Tag Archives: Rotterdam

IFFR 07: A Brace Of Misogyny

And now we get to two of the films that I’ll have to put down as not exactly my favorites. As I’ve said before, I don’t normally beat up on small films, but as the title of this piece might indicate, these two films need to be exposed for what they are. Claudio Assis’s Bog of Beasts (Brazil) and Jilani Saadi’s Tender is the Wolf have both, according to their filmmakers, been misunderstood. Well, I’m pretty sure that’s complete bollocks. Not only that, but I can find no excuse for the 2007 IFFR VPRO Tiger Awards jury to have given an award (even one ex aequo) to Assis’s film. From my second day in town, the words being used to describe this film included such “superlatives” as: loathsome, repugnant, vile, irredeemable and misogynist.
I cannot remember if I have ever seen a more contemptible or brutal film. This story of life in a small Brazilian village is so chock-a-block with despicable characters as to defy description. It’s something like I’d imagine a town would be if it were almost completely populated with pederasts, rapists and incestuous (not to mention pedophilic) old men. This village is so far to the fucked zone of the moral compass, the drunks, pimps and whores are the among the more virtuous citizens. It’s a village where the sons of the rich fit in the narrow range between being only morally bankrupt and being psychosexually sociopathic, all without any sort of consequence. This is a group led by a caricature of a man so insane, that gang-raping a prostitute isn’t enough for him, he also need to sodomize her with what appears to be a 2 x 4.


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IFFR 07: The Killing of John Lennon

e04b3be4-c6d1-4ac7-bc31-be053a4a7be7.jpgSo there it was, February 6th and I was taking my customary 3-day Amsterdam break between the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). I’ve been pretty abstemious during this trip, as I might have mentioned. Drinking relatively little, early to bed and rise, no drugs, etc. However, with Amsterdam, well, when in Rome… So I was sitting in Barney’s, somewhat…altered, having just finished an Irish breakfast (minus the black pudding, thanks) and sipping on a “cuppa tay.” I hope I remember to proof this before I post…. (proofing it sober in Berlin….)
The Killing of John Lennon was heads and shoulders above nearly everything else at this year’s IFFR and one can’t help but wonder what the Berlinale was thinking when they used the fact that the film had played the Edinburgh fest as reason for turning it down… or so I’ve heard. Andrew Piddington’s chronicle of the months leading up to and following Mark David Chapman’s murder of John Lennon is an exceptional piece of work and I can’t imagine that US and other distribs won’t be clamoring to pick up this gem at the European Film Market in Berlin (screening times: Sunday, Feb. 11th at 5:30pm, CineStar 1 on HDCam and Tuesday, Feb. 13th at 9am in CinemaxX Studio 17 on Digi Beta. I might even see it again. It would also be nice to see this film get a slot at the New York Film Festival…hint hint! Ok, I am a retard and can’t tell my August from my September. Yes, if it was going to play the NYFF, it would have played last year. Duh. I do believe it’s eligible for ND/NF, if you’re listening, FSLC!

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IFFR 07: Getting Started & The Ick Factor

AMan'sJob.jpgAs of the end of my day on February 1st, I’ve seen all or part of 15 films in my 5 days of screenings which for those of you familiar with my past festival behavior must seem like I’ve been kidnapped by aliens. Not only that but, I’ve not bought or smoked any cannabinoids, have been up before 9am every day and was back at my hotel before midnight every day but one. But enough about me….cinema!
I started my fest off, oddly enough, with three films in a row whose titles begin with “Man.” A Man to Remember (more on this recently discovered 1938 gem in a future post), A Man’s Job and The Man Of No Return and rather than bore you with lengthy reviews of films that should best be avoided, I’ll just say that A Man Of No Return should have stayed away. Normally I’d also ignore A Man’s Job as a film to be, well, ignored but I feel compelled to comment on a particular element of this film.

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IFFR 07: The Industry Party Swings! – Video

A couple cuts a rug to a mashup of Coldplay and some Latin dance tune at the Industry Party at Engels, a restaurant in Rotterdam.
It was a swell affair and I have to confess that I was only in Rotterdam for about 30 hours before I broke my promise and ended up staying out until 2am, even though I had to get up at 8 the next morning. It all worked out ok, though and I am only slightly worse for wear. Tonight, however, is an early one, I promise. No…really.