Saturday, March 25, 2006

Mini Cleveland Film Festival update

Sorry for the lack of updates since Thursday night. I have a big recap of Friday at the Cleveland International Film Festival nearly ready for posting, but with record crowds and tight windows between screenings, there's just not been time to complete it.

With three films left on my screening schedule (BUCKLE BROTHERS, WASSUP ROCKERS, and THE FRENCH GUY), I think it's safe to say that the best films I've seen and will see are Anders Thomas Jensen's ADAM'S APPLES, a dark comedy about religious faith; Kim Ki-duk's THE BOW; Bent Hamer's FACTOTUM, a deadpan riff on Bukowski; and Pearse Elliott's THE MIGHTY CELT, a wrenching boy and his dog story. The first three I saw consecutively on Friday. I wrote about THE MIGHTY CELT in my second post from Thursday's festival coverage.

When all is said and done, I'll have seen 37 films over six days. Only once have I really struggled with staying awake, something which surfaced at this morning's 9:45 a.m. screening of RYNA. I was already in sort of a funk after discovering my driver's license and other cards had fallen out of my wallet, but luckily a visit to my car turned them up. The film was dull too.


  1. And wasn't The French Guy just sorry, miserable, broken, deluded?

    If they used that zoom one more time or had one more jump cut I was gonna scream the roof off of the auditorium.

    Here's a question: have you ever blogged or broadcast about the APALLING - and I mean APALLING - quality of projection in Cleveland Cinemas cinemas?

  2. I have an overall fest recap looming over me, but have no fear that THE FRENCH GUY will rank among the worst I saw at the festival. Having watched the trailer online, I knew that it didn't look promising, but this film was shorter than the shorts program, which didn't particularly interest me. Finishing the day (and the festival) with WASSUP ROCKERS and THE FRENCH GUY was a miserable way to go.

    As for the quality of the projection, I was pleased with it at almost every screening except--and what a big exception--with the unacceptable conditions for THE FRENCH GUY. I cringed every time I saw the reel change marker because I knew what was coming. Obviously no one was in the projection booth past 1 a.m. and hard to find before then.

    Since I'm based out of the Columbus area, my only experiences with Cleveland Cinemas are two days at the festival last year and six days this year. If I'd paid to see THE FRENCH GUY, I would have demanded my money back. I realize it was near the end of the festival and late at night, but it may be the single worst recurring projection issue I've witnessed. (The closest contender would be a promo screening of THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, during which the film broke several times and the lamp flickered.)

    Give me a couple days and I'll have a festival recap posted. As it is, I have reviews to write for my show tomorrow. Thanks for reading and posting.