LATAURO DOES MIFF #3: Political Strife, Sex Dolls, And Godard's Decline!
LATAURO DOES MIFF #3: Political Strife, Sex Dolls, and Godard's Decline!
The Event: The 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival
The Protagonist: Latauro (AICN-Downunder)
The Mission: To find the hidden gems and unknown classics that can only be found at a festival such as this. Great films with no star power or marketing budget that will only be screened this once before possibly fading into obscurity.
Today's Lesson: 2009 was all about protesters and dissidence and political controversy. The Indonesians protested BALIBO. The Chinese protested 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE. The Japanese protested THE COVE. I protested ALL ABOUT ACTRESSES, but only because it was awful. There was also a lot of controversy stemming from the Israeli support of the festival, which amounted, in fact, to a single plane ticket for a director. This plane ticket caused Ken Loach to withdraw his film LOOKING FOR ERIC and resulted in a handful of anti-Israeli protesters, some of whom seemed to be confused as to what they were picketing when they turned up to 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVE. This year, the controversy has died down, but the anti-Israelites are still there in front of the cinemas, angry that the State of Israel has anything to do with MIFF, and urging people to join their boycott. Meanwhile, my colleague Luke Buckmaster over at Crikey posted an email exchange between Richard Moore and the producers of SON OF BABYLON (reviewed in the last MIFF roundup), in which they demanded that their film be removed from MIFF because of the Israeli support. It's an extraordinary read, and a truly disappointing one. I have no problem acknowledging that there are legitimate complaints against Israeli policy, but protesting a film festival that has only minimal support from the state is absurd. Especially given MIFF is happily playing films such as SON OF BABYLON, which is apparently a Palestinian co-production. Four films from Iran are screening. I review CARLOS below, in which the main character fights on behalf of Palestine and is neither praised nor condemned by the film for doing so. Festivals like MIFF are, at their very best, designed to bring people together and serve as a cultural meeting of minds. You take off your flags for a couple of weeks and see what everyone else has to say. If you're serious about promoting peace, then the only way that's going to happen is if you continue the discussion. Conditional speech is what causes the problems, and the best thing you can do for your cause is to have a Jew (like, say, me) see a Palestinian film (like, say, SON OF BABYLON) and absolutely adore it (like, say, I did). Kudos to MIFF and Richard Moore for again standing up to this nonsense, and shame on any filmmaker or protester who can't learn to tell the stuff from the stuff.
THE DREAMER: My first film on Friday followed a largely-sleepless night, mostly because I'd stayed up late finishing the previous MIFF installment. Consider the following facts: my brief sleep could better be described as an extended wink; I got to the cinema without enough time to get a much-needed coffee; the cinema itself was packed to the brim with noisy schoolkids. Add to that my dislike of the previous three films I'd seen, and I was in a pretty grumpy mood, ready to hate whatever came on. THE DREAMER -- an Indonesian film about three childhood friends -- had completely different plans in story for me. Disregarding my notion to hate it, the film chose to be unflailingly brilliant form beginning to end, consistently enjoyable, and made with an incredible and unexpected confidence. The score, too, is one of the year's best, proving just how much great music can add to a film. THE DREAMER is one of my favourites of the festival -- hell, of the year -- and had the extremely rare quality of making me want to watch it again immediately after it finished. The best surprise thus far. Distributors: snap this one up. Now.
PIGGIES: THE DREAMER was running late, so I had just enough time to run across the road and up the Forum stairs to catch the beginning of PIGGIES. The caffeine withdrawal was beginning to kick in, but I was still able to enjoy -- if "enjoy" is the right word, and I am certain that it is not -- this raw film about kids and prostitution in a Polish border town. The story of a prepubescent boy corrupted by the decadence around him is a good one, and there are some very clever touches. (For example: in his innocent, pre-corrupted life, he is an avid astronomer. The nightclub in which his corruption begins is called The Zodiac.) The incompatibility of families and children struggling for money while also trying to live a decadent, wasteful lifestyle is a strong, understated one. If the film has a problem, it is that the concept of children slipping so easily into prostitution is treated with such matter-of-factness to be off-putting. I cannot, however, discount the idea that this is the very point of the film. A good film with a very good ending.
