Sydney Film Festival 2012: Day 3

Attention all atheists! God is now using QR codes. And you thought religion was outdated. Still waiting for the confession app. Sort your rig out Christianity!
 
Today was reasonably low-key. Two films were viewed and I have a review of a third that also screened just for good measure.
 
ALPS, the second film from the director of DOGTOOTH was sadly a bit of a miss for me. I was never as fond of DOGTOOTH as some others but I do appreciate what this new wave of Greek filmmakers are up to (I refuse to use the buzz phrase, Greek Weird Wave, as I think it’s a shitty, reductive label).
 
ALPS just never clicked together despite a fantastic premise and some wonderfully funny, and dark, scenarios. There just wasn’t enough meat on them bones. I just wanted more from the concept. There are some great things going on inside ALPS (worth seeing for how beautifully the film photographs the human body) that add up to make it enough of a worthwhile experience for me to recommend to interested parties.
 
THE KING OF PIGS was my next film and it’s a very good, if bleak and desolate, piece of work.
 
“Yuen Sang-ho takes the film to some genuinely unexpected places building to a climax that, while depressingly misanthropic, acts as a sharp critical observation of the causal flow inherent in our Darwinian social structures. The film is less a critique of bullying itself but more an implicit attack on the system that allows this behavior to flourish."
 
Full review up on Artshub soon.
 
I don’t want to flog a dead horse, but damn the subtitles on THE KING OF PIGS were bad. I know this isn’t the fault of Sydney Film Festival but I was just astounded that the problem hadn’t been rectified considering the film has been traveling the festival circuit for over 6 months. I’m guessing this was the same print that played the Cannes and Busan festivals. Why the production company hasn’t sorted the problem is a mystery to me especially since it’s a digital copy that was screened. The constant errors and bizarre translations made the film that extra bit harder to appreciate. It possibly would’ve received a slightly higher rating that the eventual 3.5/5 I gave it if the subtitles were more comprehensible. It’s not out of spite that I say that but more simply that I felt I really missed out on some of the film’s nuances due to not understanding all of the subtitles.
 
 
Another film screened that I’ve seen was HEADSHOT, a Thai noir drama,

“Thai auteur Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's latest genre deconstruction Headshot, has been self-described as a "Buddhist noir" picture but I would be more inclined to label it a pulpy crime film on ketamine… A little more focus and a dash of humour could've made this a truly great work but as it stands Headshot is simply a solid art-house piece of pulp fiction with some great set-pieces.”
 
Full review on Artshub soon.
 
 
I finally managed to check out the new Festival Hub at the Lower Town Hall and I gotta say it’s a cool space. If I had to be a dicky critic I would only ask for more seating and an expansion of opening hours. 5pm – 10pm basically means most SFF patrons would never really get a chance to use the space as 7pm and 9pm sessions are the meat and potatoes of film festival schedules. Having somewhere to take a laptop, drink coffee and use wifi during the day would be brilliant but hey, that’s just me (or even opening a little later for post final film drinks). I’m probably just bitter that the limited opening hours mean I will barely be able to spend time in this space.