IFFR - Internation Film Festival Rotterdam 2008

(Earl McGraw) #1

Since I haven’t had much time since I came back from my 3 days at the film festival I’ll just post reviews and stuff little by little instead of trying to make time to write it all at once.

I’ll just start with a list of the films I’ve seen and the rating I gave 'em.

Friday January the 25th:
El Otro 2008 6/10
Small Gods 2008 7.5/10
Le Voyage Du Ballon Rouge 2008 5.5/10
REC 2007 9/10

Saturday January the 26th:
Bootleg Film 1999 8/10
Little Flower(Xiao hua) 1979 4.5/10
Black Snow (Ben ming nian)1989 6/10
Rail Road Crossing 2008 1.5/10
George A Romero’s Diary of the Dead 2008 8.5/10

Zondag January the 27th:
Bela Tarr’s The Man From London 2008 7.5/10
The Skyjacker 2008 4/10

(Phil H) #2

You’ve been a busy boy!
Do your eyes hurt yet? :wink:


Review of George A Romero’s Diary of the Dead please when you get time ;), cheers!

(Earl McGraw) #4

I already promised that. I’m away for the weekend though but I might make time to review at least one of these films before that.


Thanks :).

(Earl McGraw) #6

Day 1

With El Otro I didn’t have the best festival-start imaginable. This Argentinian film, about a husband who leaves his wife and old father for a couple of days to get to himself, isn’t bad: it is very slow though. There are also some dark, tense, surrealistic nightscenes in this film that don’t fit in with the rest of the movie at all.Fortunately the well-acted, mysterious lead role makes up for a lot of this. The film never really intrigues though and that ís a problem when there happens as little as in this film. 6/10

Small Gods is a very weird film from Belgium. The advise the director of the film gave before the screening (follow your emotion and let ratio go) wasn’t anything but logical therefore. It makes putting my opinion about this film on paper harder though. The cinematography is very different then what you’re used to(a lot of shots are out of focus, there are lots of close-ups) and the story doesn’t always make sense in a logical way(it feels right emotionally though and I think that was the makers intention). The acting was also good(for the most part of the film at least) and though I don’t like the whole movie I’m very curious about more work from this director. I hope this is just the beginning of lots of films from him. 7.5/10

Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge by director Hou Hsioa-Hsien wasn’t the worst film I saw this festival, it was the most dissapointing. A film based on the good 1956 thirty minute film Le Ballon Rouge by master-director Hou Hsioa-Hsien couldn’t be anything but beautiful I thought… I was wrong.

The good role by French star Julliete Binoch was good, as was the part of the little boy in this film. The drama in it didn’t make very much sense though as did the red balloon that came flying in the frame sometimes. There were some very beautiful scenes in this film but a real dramatic ending missed. The thing I most dislike about this film is the cinematography though. A red balloon flying through Paris has the potential of the most beautiful shot’s but they where there only one or two times and that’s a pity. 5.5/10

[REC], a spanish horror-flick that’s a hit in Spain, is by far the most frightening film I’ve seen lately. It’s about a cameraman and a television reporter who follow the local firefighters one night for the (probably trashy) television program “while you are sleeping”. Everything starts out slowly and the over-enthusiastic reporter is dissapointed, the firefighters are just hanging out and nothing really happens. Then they get a call that an old woman has fallen somewhere in her house and can’t get up. Two fire-fighters and the camera-team that follows them go to the house where all hell breaks loose… The following eighty minutes of this very gory and tense film are by far the fastest I’ve seen anywhere this festival. I won’t tell more since it will definitely spoil a bit of the experience but if you love horrorfilms and haven’t seen this one yet: go see it! 9/10

(scherpschutter) #7

Read an interesting article in NRC Handelsblad this morning (yesterday paper) about a Belgian film shown in Rotterdam, DAGEN ZONDER LIEF (Days without a lover), have you seen it ?
It has already been released overhere in Belgium on DVD, so I’ll be watching it tonight.

Critics are divided on Small Gods; it is called the oddest, most unconventional Belgian movie since CALVAIRE (which was a very bizarre horror movie indeed, probably a tip)

(Earl McGraw) #8

Calvaire sounds nice :slight_smile:

(scherpschutter) #9

It is, although ‘nice’ is not really the right word to describe it.
It’s one of the weirdest films I’ve ever seen
By the way: the title [REC] is in my note book (great title!)

I’ve watched ‘Dagen zonder lief’ yesterday; it’s a film about a group of twenty-ish people who discover their youth is over
It’s good, but not very special
If you watch it, be sure it has subtitles; a wide range of Flemish dialects is spoken, and some of them were even alien to my ears (I had to use the available English subtitles!)

(Stanton) #10

Wasn’t impressed by Calvaire, but there was a great bizarre dancing scene.

(scherpschutter) #11

Impressed ? I don’t know if I really was impressed; the film was so bizarre, so grotesque, more unsettling than frightening, that I didn’t know what to think of it. But there are a lot of guys here on the forum that like their movies bizarre, grotesque and unsettling, so I thought …

If you prefer your thriller less grotesque, maybe DE INDRINGER is more of a film for you
It’s a well-constructed thriller annex neo-western, with strong references to the Dutroux affair, one of the most traumatizing affairs that ever hit a society

(Stanton) #12

Oh, I like grotesque films, but Calvaire was … as you said unsettling, surely not frightening. I wasn’t really interested while watching it. But it had it’s moments.

Got it from a friend, who will write an essay about the fascination for “Torture Porns” for a (theological) book about film and media.