FILM SOCIALISME: I skipped the screening of Phillip Noyce's SALT to see what may be the final ever film by Jean-Luc Godard. After finally getting a coffee (hooray!), my headache abated and we took our seats. We were then treated to the best introduction to a film ever given: "Jean-Luc Godard has decided," said the MIFF representative, "to remove all the verbs form the subtitles. So they are, in fact, meant to look like that." He removed the verbs. Take a moment to consider that fact. Although I'd suggest Godard doesn't know what a verb is, because there are plenty of them in there. This is, perhaps, indicative of Godard's insanity, a concept I had not considered until sitting through FILM SOCIALISME. The film is a collection of discordant sounds and images, loosely based around a sea voyage and (I think) a garage. The kind part of me wants to put the whole film down to an enormous brain fart, a sort-of Altzeimer's free association. You do not want to hear what the unkind part of me thinks. If I sound a bit aggressive and pissed off, it's because the film itself is deliberately aggressive against the audience (as if the verb removal didn't clue us all off before the thing even started). It's one of those yawn-inducing "Fuck you, Hollywood!" films that imagine themselves to be clever, unaware that they exist on a lower artistic rung than STEP UP 3D or FURRY VENGENACE, to pick two recent examples. It's embarrassing that the director of such classics as BREATHLESS and CONTEMPT should turn into such a parody of himself, but it could be worse: ...uh... he could kill people? I almost want to apologise to David Lynch for my intense dislike of INLAND EMPIRE, a similar example of an unedited brain spilled loosely onto a film strip, because Lynch's film is positively brilliant next to this one. A middle-aged man behind me commented before the film that he'd always wanted to see a Godard film, and this was his first. That statement make me want to retroactively laugh and cry at the same time. I've spoken about this film way too much, so I'll leave it at this: Jean-Luc Godard has clearly lost his mind. It would have been less depressing to watch him drool in an armchair for two hours.
I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS: After a very rare empty session that allowed my partner and I to actually go and have a proper sit-down dinner somewhere (instead of the usual hit-and-run fast food-eating-in-line of the past week), we sat ourselves down for I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS, the long-awaited love story starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. As with WORLD'S GREATEST DAD, this feels a year too late: in 2009 I was complaining that the film hadn't been programmed. What, exactly, is the hold-up? After seeing the film, this remains a mystery to me. The film is written and directed with utter brilliance by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (writers of BAD SANTA). I had high expectations going in, and they were somehow exceeded. It's played for laughs throughout, but it's deceptively deft direction: given much of the subject matter, it would be so easy to get the tone of any given scene wrong, yet every moment is a suspiciously-perfect masterstroke. Jim Carrey is perfect as Steven Russell, and Ewan McGregor almost steals the entire film from him as the titular Phillip Morris. The full house crowd responded to it with consistently loud laughter in all the right places, making me wonder why this film has not seen a release. It's got two bankable stars and is one of the most genuinely funny comedies to come out of America in years. Surely it can't be something as idiotic as "audiences aren't ready for gay mainstream cinema", because I can list a dozen examples off the top of my head that prove this untrue. The rights are currently held by Roadshow, and the first person to stick their hand up and suggest a wide release with lots of promotion on a key date is going to be proven to be an extremely savvy operator. That something this good could languish on a shelf somewhere is as horrifically hilarious as anything in this brilliant, brilliant film.
TETRO: I was very seriously considering skipping this film. The session began at 9:15pm, and my punishing schedule and lack of sleep was beginning to take its toll. Add to that some bad things I'd heard from friends who attended an earlier session and the inevitable association with the Godard earlier in the day (ie: a once-great filmmaker continuing their fall from grace), and the two-hour-plus running seemed like it would be an exercise in self-punishment. Walking back to the car at 11:45pm on the precipitous Friday night, my partner and I looked at each other and said almost simultaneously: "Can you believe we almost didn't see that?" Francis Ford Coppola's TETRO elicited the same response in me that MATCH POINT did: a filmmaker whose work stands among the best of cinema completely reinventing themselves from the ground up and finding a long-untapped well of energy. TETRO is the story of Bennie (newcomer Alden Ehrenreich, the spitting image of Emile Hirsch) who tracks down his long-long brother Angelo (Vincent Gallo) in Buenos Aires. The film has such a tremendously potent sense of place (forgive me yet another subjective aside: the depiction of Buenos Aires gave me the same heady thrill that the Cuban scenes from GUYS AND DOLLS gave me, so a small degree of nostalgia was probably in play here). The black and white cinematography is juxtaposed perfectly with glorious technicoloured 4:3 flashbacks one presumes are designed to recall THE RED SHOES and TALES OF HOFFMAN. The presumption is proven accurate as the film progresses, with the references overt and unashamed. Although I am not enough of an expert in the Coppola family to proclaim it to be autobiographical, I do know enough to comfortably claim that Coppola has poured a lot of himself into it. In the future, when people try to uncover the real FFC, it will be TETRO above all else that reveals the man himself. The third act of the film is an odd beast: although narratively-discordant, it is thematically-perfect, with every beat of the finale an inevitability based on all the threads woven earlier. It may sound like a backhanded compliment to refer to the film as a minor classic, but that's exactly what it is. THE GODFATHER and APOCALYPSE NOW may loom large over cinema's history, but TETRO is a remarkable work that reinstates Coppola as a master of his craft.
