TasteofteaThe Taste of Tea [Japan]: 5 out of 5 sunflowers! A film bursting with magical fruits. Jonathan says Napoleon Dynamite meets Amelie. Who am I to argue? I also saw traces of Magnolia and... a zen nature film? A wee bit too long, and yet I entirely had patience for it. Apparently Tarantino is a fan of the director, and now, so am I.

Smoke and Mirrors: A Geisha Story [USA]: Kiharu Nakamura, an old geisha who lived in Queens, NY until her recent death, is an interesting subject. But despite some cinematography by Albert Maysles, the film is not visually interesting and is not told in a very compelling fashion.

The girl from monday [USA]: Sex increases your market value. On Walden Pond is forbidden revolutionary literature. The latest from Hal Hartley is a dystopian sci-fi tale about consumerist culture taken to extremes, told in Hartley's cool, sparse style. That doesn't appeal to everyone, but it sure appealed to me and I was not disappointed. Hartley's slow-shutter technique didn't really work for me, but the story is absolutely brilliant and vital for these times.

Bitter Dream [Iran]: This is a refreshingly simple, morbid-yet-comical film about a corpse washer facing his own death, having not treated people as well as he should have. He also has a strange relationship with his television set, which drifts from documentary about his town to showing his own funeral. Films like this make the festival a real treat, since they may never see distribution.

See also: Matt Clayfield reviews Deadroom. My reaction was nearly identical to his, though I won't be able to express it as well. Also? In case you forgot, Green Cine Daily is just chock-full of cinemtic goodness. Every day. Overflowing with creamy celluloid nougat and crunchy pixels.

April 11, 2005 at 09:03 PM in Film, M-SPIFF | Permalink


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re: The Taste of Tea: I should've added "as directed by Jacques Tati."

Posted by: Jonathan at Apr 12, 2005 8:04:11 AM

"A Taste of Tea" was a *real* pleasure - very Japanese in so many ways - there were undoubtedly many additional layers of subtle cultural meaning/reflection that were over my head in this surreal family story. It is gems like this in the film festival that make the festival an absolute jewel of an event in the Twin Cities.

Posted by: Roger at Apr 12, 2005 8:34:23 PM