Welcome to our coverage of this year’s IDFest. Things got off to a start last night with a screening of Ariel Vromen’s The Iceman, but today begins the festival proper. Keep an eye on this blog-post and our twitter feed for commentary and updates throughout the day.
Today is all building towards one event for those of us present from Hope Lies; the screening of The Dark Side Of The Rainbow, in which Victor Fleming’s The Wizard Of Oz is paired with a Pink Floyd accompaniment later this evening. That begins at 6pm, so there’s still plenty of time to join us (tickets here).
First on the schedule is Woody Allen’s Hannah And Her Sisters…
[Post-Hannah And Her Sisters]
– I’m not sure why but Woody Allen and I have never really clicked. HOWEVER, the sheer joy that is Hannah And Her Sisters has gone some way towards rectifying that. An immensely powerful film, and one that deals with issues and ideas far bigger than those advertised, it’s a wholly satisfying and complete work. It’s a film that is ultimately concerned with issues about mortality, and the idea of existing as a part of something bigger than oneself, and the character-filled print on display today was the perfect medium for presenting the film.
[Post-The Straight Story]
– Danny Leigh introduced the film most often declared David Lynch’s furthest removed. I’m not sure that’s really the case tho; it’s a Lynch film in almost every way: unlikely protagonist? Check. A tale of a sleepy town that holds an extraordinary tale? Check. Foreign financing due to an American film industry too afraid to support one of its greatest sons? Check.
Again, mortality is the order of the day, with Lynch’s tale of a man stubbornly coming to terms with the ultimate one ground in the real and, like the Allen film, completely affecting. See, the scene in which our protagonist discusses the war over a beer with one of the kindly individuals that helps him along his way; these men do not feel like actors. They feel like people.
[Post -The Dark Side Of The Rainbow]
– Our screening of The Wizard Of Oz with Pink Floyd accompaniment appears to have gone pretty well. I’m not actually a fan of the band or the film, but thought it was mightily effective. Maybe there is something in the urban legend after all…?
[Post-Terry Jones In Conversation]
– Tradition calls for Mr. Jones to be referred to as one of the founding members of Monty Python, but truth be told it’s his Personal Services, the David Leland-written, Julie Walters vehicle from 1987 with which I associate the man mostly. I saw Jones in similar surroundings some years ago, but he was in a more reflective, laid back mood tonight. Empire magazine’s Chris Hewitt was the master of ceremonies, with a particularly memorable audience Q&A session following.
I had to skip Saturday. Families…. But alas, Sunday was always destined to be the greatest of days at this years IDFest thanks to one event: our screening of James Gray’s We Own The Night. I can’t wait.
O’ and if you’re looking for this week’s Editorial, there isn’t one, due to me being here doing this. Normal service will resume next week. But back to today, and a short film session.
Short films really aren’t my thing. I struggle to commit to the adjusted rules of attention span required for them. Having forgotten that trains operate in a reduced capacity on Sundays I actually missed my first scheduled event (Terry Jones’ Wind In The Willows), so decided to give this a shot. Of the three shorts I took in my favourite was The Sweat Shop, which told the story of an illegal sweat shop in an unnamed city. The focus was on a small boy, and is apparently based upon a true incident. If I get a chance I’ll provide further details soon. The French short, Time 2 Split was pretty great too, if not a tad familiar. Split screen tells the story of a relationship parted. The use of technique is innovative enough to hold attention tho. The third and final short wasn’t so effective. Five Years charts the immediate aftermath of a young Mann’s parole, with gang deception et all brought in to play. I dubbed it “Bieber’s Goodfellas” in my notes, such is the far too clean cut and unconvincing nature of the core group of actors.
– Forbidden Planet was preceded by a fantastic introduction from Ben Spiller, the director of the IDFest’s host venue’s in-house theatre company (a transcript of which can be found here). The film itself is actually pretty great. It’s very funny, it looks great, and is retrospectively relevant too, to boot. The film screened in 35mm, and the aged print really added to the whole experience.
[Post- Shorts panel]
– Shorts again, with the spirit of the festival taking control and swaying me from my original path (I was planning on seeing The Bicycle Thieves). This session revolved around a panel discussion on the life of a short film maker. While enlightening in parts, ultimately I found it to be pretty uninspiring, with an emphasis on the hows, as opposed to the whys. There seems to be something of a resentment towards artistically-driven cinema in some quarters, with instead a more business orientated, real-world slant the sole one offered up by the panel. Call me a dreamer, but I found it pretty disheartening to hear young filmmakers so casually pedal a stance that stands at complete odds with my own.
[Post-We Own The Night]
– Well, that didn’t go to plan. A delayed start to the event immediately prior to We Own The Night meant that our screening was pushed back. Which meant that I actually missed it, due to the fact that I need to be in London early tomorrow morning. Disappointed doesn’t even begin to cover it, but I’ll write up my positively mind-blowing introduction sometime this week and stick it up on here.