NZFF Day 8

Day 8 of the New Zealand International Film Festival, Wellington

Friday 05 August


Ah, slow cinema. Sometimes I love you. The artiness, the joy in just showing life as it unfolds. The pretentiousness. Hang on, scratch that last part; that’s not what I enjoy.

I’m not calling this film pretentious. It had some beautiful shots. A caretaker and a priest look after an old home. The house was a character in itself. It was interesting to see methods of cleaning historical places. At night, old footage plays on the walls. I think that was symbolic of a dream sequence, or was the house coming alive?

The screening was unfortunately plagued by an error with the print or projector, and had to stop 5 times. Anyway, slow cinema. Yeah. I’m giving this film 3 out of 5.


One of my favourite films of all time is ‘Ma Vie En Rose’. ‘Tomboy’ is in the same vein. Laure, 10, has just moved with her parents and sister Jeanne, 6, to a new home. She befriends the local kids, but introduces herself as Mikael. The kids treat her as a boy. A wonderful film on gender and bias. Wonderfully shot, an enjoyable story with the right amount of confronting. And the performances. The kids were amazing, especially Malon Lévana who played Jeanne. Kudos to the director (Céline Sciamma) for getting such believable performances from children.

I’m giving it a 5 out of 5, and will list it as one of my best of the fest.

The Trip

Aw, hilarious. Steve Coogan playing a bastard version of himself, with Rob Brydon. Impressions. Improvisations. Food Porn. 4.5 out of 5.

And then I was going to go home. But then I asked what the next film was. I was told it was a Korean Slasher Revenge Violent … stop right there, that ticks all my boxes, I’ll stay.

So I got to stay in and watch…

I Saw The Devil

Oh, yes. So, I have commented earlier about how much I love violence in cinema. This film was a bit gratuitous. Now, for me to say that, means that it was probably much much more gratuitous than most people would like. There is someone gaining sexual pleasure from torturing people. There are attacks against women and misogynism. THAT SAID there is also a character going after the guy who is perpetrating these awful acts, and torturing him. Soo-hyun’s wife is brutally murdered by Serial Killer Kyung-Hoon (btw, the scene when they find the head is the most melodramatic unrealistic hilarious scene of the movie. But I digress). Soo-Hyun is, however, a spy/uber-cop guy, so he tracks and hunts down the serial killer. And attacks him (saving a girl from being raped/killed). And sets him free. Kyung-Hoon, frustrated, goes in search of another prey. Soo-hyun turns up, saves the woman and attacks Kyung-Hoon again. It turns into a cat-and-mouse game. Meanwhile, while Kyung-Hoon keeps getting released for the next round, another woman gets attacked and traumatised. Did you think of that, Soo-Hyun?

So. I enjoyed it, but found it a bit gratuitous. I would not recommend it to everyone. If you don’t like violence in cinema, don’t go near it. Of note is that the film stars some of the most famous Korean actors I know: LEE Byung-Hyun from JSA and Hero; CHOI Min-Sik from Oldboy and Sympathy For Lady Vengeance; and I’m pretty sure LEE Yeong-Ae was the cannibal’s girlfriend as a cameo. I’m giving it 4.4 out of 5.

So that was four films that I worked. FOUR! That’d probably be my most of the festival.

Published by phetheringtonnz

Film Producer, Director, Lecturer. From NZ based in London.

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