Cinefest 2011 April 10th (Commentary on Sunday's Screenings)

Monday, April 11, 2011

My intention for Sunday was to attend church, leave my car in the free church parking lot, give thanks for St. Luke's complimentary coffee and goodies, and get some exercise by walking to my first film of the day.

Instead, running late as usual, I missed services again for like the 4th Sunday in a row, had to pay $4.50 for parking, and another $4.50 for coffee and a scone at the Ritz, not to mention, 3rd day in a row - no exercise.

Terri - Director, Azazel Jacobs / Featuring John C. Reilly

Quick About: Terri, a low-keyed, pajama clad, kindhearted, over-sized kid (Jacob Wysocki) is coming of age in some woodsy middle America, expected to take care of his Alzheimer stricken Uncle and still get to school on time.

Pleasing: The dark humor that always accompanies these types of slice of life, Indy dramas. More interesting than the relationship Terri develops with the school's Vice Principal (Reilly) is the casual friendship that takes place between him and the other outcast of the school, Chad (Bridger Zadina); this scrawny kid, yanking himself bald, is a powder keg looking for a match.

Not So Pleasing: It's pretty typical stuff throughout, a bit long, and it's disappointing that Terri never stops wearing the PJ's.

Summary: John C. Reilly is such a talented actor, and it's understandable that he'd be drawn to this quiet film; but for a change, I really didn't see where Reilly brought something unique to the role.

Living on Love Alone (D'amour et d'eau fraiche) Director Isabelle Czajka

Quick About: Julie a 23 year-old recent college graduate searches for an entry level career position; gets fired twice and while deciding on her next move meets a dark, sexy, amateur gangster, Ben (Pio Marmai), who leads her down a bad path.

Pleasing: The beautifully shot nudity, both male and female. Actress, Anais Demoustier's natural and relatable portrayal of Julie.

Not So Pleasing: The plot development is interminably long. Her struggles with work were particularly depressing and anxiety causing for me. Although the film is subtitled, the struggles of finding employment, constantly having to sell yourself for jobs you don't have any interest in doing anyway, is the same in any language.

Summary: Would have liked to get to the "Bonnie and Clyde" stuff much sooner. The description in the film guide actually reads, exciting and fast-paced - NOT

Womb (German, Hungary, France) - Director, Benedek Fliegauf

Quick About: Adolescent, Rebecca (Eva Green) and Tommy (Matt Smith) meet on a very cold beach and develop a deep friendship. Rebecca is visiting her aged grandfather, but soon moves to Japan with her mother and doesn't reunite with Tommy until they are young adults. All is beautiful until Tommy is killed in a car accident and Rebecca decides to birth a new Tommy through artificial inseminating cloning.

Pleasing: Eva Green (I first discovered her in my recent post about the new show Camelot click HERE for post) She acts with her eyes and I like the enigmatic quality she brings to this role. The unfolding of Rebecca and Tommy's friendship, shot with small, child-like scenes of little dialog and lots of atmosphere. The intentionally claustrophobic nature of the relationship between Rebecca and the Tommy clone; enhanced by their isolated little cabin on the beach.

Not So Pleasing: The scratched film stock, at first I assumed was intentionally used as effect, but later realized the film needs restoring. The constant cold, frigid weather of every single scenes, the slow, snails pace build up to absolutely nothing. In fact, they actually use a snail as a symbol of love between Rebecca and the original Tommy.

Summary: Well, you know I'm a Sci-fi junkie and love to think about stuff like cloning.  Even though the movie Never Let Me Go (come to think of it that clone's name was Tommy too) has some unevenness, I liked the manner in which that film handled the subject. Womb tries to do the same by making the concept an established, somewhat familiar part of life. However, the desire of this film was not to discuss cloning, but rather explore the taboo of the Oedipal complex.

Line for first screening of "Cost of a Soul"
The big success of the festival is a gritty tale set in North Philadelphia, made by Philly filmmaker, Sean Kirkpatrick and features many local actors. Cost of a Soul, is a story about two vets returning home from Iraq to find their own home life is more dangerous than the war they just fought.

Crowd scene at "Cost of a Soul" party at Triumph
Will Blagrove and Nakia Dillard
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the film, but I did attend the after party at Triumph Brewery, where I caught up with two of the actors from the movie, Nakia Dillard and Kamal Bostic Smith (not pictured). I cast these two guys in their training roles a million years ago for an Outreach program through AMTF (Prince Theater) called The Rainbow Company.

Cost of a Soul will have a wide release May 20, 2011.

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15 Top Food in Film Flicks

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Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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