GRAVITY (dir. Alfonso Cuarón). A simple, well told survival story that is probably a consider for the most visually spectacular thing I’ve seen in cinema. And it's just been realised in NZ. Get on it, friends!
JODOROWSKY’S DUNE (dir. Frank Pavich). A documentary on the greatest film never made. Jodorowsky himself makes the doco thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly inspiring. Plus he pats a cat in it.
GRAND PIANO (dir. Eugenio Mira). Moments before his comeback performance, a concert pianist who suffers from stage fright discovers a note written on his music sheet. Tense, incredibly visual, and Elijah Wood nails it.
COHERENCE (dir. James Ward Byrkit). One for my low budget filmmaker buddies to seek out. Shot in chronological order all in one house, with actors given no script or prior knowledge of the story - just each given a list of motivations and plot points to get across as they came to each new scene. You’d think something so improvised would fall to shit, but nope. It’s awesome. Props to the editor for making it so tight.
BLUE RUIN (dir. Jeremy Saulnier). Some of you might have caught this in the Incredibly Strange section of NZIFF this year. I didn’t, so I’m super glad I saw it at FF, because it’s great revenge movie.
THE CONGRESS (dir. Ari Folman). A brain melter that switched between live action and stunning animation.
EEGA (dir. S.S. Rajamouli, J.V.V. Sathyanarayana). A man is killed and reincarnated as a fly… a fly seeking REVENGE! Yah, it’s a nuts as it sounds and explores the shit out of its premise.
DETEKTIV DOWNS (dir. Bård Breien). A young man with Down’s Syndrome who is desperate to be a Private Investigator gets his first case. Just the right level of funny and heartwarming, and not at all exploitative or sappy.
MARUYAMA, THE MIDDLESCHOOLER (dir. Kankurô Kudô). A teenage boy who loves to fantasise about his neighbours having secret hidden lives also happens to be on a quest to learn to suck his own penis. Erm, yes. It was hilarious.
R100 (dir. Hitoshi Matsumoto). The prize for “What the fuck did I just watch” goes to this film.
Also saw a couple of films on either side of the festival worth catching. SHORT TERM 12 was great, DON JON was pretty funny, and if you haven’t seen KINDERGARTEN COP, get some Arnie lovin’ buddies over and watch it with some friends ASAP.
Movies are great.