THE ILLUSIONIST: Contrary to what people assume, it's not my grueling MIFF schedule that's killing me, but fitting other stuff in around it. Which, I suppose, is arguably the same thing. I was up until past 3am trying to troubleshoot some technical nonsense on my podcast, and began Saturday even more exhausted than I was on my Friday. Luckily, I began with THE ILLUSIONIST, the new animated French film from Sylvain Chomet (THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE). If you discount Pixar and Ghibli, the best animated film from the past decade was TRIPLETS, and so I entered ILLUSIONIST with high epectations. Which were, I'm delighted to say, met. This gorgeous film, based on a screenplay by Jacques Tati, is pure brilliance. And I don't feel the need to go into any more detail beyond insisting that you catch it whenever you get the chance. Although, if you've seen BELLEVILLE, it's probably already on your radar.
THE TREE: I skipped Jake Scott's WELCOME TO THE RILEYS to see the brilliant Stephen Fry give a talk at the former MIFF venue The Regent, and had just enough time to run to the Greater Union to catch THE TREE, the Australian film with Charlotte Gainsbourg that closed out this year's Cannes. It's a film that you feel should impress more than it does. It's based ona novel, which is not surprising given the ideas clearly lend themselves more to literature than to cinema. The acting oscillates from excellent to spotty, although it is great to see Martin Csokas play a person after his unintentionally-comical turn in SOUTH SOLITARY. Though by no means bad, it is remarkably straightforward and, well, unremarkable. The proceedings are strangely inert and workmanlike, and the central concept feels shunted to the side for much of the movie. Still, it does rank ahead of ANTICHRIST in the Films Charlotte Gainbroug Gets Intimate With a Tree genre, so there's that.
BLANK CITY: This was intended to play at MIFF '09, but after the sessions were cancelled (for reasons that escape my memory), it returned in the 2010 programme. The film is a documentary about the so-called No Wave movement of the late 70s and 80s, where a large group of artists collaborated and co-habitated in the then-slums of East New York. The doco itself is well-made enough: it follows the conventions of telling the story of the movement via clips and interviews with both those who were involved and John Waters. (John Waters, for those paying attention, is becoming the Wilhelm Scream of movie docos.) The problem with the film is the subject matter itself. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that it's less of a movement and more of, well, a circlejerk. Rather than being genuinely weird, they spend all of their energy trying to convince you that they're weird, and mostly come off as try-hard hipsters desperate for legitimacy. There are exceptions to this, like Jim Jarmusch, who comes off as the only director who cared about making a good film, as opposed to just sticking it to Squares. The main problem is that they seem to be constantly in search of something to rebel against, wanting to echo the counter-culture movement that came before them and already covered the same rebellious ground. They focus most of their ire on landlords who are understandably pissed that no rent had been paid, and as such represent the ebbed tide that Hunter S. Thompson wrote of, coming into existence long after the high watermark had been reached and branded. Most telling is the woman who speaks gleefully of how she blew up the World Trade Centre in her 1980s film, but seemed to have trouble reconciling that with her sorrow on September 11, 2001. That lack of deep self-awareness -- realising there was an incongruity there, but being unable to fully grasp what it is -- represents the shallowness and inconsequence of this... well, I'm at loathe to say "movement", but for lack of a better term. It sounds like they all had a great time living together and doing lots of drugs, but this not legitimise what was produced, nor the somewhat-pathetic reasons they had for making it. The end result was, for me, one of moderate irritation.
