Saturday, March 18, 2006

More Cleveland Film Festival blogging

Two films down today and already I've had better luck than with six yesterday. After posting last night I saw FOUR LANE HIGHWAY, an American indie that's standard first film stuff. Next up was QUO VADIS, BABY?, an Italian film from the director of I'M NOT SCARED. My hopes were probably pinned highest to this film since it had a little more of a pedigree than anything else I'd seen. I'll have to have time to hash out my thoughts on it. It held my interest and ends with a nice stylistic touch, but I'm not sure if it amounts to anything or not (or if all of the music references, like the repetition of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer", mean anything in a larger context).

Finishing the day (or starting Saturday morning, if you will) was the midnight movie KARLA. This drama about a notorious Canadian serial killing couple caused somewhat of a ruckus at last fall's Montreal festival, but it wasn't worth the fuss, if just because it gives the film more attention than it deserves. THAT 70S SHOW'S Laura Prepon plays a much too accommodating wife and willing participant in her husband's abductions and rapes of young women. KARLA isn't as graphic as I expected it might be, and it isn't in the business of making excuses for the couple, although I suppose it's possible to view Karla as more of a victim than a perpretator. I didn't stick around to hear director Joel Bender talk about his movie, which may have been for the best since the film was subjected to some derisive laughter.

Today I've enjoyed the Icelandic music documentary SCREAMING MASTERPIECE, which focuses mostly on the adventurous rock scene. I also like the droll Danish comedy DARK HORSE, although it loses its way in the last twenty minutes or so. I've got four more films to go today and probably no chance of posting again until tomorrow. A daily podcast is available on the Cleveland International Film Festival site, so check it out if you're so inclined.

As for me, I've wolfed down my Japanese food for an early supper and need to scramble to get to the midnight movies doc.

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