Day 4 of After Dark just ended and I did not think I could feel any worse than I did at the start of the festival. But as luck would have it, I do. This balancing of fest/school work/job/birthday/Halloween bullshit is stressing me right out. If I could, I would spend an entire day in bed sleeping. But then again, I’d be missing out on some serious gems. The selection of films at the fest so far has not disappointed. Here’s a recap of some films I think are worthy of seeking out…
This past Friday at 6:45pm was Crave. This is one fucking confusing movie. Directed by Charles de Lauzirika, the film touches on the genres of thriller, romance, horror, drama, action and cop film. The narrative follows Aiden, a man in his mid-thirties who works as a freelance photographer. Something inside him begins to change as his thoughts significantly darken due to his shitty surroundings. A little bit of light emerges in his life when he meets Virginia, a lady in her early twenties who makes him feel like something again. The movie lets its audience indulge in the fantasy of playing out any moment where you think “fuck you!” when someone bumps into you on the street. Any of those annoying incidents where you’ve has nasty thoughts emerge Aiden lives out–or at least, he does in his active imagination.
I don’t know what this movie was about to be honest, but I really enjoyed it. Also, I have to give props to Josh Lawson and Emma Lung for playing Aiden and Virginia with such an awkward and honest feel. I hated you guys for that. Why? Because you, specifically Lung, painted a picture of myself I did not want to see. I don’t want to get into detail but if you know me irl you know where this is headed. After a tension-filled elevator ride, Aiden and Virginia fuck on a counter top and follow it up with awkward bed talk that went something like this:
V: “How old are you?”
A: “Thirty-five. You?”
V: “Twenty-two. That’s a bit of a gap huh?”
A: “Yeah I could be your dad! haha”
Yeah, fuck you guys.
On Saturday at 3:45 in the afternoon, I attended Toronto After Dark’s shorts screening! It’s really stupid that no one comes out to this because it is arguably one the best screenings during the fest. It’s usually composed of 8-10 shorts from all over the world. For me, the standout was hands down Bobby Yeah–though they were all pretty amazing, and if you’re interested you should browse the list here!
Bobby Yeah is a stop-motion claymation film lasting only 23 minutes. It’s so disgusting and simultaneously beautiful, it makes for a very strange viewing experience. Bobby, picture above, has a problem with pushing buttons…he HAS to push them. That’s about it insofar as plotting goes, but that’s all the movie really needs for narrative because the visuals are everything. I cannot fathom how writer/director Robert Morgan conceived of such incredible beings. It was an absolute delight to watch Bobby Yeah because I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Watch the trailer…here!
I was sad to see Doomsday Book scheduled in at 1pm this past Sunday afternoon. The theatre was not packed like it would have been as an evening screening. Sigh. The film is a product of a collaboration between Yim Pil-sung (Hansel and Gretel) and Kim Ji-woon (I Saw the Devil). The film looks at three takes on how the world will end and are divided by titles: zombie virus (Brave New World), robotic takeover (Heavenly Creature), and giant space object collision into Earth (Happy Birthday). Each segment was fantastic on it’s own, but as an overall piece the film really works well on playing up these notions of doomsday. Pil-sung and Ji-woon are masters with their aesthetics, and weave together a visually stunning work.
I can’t pick a favourite of the three because each segment was took a unique take on these very tired concepts. The zombie story saw a romance bloom, even post-mordem. A robot in Heavenly Creature reaches a state of nirvana, surpassing the monk owners it worked for. A little girl makes a colossal mistake when she orders an asteroid-sized 8-ball to Earth. The movie has moments of laughter, tears, and dramatic silences. It was the perfect end-of-world film and I’m already dying to see it again.
Now it’s time to get back to the books. Wish me luck, the next few days will be killer.