[SIFF Week Two]

* Death at a Funeral is a tightly-written, beautifully acted farce. Good comedy is hard to do well & generally painfully underrated. I went to this one largely because the cast included Alan Tudyk & Peter Dinklage, and both were marvelous.

* Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle was a package of experimental short films reworking found audio, video, and/or dialogue. My favorite concept was “For a Blonde… For a Brunette… For Someone… For Her… For You…” which was a karaoke-style short, with the audience playing a role. It was a really cool idea, but I wish that they had chosen a scene with dialogue that was easier to pick up on the fly, though. I also enjoyed “Sunbeam Hunter”, which used images from Boy Scout handbooks. I did NOT enjoy “Asmahan”, because I didn’t get it at all, being unfamiliar with the source. I was not alone here; the entire audience seemed to be slowly revolting. Anarchy of stifled giggles! This being SIFF, there were two directors in attendence, but of course they were directors of films far too experimental for me.

* No Regret was a Korean film about an orphan & his developing relationship with a well-off businessman. I am not terribly interested in American queer film, but other countries can provide a different perspective, and this was no exception. It went a bit weird for me at the end, but I’m thinking it’s a first feature sort of error, and am willing to forgive it.

* The Cloud is a teen romance – slash – nuclear accident film. It reminded me on some level of Wristcutters, for sticking a genre in a particularly unusual setting, though I didn’t love it as much. It was pretty awesome, though. I felt like it got a little long towards the end, but I don’t know what I would cut. Really fantastic cast, and possibly my favorite of the festival so far. The IMDb boards hate it because the love story isn’t in the book. Which says to me that the book is a completely different story, and wow, I so do not care. Seriously, people. Whatever.

* Black Sheep had a sold-out midnight screening. Awesome. It’s genetic modification gone wrong! Killer sheep! At the preview they said it was in the tradition of Peter Jackson, and that is absolutely true, a gore-fest of a black comedy that knows exactly what sort of film it is. Great fun.