films in winter
Film-going having become a kind of habit in the past fortnight, in the late afternoon we took ourselves off to see Charlie Bartlett. Reviews seemed promising enough of amusing entertainment in the vein of Ferris Bueller; and it was, but less energetic [moments excepted]. A cooler, more laid-back “… Day Off” framed for this decade. Nor did Barlett have the self-possession, really-spoilt-rich-kid wit of Igby Goes Down. The film also reminded us of Thumbsucker [it wasn’t just the psychology theme] – but it doesn’t have that movie’s edge. However Charlie Bartlett is an ok diversion for 90 minutes or so.
Winter is quite a good time to have the international film festival in town – especially in a winter as wet as this one is being. [Spring is on its way – trees are beginning to blossom – but winter hasn’t done with us yet.] We saw only about seven of the festival films this year and while all that we chose we enjoyed, none has really stood out as strikingly memorable. The animated Persepolis was amusing and revealing of life and attitudes in Iran. In Bruges had a delightful script and engaging characters [if rather too much blood to end]. Klapisch’s Paris was ambitious in dealing with so many unrelated stories and so was slow with really only Paris itself as focus. Flight of the Red Balloon had charm, and Paris again, but lacked impact. There was charm too in aspects of And When Did You Last See Your Father plus moments of recognition but too often characters who irritated more than they engaged. Evangelion was the anime we picked this year – wonderful visuals, very weird plot line. And to finish some more charm, though this with a little more edge: Somers Town – Polish immigrant meets northern lad. All pleasant enough; none great.