The film festival ended two days ago and I'm still tired. I planned poorly. I went to most of the midnight madness films, getting home between 3 and 4 am each night. I would then be sitting in the theatre again by 9:30 the next morning. I had three nights in one week where I had only 3 hours sleep. By friday, I was in a daze. Everything became a blur. Days didn't exist anymore, as I would sleep a few hours at night, then maybe an hour or two in the day. It was just one continuous mash of film, food and power naps. But I miss it.
I miss films that make me have a physical reaction. I saw quite a few of them, and I think that's what draws me to horror films most. If they are told well, you will have a physical reaction. You may hate the movie, you may love the movie, but you will feel the movie.
JCVD - I cried. It was amazing. Thats all I need to say.
Detroit Metal City - While the message of the film is uber- cheesey, two things make this a comic gem. The first is Ken’ichi Matsuyama's performance as Soichi Negishi, which is completely over the top and utterly breathtaking. The second is Toshio Lee's direction, which transforms the repetitive stream of jokes into an original blend of hilarity and insanity.
Sauna - A brooding, existential finnish horror film from the director of Jade Warrior, it is deeply unsettling, and the ending will stay with you long after you exit the theatre.
Hunger - Visual artist Steve McQueen's take on Bobby Sands hunger strike while imprisoned by the British during the reign of Margeret Thatcher. Visual amazing. Fassbinders performance is terrific. The static long take of Fassbinder and Liam Cunningham as Father Moran discussing the ramifications of such a hunger strike is a thing of beauty.
Daytime Drinking - A Korean indie film about a guy that goes out to the country to meet his friends and get drunk, only to discover his friends won't be showing up. He spends his days wandering the countryside, drinking lots, getting into antics with the locals. This is probably the biggest surprise I saw at the festival. It was very very funny.
Vinyan - Like Sauna, another unsettling film that will stick with you long after you leave the theatre. I loved Du Welz previous film Calvaire, and Vinyan is just as effective a film. The cinematography is stunning, and established Benoit Debie, who also shot Calvaire and Irreversible as one of my favourite cinematographers.
Martyrs - I could say a lot about Martyrs, but I won't. I loved it. I loved every minute, every second. It will offend a lot of people. It holds nothing back. But it is an incredible experience. The less you know about the film the better. It starts like any other revenge tale, the heroine killing the people that kidnapped and tortured her, but then it goes places you couldn't possibly imagine. Places that will upset and disturb you. This is the kind of film that makes living worthwhile, and makes me remember why I love cinema.