…..These (relatively) early morning starts were helping Shaun follow a diet of sorts as the hotel’s sumptuous buffet breakfast was forgone in favour of an extra 30 minutes kip. Colin, on the other hand, continued to break new personal bests in bacon consumption and was slowly becoming addicted to the Bloody Mary mini shots on offer.
A stroll up to the top of town at this time of the day is a pleasant one and we all too often take the views out to sea for granted. Perhaps we would have seen monsters had we been looking…..
AUDITORI – 10:15hrs – MONSTERS
This turned out to be not-really-a-creature feature and more of a road movie about two strangers reluctantly thrown together trying to find their way through the hazardous infected zone of Mexico to the US border and home.
Fortunately there was good chemistry between the two leads Samantha (Whitney Able) and Andrew (Scoot McNairy) so their screen time felt natural and never dragged. Team CS developed a bit of a thing for Samantha and Andrew had a touch of early Bruce Willis about him so both were easy to watch. The dialogue too fit the characters and this helped the many non-eventful scenes still play out with some success.
The film’s theme about monsters (alien life forms that had accidentally arrived on Earth 6 years previously) was never really explored and served merely as the driving force for our duos perilous journey, although it did provide some decent special effect moments and set pieces.
An enjoyable watch without challenging for any awards.
…….it was a back-to-back big screen bonanza again at the Auditori as we were straight into our next film.
AUDITORI – 12:00hrs – A SERBIAN FILM
This had been highly anticipated by the team although with slightly differing reasons. In recent years there has been a spate of films that have dared audiences to go and see them, challenging them to have an opinion. Some films have done this with an inventive approach and some have done this with pure shock value.
The filmmaker here may have had genuine intentions to use the film and some of it’s more shocking scenes as metaphors for the recent history of his country but it’s unlikely audiences will take that with them when they leave the theatre.
This tale of a fading porn star legend who is given one last chance to make his masterpiece and secure his family’s financial future provides a perfect platform for the director to roll out scene after scene of unflinching extreme sex and violence.
While film critics may look to dig deeper beneath the story’s surface, audiences will no doubt remember this director’s debut purely for its set-pieces of shock, in particular we’re guessing the now-coined “newborn porn” will attract the most attention.
Ultimately the team thought this became silly and its attempts to continuously one-up itself to the very end rendered any other intended sub-story meaningless.
……Colin tried to find reason behind the gratuitousness of our Serbian encounter whereas Shaun was just bemused (and a little angry) at how pointless it was. With a couple of hours to kill until our next screening it’s possibly a reflection of how much the film failed to make its mark that we spent no more than 5 minutes discussing it. Even films that are bad but for a reason provoke more debate than that.
We have, however, always got time to discuss Sobresada baguettes and that was first on the agenda at the Auditori’s outside café…….
AUDITORI – 16:00hrs – THE HOUSEMAID
Our cinematic favourites, The Koreans, were somewhat thin on the ground this year and the one film that we wanted to see above all, I SAW THE DEVIL, was being screened the day of our departure. It was good then to finally get our first Kimchi kick in the form of this Korean remake of a (also Korean) 1960 cult classic, where a newly appointed housemaid becomes an unwitting player in her wealthy employer’s game of infidelity and deceit.
A beautifully crafted film employs a lush look for the “dripping in money” setting of the family’s palatial home. The home was virtually the only location and that gave the film a sense of theatre, fittingly played out with great performances from the five main characters, and with each of their nuances captured by excellent camera work. The score was also used to draw out the drama to great effect and although the ending perhaps dropped the ball a little this was overall a great story.
…….Having shuffled our schedule the previous day our fourth and final film of the day was also up at the Auditori so once we’d secured tickets for the following day’s films it was once more to the café to write but mainly eat/drink. What can we say, we’re sociable guys…….
AUDITORI – 20:00hrs – SNABBA CASH (EASY MONEY)
Although Shaun had pointed out that the film’s original Swedish title sounded more like a Jamaican reggae artist than a gritty crime drama both CS team members had ultimately singled this out as one to watch
This adaptation of Swedish Jens Lapidus’ best seller by the same name plays out in Stockholm’s gritty underworld and follows several gangster characters from rival gangs, the director using each of their viewpoints and position within the gang hierarchy to expose the greed and mistrust prevalent as the self is put ahead of any real sense of loyalty. Easy money this ‘aint.
This solid story played out well although could have benefited from losing 20 minutes or so of unnecessary dialogue and side story. Good performance helped keep the drama real, in particular the excellent Dragomir Mrsic as Mrado and Matias Padin as Jorge.
…….the aforementioned schedule reshuffle had been undertaken to give us a reasonably early end to the cinematic day and subsequent early start to the team’s nocturnal activities. The last day of the festival was fast approaching and we needed to say all our farewells to bar and person alike…..