Sunday, August 19, 2007

My favourite part of the EIFF is the documentary section. It's the most likely place to find something that won't end up in the local multiplex within weeks. So Saturday meant I could feasibly squeeze in three screenings. Might even have pitched for $ if I'd known the weather was going to be so crap. Anyway The Monastery is a real find. About an 82 year old man who wants to turn his castle into such a refuge. Seven years in the making, it has all the hallmarks of something that's done for love and not money. The reward is in seeing it. It's out on dvd later on in the year but see it on a big screen if you can.

Billy The Kid has been getting great kudos at similar gatherings across the world. I was kind of hoping for an "American Movie" but it's kind of stranger than that. Finding out that it was shot in 8 days perhaps explains the seemingly contrived situations. There was a lot to get in. It's like a twisted, potted version of The Wonder Years. The subject, Billy Price, is a peculiar little guy who loves AC/DC and Kiss. His urges and demons are in constant turmoil beyond your average teenager angst. There's a bit of an "awwwww" factor that kicks off as pity and works the audience round to rooting for him. It's not staged but the story is actually better structured than most regular features.

Surgically removed from the "Grindhouse" package, Death Proof is good, old-fashioned recycled exploitation coupled with the feel of 70's US TV shows. There was no Mike Post music in evidence however. On the down side, it's too long but there's more than enough in there to keep readers of this thing occupied. On the upside, it has Rose McGowan. Kurt Russell is great as Stuntman Mike and the soundtrack is a shredder. The "second half" is particularly good, like an episode of The Dukes Of Hazzard directed by Russ Meyer and it's all capped off with April March's "Chick Habit" (both french and english versions) blasting over the end credits. Worth seeing a couple of three times probably. Maybe some enterprising local cinema will get together showing it as originally planned when the Rodriguez section comes out. Although getting the "trailers" might be a problem. Anyway, despite some reservations on my part, pastiche has never been so much fun. Forget "The Bourne Bollocks", taste some real high octane daftness.