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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Montreal World Film Festival - 2003 (Read 24,290 times)
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #15 - 30. Aug 2003 at 22:26
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I sincerely hope the two of you have a wonderful time at the festival.  I'm looking forward to your assessment when you return.
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #16 - 01. Sep 2003 at 21:51
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I'm back already. The festival was a complete disaster for me. I was planning on staying longer, but after three days of seeing nothing but crappy movies, I just got sick of the whole thing and decided to come home early.

People have been saying for years that Montreal's World Film Festival is dying. Until now, I always refused to believe it, but after this weekend I'm convinced and I really have no intention of going back next year.

Of the films mentioned here, I saw:

Bokunchi

This Japanese film is based on a popular Japanese comic strip about two brothers. I have no idea what the comic strip is like or how faithful the movie is to it. Japanese humour is weird! I did laugh a few times, but mostly I was just bored. For those interested, however, there are some so-called visual bonuses.

A Boy's Summer in 1945

Another Japanese film, this one was a lot more serious than the other one. I think drama sometimes more easily crosses borders than humour. This is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the war. The boy in question is about 15. The story and some of the themes were interesting, but the movie itself was not very well constructed. The first half, especially, is rather awkward, with long scenes with two characters having a conversation that serves no other purpose than to give the viewers a history lesson, so they'll understand the context of the movie. While I appreciate that the writer is trying to give us all the information we need to understand the film, I wish this would have been better integrated to the film. Things did get better as the film progressed, though. So this movie was not a total failure, although the boy is really more of a teenager, and therefore almost too old to be covered here on BA.

Little Brother of War

The images on the website made this one look so intriguing that I didn't really bother to check what it was about before going to see it. I was a little disappointed when I realized that it was about lacrosse and native American "magic", two subjects that I really don't have much interest in. But that's not really why I didn't like the film. Like too many of the films that play at the World Film Festival, it just felt a little too amateur. Some of the writing was pretty bad, and there were a few plot elements that I thought didn't make any sense. The acting unimpressive, thought not terrible. Brett Sherwood, the boy who is at the center of the movie, was cute and did a good job. However, the movie is not really about him. It's more about the adults around him. He is at the center of all the action, but it felt like more of the movie should have been from his perspective. It's almost like the director didn't think telling this child's story would been interesting enough to an adult audience, so he felt the need to concentrate a lot of his effort on the adult characters in the movie.

El Polaqito

Of the four movies reviewed here, this one came closest to being a success. The boy who plays the main character is not a professional character and his performance is extremely convincing. He's very charismatic and absolutely beautiful. He looks like he is about 14 or 15.

Based on the true story of a boy struggling to make a living on the streets of Buenos Aires, the film is very effective on the emotional level. However, because it is a true story about a very sad subject, this is one of those films that carries its heavy message like a burden. The whole purpose of the movie seems to be to make us feel bad about street kids in Argentina. And while the intentions of the filmmakers, in telling this moving story, are definitely admirable, it doesn't always work in the film's best interest, as a work of art considered apart from its political message. On that level, it reminded me a lot of A Handful of Grass, which suffers from similar problems. Still, I'm happy to have seen this one and I would recommend you check it out if you get a chance to see it too.

*

I saw about four other movies that were not in any way boy-related. Only one of these was really worth the price of admission.

Also, I didn't get to hook up with Zab, as I left earlier than expected. He's just getting started, so I hope he has better luck than I did. There are several films on his list that I would have liked to see.

I still plan to make profiles for the movies mentioned here. Not tonight, though. Too tired.
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #17 - 02. Sep 2003 at 02:33
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Thanks for taking the time to let us know your impressions of the ones you did see, josephk. I'm sorry you didn't have a better experience with them.  Sad

Mostly, I'm sorry you didn't get to hook up with Zab, though. It would be a lot of fun to go to a festival with the 2 of you. At least if I did that, we could laugh at the ones that are bad.  Tongue

Love,
Sir J
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #18 - 02. Sep 2003 at 04:39
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had BoyActors attendees remained in canada (assuming they're not permanently there as residents) they could have attended hilary duff's party on sunday.

cream of juvenile show-biz in attendance.

