[Best of SIFF: Day 1]

* The Reverse was… interesting. Poland’s official submission in the foreign language category of the most recent Academy Awards, it is the first feature from director Borys Lankosz. It’s a story about three generations of women living together in 1950s Warsaw, and how their lives change when the youngest encounters a rough & attractive fellow (Marcin Dorocinski). It contained one of the most traumatic death scenes I have ever seen, which overwrote any other thoughts I might have had about it. Also, I found the score really intrusive, but that might just be me. The acting was fabulous, though, particularly Dorocinski.

* By the end of the first weekend of the festival, I was already kicking myself for missing Castaway on the Moon, so I was pretty excited that it was included in the Best of. Kim decides he is going to kill himself by jumping off a bridge into the Han river, but instead is washed up on a small island in the center. He tries and fails to get the attention of anyone passing by, supposes he can always die later, and begins creating a life for himself on this deserted island in the heart of the city. He’s spotted eventually by a girl living as a shut-in in one of the high rise apartment buildings across the river, and they slowly develop an odd yet powerful long distance relationship, as it were. It was one of my favorites of the festival, a commentary on isolation and technology, while also being a charming fairy tale of a story. It’s the second feature by Lee Hae-jun, the first being a film about a transgender teenager, which I intend to seek out at Scarecrow. Judging from Castaway, I expect it is well-handled.

The last two films for Friday were The Hedgehog (which I had just seen) and Leaves of Grass (which I strongly considered seeing again, but I thought I would be better served going home before my five movie day. Does that qualify as an adult decision?)