Wednesday, October 29, 2014

испытание (Test) by Alexander Kott

A story from Kazakhstan
Possum: What did you think?

Ned: Well, the film didn't have any dashing dialogue but the sound engineer caught birds and wind, storms and silence. The location was desperately desolate but the cinematography shone like the sun. The story slowed sometimes and left you wondering about its jumps at other times. Hard for the characters to develop much without lines. The film carried warnings of tears and then it crossed genres abruptly as the director went for the audience's jugular. We all knew it was a speechless film, but it also left everybody speechless at the end.
Director Kott and wife

Possum: You? Speechless?

Ned: So the Q&A helped tongues clatter and cluck back to life again. Sort of. Anyway, worth a see.

"испытание." Another film festival gem. We don’t only learn filmmaking from the polished products. The rough diamonds instruct too.

Monday, October 27, 2014

River of Exploding Durians

River of Exploding Durians
Q and A
After a film festival event…

Possum: Photography stunning. Kudos for the DP Kong Pahurak. Location exotic. Great Q and A with very capable interpreting. What’s not to like?

Ned: Well, some scenes too drawn out, character changes sudden, inconsistent, unexplained, for example when Teacher Lim suddenly switches from being a capable, friendly history teacher to tight-lipped terrorist.

Possum: The classroom reenactments of karayuki and Thammasat U. massacre were good.

Ned: Ironic that the amateur theatrics were more genuine than the movie scenes.

Possum: But you have to say, for a first feature length film from a 30 something director, not bad.

Writer, director, editor Edmund Yeo. Three hats?… Sometimes a great director can shine brighter if he co-writes with a scriptwriter, and relinquishes narration pace, rhythm and cutting to an editor.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Porco Rosso: Panoramic vs Binocular Vision

Un discorso sull'aviazione maiale...

George: Why did Porco change into a pig?

Mario: Because he had self-esteem issues. His friends died in an air battle. He felt guilty so he transformed himself into a pig through remorse.

George: Self-esteem issues? So he became a PIG? Why didn’t he become a… a… LUNCHBOX?

Mario: Maybe it was because Miyazaki loved that era of antique airplanes and animated air races. Set among islands in the Adriatic. A Time of Cherries. An era when pigs might fly. Pre-Animal Farm.

Pig vision is an interesting hybrid concept. Pig panaoramic vision is 310 degrees and their binocular vision is 50 degrees. So they can see behind them to sense danger creeping up, but they still have some degree of bifocal stereoscopic vision for calculating distances. Un aviatore ideale.