Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Movies: Film Festival mini-reviews

Soul Power covers the 1974 concert in Zaire that took place at the same-ish time as the Ali-Foreman fight. Lots of great performers including James Brown, favourite-bluesman-ever BB King, and new favourite singer Bill Withers. For me it's a movie that really illustrated the joy of playing music, and the satisfaction of playing music yourself rather than receiving it from some 'star'. Great stuff.

Moon is impossible for me to discuss without talking spoilers. So, I'm talk about it at the bottom of this post.

2009 was a middling year in terms of the number of movies I missed that were on my must-see list: In The Loop (scheduling conflict with Moon), Rachel (got the start time wrong), This Way of Life (couldn't be bothered, on the day). Far more impressive were the number of movies I missed that I only really really wanted to see: Mother, Afghan Star, Rough Aunties, Visual Acoustics, Thirst, and The First Day of the Rest of Your Life.

It Might Get Loud was the last film of the festival for me, and definitely my favourite. I am the target audience for a movie about how Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White became guitarists.

OK, back to Moon. I guess all I really wanted to say is that I have a brain that can't help but try and guess the twist in a movie. As much as I try to shut it off, it keeps ticking along - adding new information into my working theories about what's really happening. It's ruined the full effect of a few movies for me (Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspects, in particular).

Moon doesn't really have a twist. As a story, it plays pretty fair - and actually reveals what's happening very early on. My problem, though, was that the reveal implicitly establishes a few things that need to happen. Two characters have to come into conflict. There has to be an investigation. Certain people have to respond to events that occur early in the movie. That sense of inevitability bugged me.

On the other hand, I was anti-bugged by Sam Rockwell's performance, the look and feel of the film, and the Clint Mansell soundtrack. These things were extraordinary.

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