[SIFF weekend two]

+ Black Bread was this year’s big Goya winner, a film tackling the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War through the experiences of children. In contrast to the frightful fantasy of Pan’s Labyrinth, Black Bread remains largely realistic. The child actors are all marvelous.

+ Secret #2… I would have enjoyed more in Hecklevision. And possibly with alcohol. I was surprised to recognize ____ from ____ in the scene where ____ ____. But of course they were ____ years younger there.

+ I added Above Us Only Sky to my schedule solely because of Sandra Hüller, whom I had admired in Requiem (though I did not particularly like that film.) Here she is magnificent in another difficult-to-pin-down role as Martha, whose husband commits suicide and leaves behind the mystery of his life.

It was beautifully shot & acted, but I found the narrative somewhat unsatisfying. It tried to tell two stories: the story of the mystery of her husband, and then that of the new romance that followed, but at the end I wished for a bit more conclusion. It was the rare film that was just a bit too short. All the same, it was a portrait of grief well worth watching.

+ La Dolce Vita played to a packed house at 10 in the morning, which is just awesome. You should be proud of yourself, Seattle! It was a gorgeous new 35mm print, and if it travels anywhere near you you should see it. Like I said on Twitter, it doesn’t feel like three hours until you try to stand up at the end of it.

+ Saigon Electric is a totally cute teen movie from Vietnam, focused on a ribbon dancer from the country who moves to the city to try to get into a dance academy. She meets up with a hip hop dance crew and becomes friends with the best b girl in Vietnam. There are ladies being awesome! There is cool dancing, both traditional and street! There is a little social commentary and community organizing! There is *~romance~*! All kinds of things are lifted from American teen movies, and I don’t even mind!

The writer-director was in attendance, and said his next script was a soccer film. I sincerely hope it is also about ladies. Also, his 2007 film Owl and the Sparrow looks very worth the watching. Have any of you seen it?