FOUR LIONS: The day ended with one of my most highly-anticipated films of MIFF, Chris Morris's FOUR LIONS. There are so many comedians who operate under the assumption that they are "edgy" because they make lots of forced references to things they think are taboo. Chris Morris is one of the few who actually is, shining a sharp, satirical spotlight on our own hypocrisies. FOUR LIONS, his first film as director and co-writer, is possibly the bravest skewering of cultural mores since LIFE OF BRIAN. When comedy shows or films proudly proclaim they have no political correctness, it usually means they like making fun of a politician's obesity. FOUR LIONS genuinely discards political correctness, but in an exceptionally smart way, not allowing a single likable character, refusing to present anyone who (a) plays into our own comfortable stereotyped beliefs, or (b) allaying any white or middle-class guilt by having a "Good Muslim" or a "White Politician Who Actually Does Get It". There are so safe havens in this film, and this -- the story of four suicide bombers trying to attack a London target -- is all the better for it. I probably missed about 50% of the jokes because I was laughing at the other ones, which is simply an excuse to see it again. I don't mind calling it early: FOUR LIONS is the comedy of the year.
PLEASE GIVE: After finally catching up on sleep, I headed in to see PLEASE GIVE, the latest film from Nicole Holofcener (FRIENDS WITH MONEY). She's long-been almost the anti-Nancy Meyers, with films full of real characters, believable situations, and great dialogue. She also casts really well, with mainstay Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet doing typically great work. PLEASE GIVE is almost similar to FOUR LIONS in the way is shines a spotlight on perceived hypocricies without letting anyone off the hook, imposing a conclusion, or passing judgment. Add to that a strangely-foreshadowed cameo from Sarah Vowell, and you have another great film from Holofcener that stands head and shoulders above most other American dramas.
CARLOS PART ONE: The trilogy of CARLOS films is played in one long hit, and whilst it may make more sense to review them as one complete entity, I'm going to be sitting here for over six hours and I don't want to be docked for my time devoted by compressing them. For the most part, I'm reviewing these films as I go, on a notepad between sessions. CARLOS is directed by Olivier Assayas (IRMA VEP, SUMMER HOURS), originally as a three-part series of French telemovies, and it does feel a little small scale. Or, rather, the scale is big, but there is a necessary grandeur missing. So far, I'm finding it very good, but not as gripping as I'd hope given the amount of time I'm giving over to it. Still, Edgar Ramirezis good in the lead role, and part one became more engaging as it went along, so I'm hoping it really kicks off with part two.
CARLOS PART TWO: Because nearly everybody is staying for all three parts, there's an interesting group dynamic forming between sessions, a camaraderie that comes from us all Being In This Thing Together. sThis is perhaps the most interesting part of the whole experience. Although it's picked up a lot in part two with some great scenes, there is still something quite flat about it. The sequence in which they attempt to land the plane from country to country could have been so much greater than it was, but there is a deliberate restraint that evens it all out into a peak-less, trough-less sameness. The debates and politics seem to run into one another, and could have been more exciting or interesting. Despite all this, I am actually finding it a lot more enjoyable than I was, and I'm very curious -- although not exactly desperate -- to see part three.
CARLOS PART THREE: Perhaps I was being to harsh on them. Part three had, like parts one and two, some absolutely cracking scenes. Really great moments. It's just that they're held together with uninspired mortar, which makes my reaction an understandably confused one. It's rare to say this, but I honestly feel these films would, in fact, work better on TV. They are very good, but ultimately I was left with a feeling of "Yeah, nice", which is not really what you want to feel after giving over five-and-a-half hours of your life (more with the breaks between them). It's got a real CHE vibe to it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but nor is it the highest compliment I can bestow. Worth checking out on DVD.
AIR DOLL: I'll talk about the venues later, but it's safe to say that Greater Union 3 has the worst reputation of any MIFF cinemas this year. If you were still doubting my commitment to the festival, I entered the cinema at 2:15pm for CARLOS and left it at 11:30pm at the conclusion of AIR DOLL. Same seat, same everything. (Naturally there were toilet breaks and lots of stretching between films, two facts which shame me.) I was pretty tired, but there was no chance of me missing AIR DOLL, given it was directed by the great Hirokazu Koreeda (STILL WALKING). The place was packed, and the audience appeared to love the story of Nozomi (Doona Bae from THE HOST), a plastic sex doll who unexpectedly comes to life one morning. Koreeda adapted the screenplay from a manga by Yoshiie Goda, and the result is easily one of the best films of 2010. It's the film Jean-Pierre Jeunet is going to be upset he didn't make, a modern fairytale that doesn't airbrush life's uglier aspects, but manages to maintain an certain innocence throughout. Myriad themes are expertly handled -- loneliness, emptiness, aging, beauty, sexism -- in a deep and complex manner, without ever once distracting from the simple core story. It's tremendous stuff, and a great way to end a long day and a long weekend.