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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #19 - 02. Sep 2003 at 11:23
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Joseph...  thanks for the report back.  Pity that you didn't get to see a great selection, nevertheless I do hope you had a nice trip anyway.

aaaa....  I wonder if young Jake Thomas had an invite to Ms Duff's sweet 16 bash.
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #20 - 03. Sep 2003 at 03:15
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who knows?

party's next sunday - 7th sept.

still time for any BA forumees in the vicinity to purchase tickets.

i'm sure there'll be plenty of jailbait representing both sides of the gender divide.
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #21 - 07. Sep 2003 at 02:14
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This forumee is safely back in the states, so Hilary will have to party on without me  Tongue

I saw my 35th film of the week earlier this morning  Shocked.
I need to get my thoughts organized, but I will say this at the outset. My only major disappointment about this year's festival was missing the opportunity to meet Juan Jose Ballesta (and josephk  Smiley )
Obviously with as many films as I took in this week, I was bound to pick some duds, but I saw some films in Montreal that surely will be on my list of favorites for the year.
The declining reputation of the festival that joseph alluded to in his earlier post seems to be because Montreal doesn't attract the Hollywood glitz that the festival down the road in Toronto does. It is not likely that you would ever see Hilary Duff staging a birthday bash "event" in Montreal during the WFF.

My perspective is that this lack of Hollywood glamour is precisely what compels me to come to Montreal. As an American moviegoer, I'm not really interested in travelling to another country to see sneak previews of the studios fall/winter product and paying inflated prices to do so.
Montreal will screen films from all corners of the world, many of which are low budget, low profile films that aren't going to be shown on TV, released theatrically in the US, or made available on R1 DVD. Some will turn out to be worthwhile (Two Summers), some will be weak (Reykjavik Guesthouse) even to the point of being nearly unwatchable (My Brother Silk Road). I guess I accept that as part of the risk that is taken when you are watching non-studio product.

I will post my summary of those films of interest I screened tomorrow after I get some sleep.
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #22 - 07. Sep 2003 at 11:49
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Zab,

Yikes! 35 movies in a week.  Oh my God, what a marathon.
I'm looking forward to your review of events.
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #23 - 07. Sep 2003 at 15:14
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I've decided to do my reviewing chronologically. I have been having server trouble today, so this will allow me to split up my posts.

Zabladowski's Montreal Diary

Monday

The festival gets off to a poor start for me. Due to my failure to reach Montreal by 4:30, I miss the final screening of Planta 4a the latest film of Juan Jose Ballesta (El Bola). I later find out just how unfortunate this is since Juan was there to present the film in person  Sad

Instead I did get to see

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which as joseph mentioned was a mediocre film. The two brothers pictured here have significant roles. The younger of the two probably has the most screen time. I did like the "Malcolm in the Middle" asides that little Nita would give the audience. The film is an odd mix of pathos, brutality, and comedy. Maybe it's an "Eastern" thing, but I didn't get it.

Content Alert : Brutality (against boys), Nudity  
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My Movie Rating 6/10

Miss Entebbe

Lead character is Noa, a 13 year old girl, who is convinced that she can free her friend Daniel's mother who is on the hijacked plane at Entebbe if she takes an Arab hostage. She convinces Daniel and her young friend Yoav to help her kidnap Naim, the son of a local Arab gardener.

Despite what the title might make you think, three of the four main characters are boys. Yoav, his older brother, and Naim are very watchable  Smiley.  While Noa is the main character, this is still recommendable as a boy movie. Film deals with tough subject matter but it is handled sensitively enough that it would be suitable for thoughtful children to view.

Content Alert : 1970's style short pants, shirtless scenes, Brutality
Boy Actors:Itamar Glucksmann, Adi Otman, Eliah Yachin
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My Movie Rating 8/10



As I told joseph on the phone, this movie is only for those who thought Pay It Forward was a nice subtle understated film. Wink
But seriously folks....
The story was among the most emotionally manipulative that I have ever seen. Jiro Manio is the central character and gets much screen time, but you will have to have a very high tolerance for cloying schmaltz to enjoy his performance.
Film also was the first I saw in the festival to feature a scene with a child getting hit by a car, a recurring theme of the week as it turned out. Cry

Content Alert: Brutality
Boy Actors : Jiro Manio, Joseph Robles, Danilo Barrios
My Movie Rating 5/10

« Last Edit: 24. Jan 2008 at 04:46 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #24 - 07. Sep 2003 at 15:30
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Thanks for the Monday reviews, Zab!  I'm looking forward to the rest of your week at the festival. Smiley

Thanks to both you and josephk for the honest appraisals of the things that we might not like about the films, too. There's more to movies than just having boys in them. No, really. There really is. Smiley

Love,
Sir J
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #25 - 07. Sep 2003 at 20:56
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Thanks Sir J,
this server problem is making me crazy today but here's day two anyway....

Tuesday



Plot - The dying town of San Ramos, california becomes a magnet for religious pilgrims, fanatics and the media when a statue of Christ drips blood.

Comment - The miracle the title refers to is Jose Maldonado's search for his missing migrant worker father. Young Jose has crossed the border illegally to find his father since his mother has passed away.
His search has brought him to San Ramos.

