This past weekend was a movie whirlwind: three movies in three days. This is what SIFF does to me. It takes away what little downtime I might have and sticks me in a darkened theatre. Not that I’m complaining. After all, it’s a small sacrifice on my part to be able to see some wicked awesome films.
If you’re a fan of teen movies, you’d probably like The First Time. Starring a couple of generically pretty teen starlets, the script was a cross between Before Sunrise and an episode from the first season of Dawson’s Creek. Seriously, no teenager talks like that. It didn’t detract (or at least, not much) from the film itself, a sweet and sweetly awkward story about two teens who meet at a party, dance around their growing attraction, and culminating in, well, you could probably guess it from the title. Oh, and it has this great line (which is so totally true): “Sex is better before you have it.”
The Fourth State is about as far from light and fluffy as you can get. German reporter Paul Jensen moves to Moscow to take a job with a failing gossip rag, only to witness the murder of a prominent political reporter. Like, it happens right in front of him. There’s a giant plot jump right after that, resulting in Jensen being sent to prison and the secret police riding his ass. I have to tell you, I doubt the Russian government will like this film. It might be a work of fiction, but the parallels between the events of the film and reality are eerie.
Speaking of eerie, The Monk, tries, and mostly fails, to echo the feel of a gothic film. Unless said film is from the 60’s, in which case it succeeds (or are gothic films supposed to be campy?). Based on the novel written in 1796, Ambrosio is an extremely devout monk who’s led into temptation. It’s a story that’s been told many times over, and it wasn’t helped by the fact the film had so many B movie elements it was laughable. I saw it because it stars Vincent Cassel (one of my favorite French actors) and while it was one of his most compelling performances to date, it was my least favorite Cassel movie. His Ambrosio was quiet, understated, and when he was onscreen, he dominated, even without saying a word.
Now if only the rain that’s pouring from the sky today had happened over the weekend, I wouldn’t have felt so guilty about spending all that time indoors…