And that is officially the half-way point of the festival reached! I'll check back in around Wednesday with more promising films.
LATAURO DOES MIFF #1: THE WEDDING PARTY, OSADNÉ, AROUND A SMALL MOUNTAIN, TEENAGE PAPARAZZO, RED HILL, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, THE DELIAN MODE, THE FAMILY JAMS, MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED, SPINE TINGLER: THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY, RUBBER, VIDEOCRACY, MEDAL OF HONOUR, AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE, SILENT HOUSE and THE INVENTION OF DR NAKAMATS
LATAURO DOES MIFF #2: GENIUS WITHIN: THE INNER LIFE OF GLENN GOULD, WORLD'S GREATEST DAD, THE HOUSEMAID (2010), THE GENIUS AND THE BOYS, THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP, BEESWAX, MAI MAI MIRACLE, BOY, THE TWO HORSES OF GENGHIS KHAN, DREAMLAND, SON OF BABYLON, CHLOE, ADRIFT, and THE KILLER INSIDE ME
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Aug. 1, 2010, 10:19 p.m. CST
by jon pertwee
in my hurry to be first i forgot to read the article
Aug. 1, 2010, 11:07 p.m. CST
at least thats how my drunk eyes read the title. Now my question is, who the hell is Latauro and why should i care?
Aug. 1, 2010, 11:07 p.m. CST
Aug. 2, 2010, 12:34 a.m. CST
by Alex D
As a Melburnian, I had to put up with these neo-Nazi protesters last year and here they are again. Palestine or Gaza is the biggest fundraiser in the world. No other cause receives as much funding and donations as these so-called "Palestines". They just built a three level shopping center over there, for fuck's sake! Just go to Palestine Today (a Gaza run web site) to see how huge their markets are. And these neo-nazi protesters go on about genocide. Why don't they protest against the true genocide in Darfur where thousands are getting sliced up by Muslims? Oh yeah, they're not Jewish! FUCKING CUNT HYPCORITES!!!
Aug. 2, 2010, 1:13 a.m. CST
First of all, saying that Palestinians get the most funding in the world is ludicrous. Israel gets roughly 3 billion dollars of American taxpayer money each year without question. By contrast, the Palestinians only get about 300 million. Also, just because they have markets doesn't mean millions of them aren't homeless and without adequate food and water.
Aug. 2, 2010, 1:59 a.m. CST
I'm as surprised to see the Israel/Palestine conflict flare up here in this talkback as i am to see it do so on the city streets each night. What the hell do you think you're achieving, all of you? This is a film festival and not a summit meeting, so first of all get your priorities straight. Secondly the complaint here is ludicrous, the festival is not funded by Israel nor does it have a pro-Israel stance. The only stance the festival takes is one built as a conglomeration of all of it's individual films. So by attempting to be dis-included the film-makers here are the real ones disenfranchising Palestine. If Moore had chosen to exclude or mistreat the film based on its political message then they would have a point, but by selecting and screening their work he is supporting their cause and they're simply turning around and biting him for it. I agree that perhaps his handling of the e-mail array could have been improved but he has done a great job overall in keeping the festival neutral.
Aug. 2, 2010, 2:02 a.m. CST
by Alex D
superunknown85, Arafat died a multi millionaire in Paris where his wife still resides in luxury. So much for suffering for your people, hey?
Aug. 2, 2010, 2:03 a.m. CST
by Alex D
Agree with VT, Richard Moore should be applauded to holding his ground against Jew haters like Ken Loach and the like. If only the London Film festival followed his lead as they succumbed to Loach's demands and withdrew funding for an ISraeli filmmaker.