This is a nice TV movie being screened in a film festival only because it is the directing debut of Salma Hayek. Eddy Martin gets a fair amount of screen time and does a fine job. Movie was produced by the Showtime cable network so it will appear on TV some time soon.

Content Warning : Brutality, Underwear
Boy Actor : Eddy Martin
My Movie Rating : 7/10

Deep Breath

I won't devote a lot of time to this as it is off topic. The young protagonists in the film are in their late teens. Movie is notable to me only for being the first Iranian slacker film I've ever seen.

My Movie Rating : 5/10



Plot - A difficult father and son relationship is resolved against the exhilarating background of West Germany's miraculous World Cup victory in 1954.
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Comment - This movie tells a well worn story but it does so well. Father tries to establish his place in his son's life. Son who has grown up just fine without him, resents the intrusion. Sporting event draws them together. Oversimplification perhaps, but the strength of this movie is in the viewing, not the story. Good score, rich production values, decent performances.

Content Alert : Brutality, Brief Partial Nudity, Lederhosen
Boy Actor: Louis Klamroth
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My Movie Rating - 8/10

Babusya

Plot - 80 year old Tusya has led a life of devotion to her country and family. Who will take care of her in her old age?

Comment - Three of Tusya's grandchildren were boys, but there roles aren't very major. Movie is highly recommended just not for boy content.

My Movie Rating : 9/10



Plot - A story of young love and political awareness set during Spain's transition to democracy in the late 1970's.

Comment - There were three exceptionally solid boy-centered features. For me this was the best among them. Manuel Lozano, who I'm sure most of you have seen in Butterfly (if not, do yourself a favor and see it), is the star of this film. His father is a junior executive for a retail chain and their family moves annually forcing his son to try to make new friends every year.
The friendship that develops between his character and that of Felix Lopez's held my attention. Manuel's character also relies on the sometimes dubious advice of "Watercloud" a toy Indian that has come to life to help him through his adolescent traumas which include first love, dealing with bullies of all ages, becoming politically aware and handling his feelings of betrayal by those most important to him.
Film also includes a sing along of the International hit "Eres Tu" which has now been stuck in my mind all week   Smiley
The producer of the film seemed confident that he will be able to secure at least limited distribution in the US, I hope he does so everyone else here can see this film.

Content Alert : Shirtlessness, Boy/Boy Kiss
Boy Actors: Manuel Lozano, Felix Lopez, Alfonso Mena, Santiago de los Reyes, Pablo Acosta

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My Movie Rating - 10/10

Islands On The Shore

Plot - Questions of loyalty and ethics arise among the members of an Israeli family when they discover the shadowy past of their father.

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Comment - I wasn't intending to see this film originally. I was in a hurry, having just gotten off the phone with joseph, and I distractedly walked into the wrong theatre  Embarrassed

I did notice the poster for the film on my way in (which featured the picture above), so I thought I'd just stay and watch it. Big mistake. Turned out to be a clumsy political film, perhaps with more subtlety it could've been enjoyable on that level. Boy scenes (all in flashback) were brief and notable only for the speedos. The boy in the promo picture doesn't even have one line of dialogue in the film. I hate it when the picture used to promote a film is misleading.

Content Alert : Speedos
My Movie Rating - 4/10
« Last Edit: 08. Jun 2012 at 23:04 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #26 - 07. Sep 2003 at 22:14
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Hey, thanks for the link to the official site for Eres Mi Heroe!  I went to it and looked at the pics and viewed the teaser and the trailer, and even without English subtitles there, I know this is one that I'm going to want to see.   Grin

Of course, I already wanted to see The Maldonado Miracle and The Miracle of Bern after the first pics were posted of'em before you and josephk even went to the festival. Smiley

Some of these others sound interesting, too. I'll be looking for any of them unless you or josephk says they're absolutely a waste of time. Thanks for Tuesday! I'll be looking forward to Wednesday! Smiley

Love
Sir J
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #27 - 08. Sep 2003 at 21:50
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Thanks for the encouragement Sir J!
I can only reiterate that Eres Mi Heroe was my personal favorite of all the films I saw last week.

Wednesday

Herbst

Plot: Marie and Bela, a former couple, meet by chance. When Marie tries to resume their previous intimacy, Bela remains reserved. A secret remains hidden.

Comment - Short film off topic but entertaining.

My Movie Rating 8/10

Going Home

Plot - The patriarch of a Croatian family living in germany wants to bring his family back to his homeland, but his German-bred sons have other ideas...

Comment - The sons in this case are all adults. Film was interesting nonetheless.

My Movie Rating - 7/10

The Crescent Moon

Plot - A young boy who is brought up by his grandmother must reconcile his feelings for the mother who abandoned him as a child and went off to marry and live a prosperous life with her new family.

