NYFF -- The Second Half Wrap-Up

By tully | "Boredom at Its Boredest" by Michael Tully October 19, 2004 at 2:35AM

NYFF -- The Second Half Wrap-Up

All great things must come to an end. Now what do I do with my life? Oh yeah, make "Ping-Pong Summer." Why nobody has given me 1.5/2 million dollars yet is beyond me. I am guaranteeing a 15 million dollar box office take, goddamn it. Who wouldn't want to turn that kind of profit? Once the world sees the promo we just shot, the bidding war should begin. Seriously, shit is absolutely STUPID FRESH.

As for the second half of the festival, here are my thoughts...

"Moolaade" (Another crowing achievement of world cinema by 80-something director Ousmane Sembene, "Moolaade" gushes with humanity. A bold statement about a society that is trying to reconcile its religious and cultural past without losing its place in the modern world, Sembene's film is also a powerful celebration of a woman's right to choose (in this case, the topic is female circumcision, not abortion). Sounds kind of yucky, but Sembene is a master storyteller, first and foremost, so the film never gets bogged down in heavy thematics.)

"Keane" (I've already written about "Keane," so I'll leave it at that. It should be noted, however, that two weeks later my admiration for the film has only grown. I am dying to see this again to try to understand just how he managed to pull off his utterly harrowing tale of redemption.)

"Palindromes" (I was surprised by the humanity Todd Solondz brought to his characters on the "right" in this one, but ultimately I think we might not be on the same wavelength aesthetic-wise. I will say that I laughed quite a lot and thought that the decision to use several different actors to play the lead role was quite effective. I just don't know if I have the inner anger to truly relate to this type of filmmaking anymore.)

"Cafe Lumiere" (I can best describe this film with a little story. As I walked out of the Walter Reade I overheard an old lady talking to an even older man. She said, "The woman next to me said she fell asleep and asked me what she missed and I said, 'You didn't miss anything.'" She then started laughing and calmed down and added, "What a BEAUTIFUL film." That sums it up better than I ever could. Ozu would be proud.)

"Sideways" (Honestly, early on in this I thought Alexander Payne was showing outright contempt for his characters and I didn't want to hear that. I don't know if I'm just getting old or something, but hatred of characters has become a juvenile concept to me. It's too easy or something. Anyway, once the overgrown boys hit the road, the humor became more humane and I was completely swept away. Virginia Madsen helped immensely. Overall, this is another outstanding portrait of truly hapless souls. Thomas Haden Church should be nominated for an Oscar. I also realized, during the Q&A, that Alexander Payne is probably the only American director who could *potentially* do justice to Richard Yates' "Revolutionary Road." Just a thought.)

So, that's it. I was thinking of doing an "NYFF Awards" type of thing, but that's kinda silly.

(Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that the Yankees can SUCK IT?)

This article is related to: Film in General