Aug. 2, 2010, 2:06 a.m. CST
GU3 is rather poor, especially if you find your self near the back, i agree but there are worse in that complex. GU5 is so poorly designed, the entire centre section - the best block of seats in the house- has been replaced by a giant gaping maw of an entrance staircase leaving only the peripheries open for seating. The whole place is a bit of a joke though really, i can see why the festival can basically hire the entire place for two weeks. I'm pretty Miffed that i missed Air Doll and Please Give but i agree completely on The Tree and Tetro (Although i'm in the Antichrist is a masterpiece camp myself) You should try and catch Riley's if it plays again though as it was a rather charming little film and one of the real surprises of the fest for me this far (Alongside the fact that i booked a ticket for the Strange Case of Angelica? How did that happen?)
Aug. 2, 2010, 2:25 a.m. CST
Dude's done A LOT of good stuff
Aug. 2, 2010, 2:28 a.m. CST
by Alex D
I hate the GU cinemas except maybe for Cinema 6 which has a big screen. ACMI cinemas are great. They used to use the Capitol but that is not available this year - at least it had a nice big screen even though the cinema was old but I didn't mind it. I guess they are trying to locate the cinemas within walking distance of each other to make it easier to get to between sessions.
Aug. 2, 2010, 4:18 a.m. CST
Saw Airdoll opening weekend. I liked it but to me it felt like it outstayed its welcome, seem to drag a bit longer than it should have. So its um so so for me on air doll. Saw a pretty great documentary last night called Marwencol, a bit heavy really honest and interesting, I highly recommend it. Only doing one film a day or so on my end so I'm being pretty lazy and easy with miff this year... having said that, seeing your schedule just makes me feel tired.
Aug. 2, 2010, 5:21 a.m. CST
Maybe this site should be called Its-Culos (look up a Latin dictionary if you don't know what the second half of this phrase means. Alex D (ickhead) is obviously still in a state of pre-puberty. The simple point is the State of Israel is a racist apartheid State just like the one that existed in South Africa. It has brutalised Palestinians and denied them their Human Rights and ignored UN resolutions and International Law for a very long time. People who are saying enough is enough and that the civilised world should have nothing to do with them (Yes, Boycott) until they clean up their act are not Anti-Israelites, Anti-Semites and not supporting the human rights of people in Darfur any less. They are not anti-dialogue or anti-”art”,whatever that is. If all you give a damn about is watching movies and wanking on this site, pox on you, your family, and the education system that produced you. Bunch of spoilt, shallow little turds.
Aug. 2, 2010, 6:05 a.m. CST
Aug. 2, 2010, 8:41 a.m. CST
Unless it is the true story of how Arafat found enlightenment by fucking a blind, half dead desert goat.
Aug. 2, 2010, 8:46 a.m. CST
But I agree that Inland Empire is an example of a conceited, syphilis suffering, arrogant bastard who has no clue how to make a movie anymore and decides to just say 'fuck it and fuck all of you who paid to see this worthless piece of shit maybe someone will call it art!
Aug. 2, 2010, 9:17 a.m. CST
by The Wrong Guy
It really is. Just hilarious from start to finish- no love interest, no important life lessons learnt- just consistant, utterly hilarious comedy through and through. And a welcome antidote to the Apatow stuff invading cinemas nowadays. As long as Armando Iannucci (Alan Partridge?) and Chris Morris continue making films, though, I'll be one happy chappy.
Aug. 2, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST
by Alex D
Stop following the tired old Islamic narrative that Gaza is a prison camp and Israel commits genocide. Per capita, Gaza receives more money than any nation in the world. You follow the Islamic narrative again by quoting only what the US provides GAza but fail to give an account of the worldwide donations. The quickest way to become a multi-millionaire these days is to set up a Gaza charity. There is also currently an obesity problem in Gaza while people, including many children, are starving in Darfur. But you stick with the Jew bashing because it obviously fills you with such joy and continue supporting the terrorist organisation in Hamas.
