s a Great Universe Next Door — Let’s Go

Posted in FILM with tags , , on July 7, 2014 by dcairns

 

Coherence still 3 _em and kev_

Reviewed at Edinburgh, COHERENCE is a fairly nifty sci-fi thriller with an original set-up and some chilling scenes. Over at Electric Sheep.

Sacred Spaces

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2014 by dcairns

Cathedrals Of Culture still 1 _Glawogger_Library_01_

Bologna — have relocated to the city centre, and am averaging five screenings a day. Met Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell, Jonathan Rosenbaum and Kevin Brownlow. Life is good!

Report from Edinburgh:

CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE is subtitled A 3D FILM PROJECT ABOUT ARCHITECTURE or something, a weirdly prissy title (is a “film project” different from/better than a “film”) and what it is, is a series of half hour portraits of important buildings by an international group of filmmakers. Since there are six half hour pieces, it’s quite long, and like all compendium films it’s a mixed bag, but none of the films are boring and there is one real stand-out.

Rather unfortunately, several of the filmmakers have had the same idea, writing a voice-over for the buildings so they can narrate their own stories. It’s a cute idea, done once. Michael Glawogger breaks the pattern by assembling a collage of Russian literary extracts; Redford uses a series of audio interviews, new and archival. Dispensing with talk altogether might have been a welcome innovation for somebody.

Despite this being Wim Wenders’ second work in 3D, after PINA, he continually tracks forward through the Berlin Philharmonic (a genuinely grand, innovative and consistently surprising structure), which weirdly cancels out the effect of being in a 3D movie. Forward tracking shots look like 3D already. Lateral ones, diagonal ones, and indeed stationary ones are more suited to exploiting the stereoscopic effect. Still, the space is stunning and about half of Wenders shots do it justice.

Cathedrals Of Culture still 3 _Redford_Institute_01_

Robert Redford struggles to find enough angles on the Salk Institute, which offers only one real vista, a challenge to legendary cinematographer Ed Lachman’s inventiveness. Margreth Olin has the benefit of dance performances to shoot at the Oslo Opera House, but her constant freeze frames and shifts into black and white mar rather than enhance the experience.

Michael Glawogger’s camera drifts through a vast library, recalling Resnais, and finding a few striking effects with the curving aisles of books and flickering fluorescent lights. But visits to the Pompidou Centre and other noble institutions risk being purely celebratory, a difficult attitude to sustain with interest for three hours.

The filmmaker who understands 3D best here is Michael Madsen (not the actor), perhaps because he’s also a cinematographer. His portrait of a Finnish prison manages to surprise with every fresh angle, the bleak but beautiful whiteness of the structure perfectly captured in crisp, calm frames which nevertheless brim with unspoken tension. By choosing the least overtly “cultural” building, Madsen also avoids preciousness, a slight concern elsewhere. The voice-over, recorded by the prison’s psychologist, adopts the viewpoint of various sections of the institution: the perimeter wall, the chapel, the cottage for conjugal visits, and most disturbingly, the isolation wing.

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