TIFF Day Nine
1) The Clan (Pablo Trapero)
This film tells an apparently infamous true story about a family who get by by kidnapping and murdering people after getting ransom. I almost skipped this film, but now I am so glad that I didn’t: this film is incredibly tense, the performances are all impeccable and the violence and cruelty is to be commended. The true star of this film, however, us whoever made the musical choices: I feel in love the moment that a savage beating was followed by the Kinks’ Sunny Afternoon. And the ending, it will leave you numb!
2) The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin)
Part of Maddin’s expansive project, this film’s conceit is a seance which brings back lost films, which, through their desire to be seen, blend into each other. I don’t really have much to say about this one. It’s gorgeous and delivers what out promises, even if what it promises is a bit hollow.
3) Return of the Atom (Mika Taanila, Jussi Eerola)
I didn’t like this documentary, but it is not at fault. The adverts made me expect something like Czech Dream, but it simply turned out to be a regular documentary on Finnish nuclear issues. You might enjoy it if you’re interested in Finnish or nuclear politics, but I’m not, so my favourite part was watching a Finnish politician trying to pronounce Saskatchewan.
4) The Club (Pablo Larrain)
This film is about four priests living away from the rest of society due to crimes that even the church cannot cover up. This idyllic setup is interrupted when a former victim of abuse comes to the house and sets off a chain of events which lead to the house being scrutinized. This is a cruel film! These priests may be hidden but they still have the power to get away with plenty and the malevolence that goes with it. There are some problematic elements within the dialogue of the film (the abuse survivor repeatedly refers to his rape as making love) that stop the film from being as good as it could have been, as well as parts of the ending. It is not No, but it’s still worth a view.
5) Yakuza Apocalypse (Takashi Miike)
How could this film possibly be bad? Well, Miike found a way! This film can be summed up this way: something happens, shrill high pitched sound, someone makes a dumb face, I die a little inside. There were some hints of genius throughout but they were hidden in the piles of boring storytelling and nonsense. It could have also easily been thirty minutes shorter. Special notice should go to the sound designer who made me attempt to tear off my own ears, between their penchant for shrill shrieks and punches accompanied by the sound of air being forced through a small hole. I should have gone home and slept!