Don't worry, there will still be a bad pun when I do the wrap-up review post in two weeks or so. Anyhow, this is our CIFF schedule as his_regard and I have it so far:
8:00pm Bad Seeds (Safy Nebbou, Belgium/Luxembourg) It's either a weirdly generation-reversed Rope or a grim, nightmarish Teaching Mrs. Tingle as two students kidnap their English teacher and one of them (ta da!) turns out to be a psychopath.
10:30pm Don’t Click (Kim Tae-Keyong, South Korea) Can you believe there's only one South Korean film at the Festival this year? I know, right? Anyhow, this one is a YouTube-era Ringu with surveillance paranoia thrown in just as a bonus for me.
2:00pm The Exam (Peter Bergendy, Hungary) We've had good luck with the former Sovbloc, all told, at these shows, Hungary usually being better still. This one sounds great: a 1950s secret policeman is, unbeknownst to him, scheduled for the titular exam to prove his own loyalty. Again with the surveillance paranoia; the blurb makes it sound a little bit Prisoner, to boot. I will weep openly if this one isn't good.
6:30pm Dragon (Peter Chan, Hong Kong) The title of this movie in Chinese is, no kidding, Wu Xia. So I think we know what we're getting. But it's a wuxia noir, apparently: detective pursues hero to discover which triad he learned his kung fu from.
11:00pm Sleep Tight (Jaume Balaguero, Spain) From the director of [REC] which ought to be enough recommendation for anyone. But it's about a doorman! A doorman, I tell you! Taut thriller, guy in a breath mask in the promo still, absurdism, and scene.
4:30pm The Land of Hope (Sion Sono, Japan) A Robin D. Laws Best TIFF Film! "After Fukushima repeats itself at another nuke plant, a farm family on the literal edge of the evacuation zone struggles with the aftermath. Sweetly drawn--and therefore, all the more harrowing." If this film topples me into full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder three months early, I'm blaming him.
8:30pm La Playa DC (Juan Andres Arago, Colombia) Poor kid searches for his missing brother in a bad neighborhood of Bogota. This one is on me, as our potential "sense of place" film for the show. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. But CIFF isn't always about the safe play, people. Don't call me a hero.
7:00pm Consuming Spirits (Chris Sullivan, USA) Weird animation about weird Americana. It's backwoods gothic, and even if it turns out to be othering and condescending (I know, what are the odds?) it should be pretty wack to watch.
8:10pm Gimme the Loot (Adam Leon, USA) Petty grifters try to score $500 in the Bronx to fund a massively cool tag. This could be tiresome, or it could be as unexpectedly fun as Whole Train was. Either way, it's only 81 minutes long.
11:00pm John Dies at the End (Don Coscarelli, USA) Note the director's name. 'Nuff said. Oh, okay, paranormal street drug, ultraterrestrial invasion, Paul Giamatti, yadda yadda yadda.
8:00pm Fuckload of Scotchtape (Julian Grant, USA) Wasn't this supposed to be an international film festival of some kind? Oh well, America's a nation. This one is from the great state of Chicago, in fact. And it's a "neo-noir musical crime drama," so take that, haters.
11:00pm The ABCs of Death (Various Artists, Various Places) A.k.a. "Meathooks, Je t'aime." 26 directors do 26 horror shorts, one per letter, on the theme of death. chebutykin saw this at one of her eight or twelve film fests and liked it well enough, and if it can tweak the refined aesthetic palate of such a jaded connoisseur of the Grand Guignol, I'm sure we'll all have a good time.
7:00pm Black’s Game (Oskar Thor Axelsson, Iceland) If you've seen one Icelandic narco-thriller, you've seen them all, but this one will, in fact, be the first one I've seen. And man, check out the knifechete thing the guy in the still is holding. Tell me you wouldn't go see this movie on that basis alone.
9:45pm Room 237 (Rodney Ascher, USA) A documentary about various wrong-side-of-the-looking-glass interpretations of Kubrick's film The Shining. In other words, a film that obsessively over-focuses on those who obsessively over-focus on a film about obsessive over-focus made by an obsessively over-focussed film director. I intend to respond to this film with obsessive over-focus. Also, btw, a robin_d_laws Recommended Film. If you're scoring at home, this counts as meta-surveillance meta-paranoia.
In lieu of film, this night I will attend live radio drama in Hyde Park by the Hyde Park Community Players. The bill features Lucille Fletcher's radio play Sorry, Wrong Number and adaptations of Saki's "Open Window," Mary Wilkins-Freeman's "The Shadow on the Wall," and H.P. Lovecraft's "The Terrible Old Man."
3:00pm The Patsy (King Vidor, USA) A 1928 silent rom-com starring Marion Davies. I shall remain alert for pioneering gender-switched notions of the Baxter.
5:15pm Yuma (Piotr Mularuk, Poland/Czech Republic) Just after the fall of the Wall, a bunch of young friends in Poland decide to become outlaws, because why not? Why not, indeed. It will be interesting to see if a film in the grand tradition of Nouvelle Vague nihilism can be justified by a literally soul-less setting and then redeemed by the tropes of the Western.
8:15pm Shadow Dancer (James Marsh, UK/Ireland) Clive Owen is the handler of an IRA asset he's forcing to inform. Everyone suspects everyone and nobody tells the truth. More surveillance paranoia, too, I'll wager.
2:00pm StringCaesar (Paul Schoolman, UK) Three prisons worth of inmates plus Sir Derek Jacobi for some reason dramatize the early life of Julius Caesar. his_regard thought only one Julius Caesar Prison Movie (see below) was enough for some reason, but if anyone reading this wants to hit this show, I will totally go with.
6:15pm Caesar Must Die (Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Italy) Inmates in Rome's Rebibbia Prison prepare to perform Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. You know me and Shakespeare.
9:00pm King Curling (Ole Endressen, Norway) A broken-down former curling champion must pull himself together to play one last meet for the sake of his coach, who lies dying. You never can tell with Norway, but I think this is a parody.
6:30pm Agenbite of Inwit (Ken Nordine, USA) Legendarily honey-and-gravel-voiced word-jazzman Ken Nordine has been the voice of the Fest for the past 47 years. This is some kind of thing where he talks, and probably there are trippy visuals to go with. You know the drill.
All films at the AMC River East 21 in the scenic East Loop, so everybody come on down and see 'em with us!