Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day Seven - Wednesday August 27

One Shot
Linda Wendel - Denmark - 78 min.
Danish, eng. sub.
FFM website
When the Danish do family drama, they do it very well. I remember Festen (Celebration) which used Dogme 95 rules, which requires use of handheld cameraq, existing lighting, sound, and no props, etc. This film is the first Danish film to use the one-take, no cuts or edits technique, famously done by Hitchcock in Rope (although it was supposedly edited to make it appear so), and more recently with Russian Ark (a great film I bought a copy of). Sally, headstrong and rebellious, returns to her mother’s countryside home to force a confrontation . Lennart, her mother’s married lover, gets caught up in the argument. Intensely close up and personal, the one-shot technique doesn’t let you blink as you follow the action from a handheld camera few feet away. Sally’s got a gun and she's not gonna take it anymore…

Umikaze ni fukarete (Carried on a Sea Breeze)
Toshiki Sato - Japan - 110 min.
Japanese, eng. sub.
FFM website
Little toy boats rocked in a bathtub storm didn’t do it even for Cinemoo. Most viewers can spot crappy 1950’s special effects…maybe done in one shot you could get away with it, but to hammer home repeated bad weather that the protagonist faces on his attempt at circumnavigating the island of Hokkaido (Japan’s big northern island), just makes suspension of disbelief even more unwilling. The acting is about as cheesy, as well. A middle-aged Tokyo businessman, faced with a wife who walked out on him for being at work too much, and a partner skimming the profits, finally makes the time to pay a visit the Buddhist shrine in his hometown, several months after his grandfather’s death. A chance meeting with a former high-school flame, who never left the fishing town, escalates into his desire to return his granfather’s ashes to the family homeland. The solo sailing trip ensues, on a goad that it was his big life goal as a teenager. Yuki follows him around on the trip by car, not really admitting that she’s still in love with him. What’s more interesting than the insipid characterization and plot, lame soundtrack, and semaphored metaphor? The nice views of Hokkaido, perhaps.

No comments: