Le complexe de Frankenstein [Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex] (2015)

Le complexe de Frankenstein
Director: Gilles PensoAlexandre Poncet
Writer: Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 30.10.2016

“Plot”:
The documentary traces the development of creature special effects in film by interviewing various experts like Rick BakerJoe DanteGuillermo del ToroMick GarrisAlec GillisSteve JohnsonJohn LandisGreg NicoteroKevin SmithPhil TippettChris WalasMatt Winston and Tom Woodruff Jr.

Le complexe de Frankenstein is an interesting documentary that gives a lot of background information on a part of filmmaking that is usually only noticed when it’s badly done, giving spotlight to the many enthusiastic people working on those effects.

Continue reading

Listen to Me Marlon (2015)

Listen to Me Marlon
Director: Stevan Riley
Writer: Stevan Riley, Peter Ettedgui
“Cast”: Marlon Brando
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 25.10.2016

Plot:
Marlon Brando kept an extensive diary on tape. Riley uses that material to paint a portrait of him and his life.

Listen to Me Marlon is a very private portrait that stays personal throughout thanks to Brando’s own narration about himself. It is very well done, but it does reproduce Brando’s own biases.

Continue reading

Miles Ahead (2015)

Miles Ahead
Director: Don Cheadle
Writer: Steven Baigelman, Don Cheadle
Cast: Don Cheadle, Ewan McGregor, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lakeith Stanfield, Brian Wolfman Black Bowman, Michael Stuhlbarg, Christina Marie Karis
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 22.10.2016

Plot:
Miles Davis (Don Cheadle) hasn’t released new music in a long time. In fact, he was barely seen in public. That’s why journalist Dave Braden (Ewan McGregor) is dead set on profiling him to find out what’s going on and to give his own career a boost. He manages to find his way into Davis’ home and gets quickly involved in Davis’ chaotic, drug-fueled life and his desperate search for the master tapes containing his new music that were stolen from him.

Miles Ahead takes a very liberal approach to Miles Davis’ life, landing somewhere between crime story and biopic and working as neither. I hated almost every second of it.

Continue reading

Geomeun sajedeul [The Priests] (2015)

Geomeun sajedeul
Director: Jae-hyun Jang
Writer: Jae-hyun Jang
Cast: Yun-seok Kim, Dong-won Gang, Byeong-ok Kim, Eui-sung Kim, Ho-jae Lee, So-dam Park, Jo Soo-Hyang
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 1.10.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Young-shin (So-dam Park) was hit by a car in a hit-and-run accident. But maybe that’s not the only thing that’s wrong with her – she seems to be possessed by a demon. So Father Kim (Yun-seok Kim) and Deacon Choi (Dong-won Gang) start to investigate her case to see if its a human or a supernatural issue. But Choi is also supposed to keep an eye on Kim who has drawn suspicion in the church. And Choi does have his own demons to battle as well.

While I liked the idea of a Korean catholic exorcism film, I can’t say that The Priests managed to convince me. There was simply too much that didn’t work for me (and the program that showed it at around 3am didn’t do it any favors, either).

Continue reading

In fondo al bosco [Deep in the Wood] (2015)

In fondo al bosco
Director: Stefano Lodovichi
Writer: Isabella Aguilar, Stefano Lodovichi, Davide Orsini
Cast: Filippo Nigro, Camilla Filippi, Giovanni Vettorazzo, Teo Achille Caprio, Stefano Pietro Detassis, Maria Vittoria BarrellaRoberto Gudese, Luca Filippi
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
During the winter festival where Krampus roam the streets, little Tommi (Alessandro Corabi) disappears. His parents Manuel (Filippo Nigro) and Linda (Camilla Filippi) are as good as destroyed by this. Five years later, a boy (Teo Achille Caprio) is found and his DNA matches Tommi. Manuel is ready to leave the past behind and embrace his son again, but Linda is plagued by doubts about the identity of the boy.

Deep in the Woods is a mixed bag of beans. There is much I liked about it, but also a few things I didn’t like. My overall impression lands more on the didn’t like side, I’m afraid.

Continue reading

Auf Augenhöhe mit dem Teufel [Eye to Eye with the Devil] (2015)

Auf Augenhöhe mit dem Teufel
Director: Alexander Naringbauer
Writer: Alexander Naringbauer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2016

“Plot”:
In Austria, our Christmas traditions are such that on December 6th, Nikolo (who is known in other parts of the world as Santa Claus) brings small gifts to the children [on Christmas proper it’s baby Jesus who brings gifts] who have been good. But Nikolo doesn’t come alone, he comes with Krampus, a devil figure who will take the bad children and put them in his sack (or maybe just spank them a bit). In some areas of Austria, there are entire marches of Krampusses (or Perchten) – those can be around Christmas, but also at the end of winter to chase the winter spirits and darkness away.
Auf Augenhöhe mit dem Teufel is a short documentary about what it means when the Krampus comes to the children and what it means to perform as Krampus.

It was a little disappointing that the documentary was only a short one – I wouldn’t have minded to watch an entire feature about the topic, especially since we are not all that big on Krampus and Perchten in the part of Austria where I’m from. But that’s not the only reason – maybe with a feature documentary, Naringbauer would have looked more critically at its subject. Because there are many things to criticize about this tradition as well – from the fact that during the marches, the Perchten, worn exclusively by men, are often used as the excuse to sexually harass women to the fact that most children are simply terrified of Krampus – and that a lot of adults think it’s the funniest shit ever. But hearing the men talk about their take on the tradition and documenting the tradition itself are two very good reasons to watch this.

Zan’e: Sunde wa ikenai heya [The Inerasable] (2015)

Zan’e: Sunde wa ikenai heya
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Writer: Ken’ichi Suzuki
Based on: Fuyumi Ono‘s novel
Cast: Yûko Takeuchi, Ai Hashimoto, Kentarô Sakaguchi, Kuranosuke Sasaki, Ken’ichi Takitô
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 28.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
I (Yûko Takeuchi) is a famous writer of horror stories and she is always open to stories that her readers send to her. One day she receives a letter from young student Kobu (Ai Hashimoto) who has just moved into a new apartment and is convinced that the apartment is haunted. She asks I for help. I is intrigued and together the two women embark on a research mission to try and find out what happened in Kobu’s apartment.

The Inerasable felt endless to me and as it got its storyline increasingly tangled up in itself, the last remains of my interest evaporated and left me disliking the film intensely.

Continue reading

Darling (2015)

Darling
Director: Mickey Keating
Writer: Mickey Keating
Cast: Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Young, Brian Morvant, Larry Fessenden
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 27.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Madame (Sean Young) is looking for a caretaker for her house – the oldest house in the city. When prim Darling (Lauren Ashley Carter) arrives, she leaves her to it. Darling does her best to take care of the house, but it’s strange. Something seems to be going on under the surface and Madame is not forthcoming with information. Darling is affected more and more.

Keating’s first outing, Pod, didn’t work for me at all, so when I say that Darling was at least better than Pod, take that for the faint praise it is.

Continue reading

Fantastic Shorts Competition at the /slash Filmfestival 2016

A short note on all the short films at the /slash Filmfestival 2016 that were part of the Fantastic Shorts Competition. The winner was Ariane Louis-Seize Plouffe for her short Wild Skin.
Seen on: 25.9.2016
[Reviews by cornholio.]

Continue reading

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015)

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
Director: Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen
Writer: Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

“Plot”:
Raiders! chronicles the making-of of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation and how all of them come together once again to finish the last scene they simply weren’t able to recreate in the 80s.

Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is a lovely documentary, engaging, informative and made with a lot of respect. I think I liked it better than both the original and the fan film themselves.

Continue reading