Saturday, July 26, 2008

Film update

Just 2 days of festival films left for 2008. It helps entice us out on these cold winter evenings seeing a string of unusual movies. This year seems to have been marked by lots of films featuring older folk who are embarking on adventures of various kinds.

While the storm outside rages - here are three films worth reporting on from the last 3 days...

"The Savages" is a black comedy about a family called Savage. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney as siblings and self obsessed 40 somethings who have never quite grown up. The news that the father they had lost touch with after an unhappy childhood is no longer able to look after himself and needs their care is a wake up call to them both. A sombre, touching film about their lives before and after taking responsibility for their increasingly out-of-it ungrateful father.

"O'Horten" (see trailer) was a joy to watch, in an understated, slightly odd, Norwegian way. The main character 'Odd' - maybe thats a real name in Norway - retires after 40 years driving trains up and down the snow covered length of the country and finds he's alone and at a loss until he has a series of adventures, meets some even odder characters and tackles some of his long standing fears. Funny, sad and beautiful to watch. After, we ran across the road in the rain to the aptly named eatery the Engine Room for some Thai prawn salad with lychees and lime, followed by salmon with white bean puree. Mmmm.

"The Visitor" sees a bored, in-a-rut economics lecturer confront his attitude to illegal immigrants when he falls for the mother of Tarek, a Syrian who he finds living in his little-used New York apartment. As a privileged white male he tries to wield influence upon the unyielding US immigration system and the private company that holds detainees. Another sad view of the US system.

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