Aug. 2, 2010, 7:46 p.m. CST
I mean, faster than I was expecting. And I was expecting it to be fairly fast.<BR><BR> A couple of you seem to be missing the point entirely. MIFF's sponsorship does not favour any country's politics over another, which is why it can show Palestine's SON OF BABYLON (portraying Arabs in a positive light) and Israel's LEBANON (portraying Jews and, believe it or not, Muslims in a positive light -- or, if not necessarily positive, then a non-judgmentally believable light).<BR><BR> Seb_wog, if people are protesting to pull films and stop people watching them because one of the many sponsors is Israel, then yes, they ARE against an open dialogue. If you don't grasp this concept, then I'm not sure you quite understand what it means. Secondly, and I can't believe I actually have to tell you this, but Ain't It Cool is a movie site! We care about movies! This article is about covering a film festival! That's not *all* we care about, and it's certainly not all I care about, but when I'm writing on AICN, I am approaching it from a cinema perspective. My point was not that people should not have a beef with Israel, it was that trying to pull films from a festival which is all about discovering different cultures is entirely the wrong forum in which to do it! And lose the high-and-mighty act. If you didn't care about movies, you'd hardly be coming to a website about movies.<BR><BR> The point is this: for two weeks, stop the hating. Two of the best, most brilliant films I've seen in the past week have come from Palestine and Israel respectively. It may not be much, but it may be something.
Aug. 2, 2010, 8:42 p.m. CST
I felt that the film was good, funny and well acted, if a little aimless, but I had the opposite view when it comes to the audience. The sold-out friday screening was packed with people clearly (read:loudly) enjoying every minute of the film, but it felt as if the entire crowd was eating up every slightly gay thing in the entire movie, because the fact that two men kiss, or cuddle, or show emotion towards each other is funny in and of itself. There was more to the story (and the jokes) than "Them two straight guys what pretend boyfriend and girlfriend so we can laugh and feel less uncomfortable about the gays" and my enjoyment of the genuinely funny parts (of which there were many) was completely overshadowed by the uproar of laughter at every serious (or even mundane) moment, because it was between two men. Would that scene have been "funny" if it was with a man and a woman? Is two actors kissing any different if they're the same sex? I saw two other incredibly good films about gay characters (BROTHERHOOD and I KILLED MY MOTHER) but almost every person I've tried to talk to about all three has in some way dismissed the merits of the films as just being "gay" and nothing more. Until we can get rid of the attitude that they're so different from the rest of us there's never going to be any real change, rights will still be inequal and movies about unashamedly gay characters will continue to be shelved, fail at the box office, be relegated to film festivals and be dismissed as just "gay" films instead of being judged for what they are. <End rant>. Oh and also, if you're in Melbourne, BROTHERHOOD is playing tonight at the Forum, it's been my absolute favourite of the festival so far and will absolutely knock your socks off. Go see it!
Aug. 2, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST
Make it a documentary. I'de probably go see it. Oh and make it 3D so the kids will see it.. ahem
Aug. 2, 2010, 11:44 p.m. CST
Make a miff film about dislexic milfs... eh just an idea.
Aug. 3, 2010, 7:46 a.m. CST
dude where's my car?
Aug. 3, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST
Point taking about the high and mighty Latauro. Still I have no problem with righteous, one has to take a stand. My essential point I state again is that the protesters are not against the movies but against MIFF's CULTURAL PARTNERSHIP WITH THE STATE OF ISRAEL just like the filmmakers of SONS OF BABYLON. Look at the Sponsors page, p4 of the guide,not the movie list ! Apologies but I reckon you need to read some solid history books mate. You constantly reduce the history of the Middle East to some hatred between people. You obviously don’t have your head up your arse like Alex D but would you have asked the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto to stop resisting, you would call it “hating” for two weeks so cosmopolitan Poles in the capital could watch movies comfortably at a Festival sponsored by the Nazi government ? The filmmakers of SONS OF BABYLON want you to see their film but not at a Festival sponsored by a racist rogue state. That really aint that hard to understand. Your call for some kind of cultural “love-in” is pretty lame considering the history of the Middle East. The world has been telling the State of Israel to pull its head in for 63 years! At the same time the military machines of US and Israel have been rampaging and making life hell for everyone in the Middle East for a long time. I don't hate anybody. But some people on your website are beyond the pail with the bile and horse shit they sprout. I cannot retract my raging gypsy curse regards them. I apologise to you. Yes I am a film fan, but still I feel people change the world not films or talking about them.
Aug. 3, 2010, 6:49 p.m. CST
by Alex D
You seem to follow word-for-word the classic Islamic narrative spewing your anti-Israel diatribe. The same spin word-for-word.
Aug. 3, 2010, 7:04 p.m. CST
by Alex D
to compare the current situation in Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto obviously shows you know nothing. I don't recall the Warsaw Ghetto having a three level shopping centre and full of food markets and truckloads of supplies being given to them. You're an uneducated tool.
Jan. 1, 2011, 3:42 a.m. CST
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