Thai director Patana Jirawong produces an interesting feature film about two very different people who are both looking for love in the big city. The first is a taxi driver from upcountry who came to the city to look for his girlfriend, who moved there years before. The second is an illiterate preoperative transsexual who works as a prostitute. They meet through a newspaper advice column and carry on a correspondence (the transsexual having johns read the letters and transcribe responses in lieu of payment) before deciding to meet on New Year’s Eve. Despite high personal standards, they end up meeting unknowingly when the taxi driver picks up the prostitute.
Australian director John Hillcoat helms this late 1800s-set picture starring Guy Pearce, written by indie rocker Nick Cave. Capt. Stanley (Ray Winstone) and his men capture two of the four Burns brothers, Charlie (Pearce) and Mike. Their gang is held responsible for attacking the Hopkins farm, raping the pregnant Mrs. Hopkins and murdering the whole family. Arthur Burns, the eldest brother and the gang’s mastermind, remains at large has and has retreated to a mountain hideout. Capt. Stanley’s proposition to Charlie is to gain pardon and – more importantly – save his beloved younger brother Mike from the gallows by finding and killing Arthur within nine days.
This film is starkly shot and very interesting. Reminded a great deal of 2003’s Ned Kelly with Heath Ledger.
Sergei Eisenstein’s classic 1925 silent black-and-white revolutionary film about a 1905 mutiny that occurred on the eponymous naval vessel that brought on a massive street protest an subsequent police massacre in the coastal city of Odessa. Ostensibly, this presentation was going to include an updated score by the Pet Shop Boys, but what I heard sounded to me to be the original score. The film is considered a classic of the era and the famous Odessa Steps sequence was paid homage to in the climax of Brian De Palma’s 1987 film, The Untouchables.
Eisenstein’s use of montage technique (putting together separate, individually neutral shots to form an effect greater than the sum of its parts) was grounbreaking. One can argue that modern music videos with their hyperkinetic frenzy of cuts, owes a debt to Eisenstein. Very good analysis of the film here.
And so the World Film Festival comes to an end…
On to other news, my Seagate 120gb external hard drive stopped working – it gets power but the disk isn’t running – after just shy of a year. Very disappointed in a hard drive that craps out after such a short period of time. I returned it to the store and it is still under warranty. They will send it in to the workshop and are confident they will be able to extract the data (which includes over a year’s worth of pictures!) and will send provide a replacement for me. I think I’ll have to purchase a second external drive however, to ensure I have a backup of the backup.