Sunday, September 18, 2011

Soaking Up The 24th SIFF

The 24th Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) has started and my nights are packed out these two weeks. I'm watching it with the man and different groups of friends! Not possible to watch all with just one person or even two. When it comes to movies, even the man and I, as it is with books, have vastly divergent genre preferences. When we first dated, he tried asking me to watch romantic shows. I kept saying no. After he sneakily made me watch two forgettables and I walked out in the middle, he's learnt that I really really dislike movies to the tune of 'You've Got Mail''Notting Hill' , 'Four Weddings and A Funeral', 'Titanic' and 'Love Actually'. So you can see, I didn't spend my youth in cinemas. (Wait a minute, I think I might just hate Hugh Grant too!)

We had such a hoot deciding which movie to watch without having the schedules clash. Still it happened and many of us had to swop tickets. It was a tough fight between 'Twenty' (Pearl Jam) and 'Troll Hunter'. Twenty won. Troll Hunter is listed on iTunes. The majority wanted to watch Pearl Jam 'live' on a huge screen. They probably wish it's a real gig. Ha! When we saw 'The Tree of Life' in the listings of SIFF, we didn't bother with it. It's got Brad Pitt. Need we even doubt that it'll hit iTunes and of course mainstream cinema? 

'Beyond (Svinalängorna)'

I like Swedish films very much. There's something very stark about storylines. I'm not too familiar with the era of Bergman, it's Lukas Moodysson's dark tragedies that call to me. In SIFF's listings, the depressing 'Beyond (Svinalängorna)' directed and co-written by Pernilla August thrilled me. She's one actress under Bergman who has kinda successfully made the transit to writing and directing. Most movie-goers will be familiar with protagonist Noomi Rapace. I've liked her since I saw the 2006 'Enhälligt beslut'. There's a social commentary in Beyond about the Finns, who are the largest immigrant group in Sweden. However, as a foreign viewer of the film, the portions I can claim to fully understand, are only the social aspects presented of a dysfunctional family because of thoroughly irresponsible parents.

'Griff the Invisible'

Halfway through 'Griff the Invisible', I almost elbowed the man in the ribs out of pure irritation. Yes, while it's a fairly well-directed and lovingly produced movie about a man's tortured mental self finding some solace in a surprising partner, it borders on a romance. A tad grating. Yes, I'm prejudiced. But I recognized the subtle touches of social awkwardness and how the superhero-thingy bellies a serious mental issue. Still, the build-up isn't quite there and the pacing isn't great.

Luckily for the man, lead actor Ryan Kwanten made an appearance at this screening, sat through the show and cordially took a Q & A session after. On stage, he really felt more like Jason Stackhouse instead of Griff, but less annoying. Heee. He gamely took all questions and exuded a really friendly vibe. Nobody was starstruck, and importantly, nobody ran to him screaming or melted into a puddle of mush. It made for a nice end to the evening.


kikare said...

I had not heard about Moodysson's film until I read about it here.
So you've seen Lilya Forever, Fucking Åmål and Tillsammans (together)?

kikare said...

Hehehe, I just checked, it's not a Moodysson! I just made the wrong association :p

imp said...

kikare: yes! those are the 3 must-watch literary commentaries by Moodysson.

PS: amended the sentences to provide more clarity. no wonder you made the association. i indirectly caused that!