This year I watched the following films at MIFF plus bonus brief synopses/reactions (the bolded ones are ones I would 100% recommend as a good time):
- Stations of the Cross, Dir. Dietrich Brüggemann, Germany (2014)
Catholic teen gets fanatical in her commitment to her faith.
- Of Horses and Men, Dir. Benedikt Erlingsson, Iceland (2013)
Darkly humourous; sex, death and horses. Recurring.
- Fish & Cat, Dir. Shahram Mokri, Iran (2014)
134 minute single-take non-linear thriller in the woods by a lake.
- Jacky in the Kingdom of Women, Dir. Riad Sattouf, France (2013)
Cinderella parody for feminists set in a fictional matriarchal society.
- The One I Love, Dir. Charlie McDowell, USA (2014)
What exactly is going on in the guest house? I still don’t know.
- Oculus, Dir. Mike Flanagan, USA (2013)
- Exhibition, Dir. Joanna Hogg, United Kingdom (2014)
Menage a trois between two artists and their modernist home, exquisite.
- Tom at the Farm, Dir. Xavier Dolan, Canada (2013)
Tom goes to the farm and is domestically abused but is cool with it.
- Wetlands, Dir. David Wnendt, Germany (2013)
Hilarious and fucking disgusting. The dirtiest girl you’ve never met.
- Mommy, Dir. Xavier Dolan, Canada (2014)
*****Masterpiece. Just watch it.
- The Story of my Death, Dir. Albert Serra, Spain (2014)
Casanova is the most boring person you’ve ever met in your life. Dracula is also there. Nothing happens for about three hours (okay, two-and-a-half).
- Happy Christmas, Dir. Joe Swanberg, USA (2014)
Mumblecore cuteness with a female skewpoint (Lena Dunham is there, and also Melanie Lynskey who I love).
- If You Don’t, I Will, Dir. Sophie Fillières, France (2014)
Wife decides she hates husband and refuses to leave forest during hike.
- Ping Pong Summer, Dir. Michael Tully, USA (2014)
You remember how kids films were in the 80’s (BMX Bandits, anyone?). This one is milking that shitty summer vacation nostalgia for all it’s worth.
- Hard to be a God, Dir. Alexei German, Russia (2013)
What the actual fuck happened in this movie? Three hours, black and white medieval sci-fi. I can’t even…
- Life After Beth, Dir. Jeff Baena, USA (2014)
Aubrey Plaza and Baby Gosling (Dane DeHaan) meet the zombie apocalypse.
- The Unity of All Things, Dir. Daniel Schmidt, Alexander Carver, USA (2013)
Something about particle physics, gender/sexuality, jaguars. I don’t even know. It was made by artists.
- Jealousy, Dir. Philippe Garrel, France (2013)
Some kind of black and white family portrait, slow but Louis Garrel.
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her, Dir. Ned Benson, USA (2013)
Jessica Chastain is estranged from life.
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him, Dir. Ned Benson, USA (2013)
I decided I don’t really like James McAvoy. Mostly only interesting because of how it differs from Her and what that says about perspective.
- Listen Up Philip, Dir. Alex Ross, USA (2014)
Jason Schwartzman is totally typecast as a misanthropic and narcissistic writer and it’s totally fine.
- Boyhood, Dir. Richard Linklater, USA (2014)
Watching a kid grow up in front of your eyes is actually kind of amazing. Early pick for Best Picture Oscar.
-Ones I didn’t watch because we’ll be getting them at work anyway:
The Skeleton Twins
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Two Days, One Night
What We Do in the Shadows
Wish I Was Here
The Young and Prodigious T S Spivet
-Ones I wanted to watch but missed:
Goodbye to Language
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
L for Leisure