Comment - My notes on this film point out that the boy character is as annoying and ill-mannered as the brat in last year's South Korean movie The Way Home. This boy has a disabled sister who bears the brunt of his bad behavior. The girl's character is exceptionally cute and loving as likeable in her own way as the grandmother in The Way Home. The boy's character comes around as the story wears on but not enough to win me over.

Content Alert : Nudity
My Movie Rating : 6/10


Der Schüler

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Plot - Young Paul has just started school. He finds life as a student a little overwhelming. He wishes he could just stay in bed.
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Comment - Another short film, this one was an absolute winner for anyone who has ever been a schoolboy.

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Boy Actor : Flavio Meyer

My Movie Rating : 9/10

Ganz und Gar

Plot - Popular teen Torge loses a leg in an accident. This loss causes him to become bitter and cynical. Ultimately he comes to realize that teh loss of love and friendship is greater than the loss of a limb.

Comment - This popular "teen" was in his early to mid 20's. Film was bearable, but had no boy content at all. I liked the use of 1970's hit "Love Is In The Air" which was prominently used in the film.

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My Movie Rating - 7/10

Kako Los Son

Plot -  The interwoven destinies of a group of people burdened by a traumatic experience who come to a major metropolis in order to have this part of their past erased and inscribed into their consciousness as merely a bad dream.

Comment - The English translation of this title is "Like A Bad Dream" which was very fitting. Pretentious piece of garbage. No boy content. Starred Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) which should've been my first clue that something was awry.

My Movie Rating : 0/10

Sus Demonios

Plot : Victim and murderer exchange roles in a quicksand-like world. Because reality exists only in the eye of the beholder.

Comment : Short film, intriguing premise, needed to be developed more IMHO. No boy content.

My Movie Rating : 5/10

Extrano

Plot : Axel is a doctor who has given up practicing his profession. Instead, he lives with his sister and her children, leading a life without enthusiasm. One day, however, he meets a young, pregnant woman. A relationship develops, a kind of love, and they live together, temporarily clinging to one another like bits of driftwood. But Axel's movements are hesitant and soon he goes to visit an old lover....
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Comment : So the plot didn't sound promising, but the promo picture suggested a strong supporting presence for the main characters nephew, no?  No!
Nephew appears in three scenes that were the most interesting thing about this glacially slow film. Another misleading promo picture, makes for a disappointment.

Boy Actor : Lautauro Bengoechea
My Movie Rating : 3/10

Wolfsburg

Plot - When Laura's son dies in a hit and run accident her life collapses. She tries to find the guilty driver without success. It is only when she meets Phillip that she begins to recover emotionally. But who exactly is this kind man?
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Comment - The second boy dies in a car accident film of the week. Martin Müseler gets more screen time than you might think, but is clearly a secondary character. Nonetheless the film is well constructed, the story well told. 

Content Alert : Death of a boy
Boy Actor : Martin Müseler
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My Movie Rating : 8/10

Att Döda ett barn

Plot - A man is on his way to the sea. A child is running through a garden. In four minutes, their paths will cross. One life will change.
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Comment - Most powerful short film in the festival for me. It's not giving anything away to let you know that this is the third film of the week in which a boy's life ends due to a car accident, that point is made upfront. My feelings toward the film are well explained by the jury at the Odensee Film Festival who recently awarded this film first prize..
"A film that enters ones dreams some time after it is over. Its haunting use of voice over, the camera's hovering perspective over action, and the manipulation of traditional narrative structure make it a unique visionary experience."

Content Alert : Death of a boy
Boy Actor: Valter Skarsgċrd
My Movie Rating : 10/10

Lykkevej

Plot - The existence of a well-off middle aged matron collapses one day when her husband falls for a younger woman and requests a divorce.

Comment - Since this was on the same program as Att Döda ett barn, I was committed to seeing it. Only child in this matron's family was a daughter. Film was very likeable nonetheless.

My Movie Rating : 8/10
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #28 - 08. Sep 2003 at 22:30
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Zab, these are really great and very much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to give us your thoughts on all the movies you saw, and for going to all the trouble of finding links and pics to illustrate your reviews too.

You're a much more dedicated fan than I am. Or maybe I'm just more lazy than you are... Smiley
  
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Re: Montreal World Film Festival - 2003
Reply #29 - 08. Sep 2003 at 22:52
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Thanks Zab,

I've been having some server probs myself lately.  Didn't have any access at all for over 24 hours.

I'll start adding profiles for the movies you have kindly reviewed and as usual keep my whatnots crossed that as many of them as possible get the opportunity to be seen by a wider audience via DVD releases or multicultural channel broadcasts.
  
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