This Year’s Film Festival Harvest

Day one (Monday):

* “Princess”: – Decent Danish cartoon about a priest and a five year old girl who are out for revenge. The porn industry is their target. Too bad both the drawing style and animation are pretty ugly; luckily the narrative holds up. Three out of five.
* “Container”: – Possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen. This should be part of an art installation, not something of which people are expected to watch it in a theater. Black and white, inexplicable, no narrative structure whatsoever. I guess we bought the tickets because Lucas Moodysson created some nice movies, long ago. One out of five.
* “Freesia”: – Japanese film about legalised hitmen. On the slow side and I felt no emotional bond with the characters, but still worth watching. Unfortunately, I had to catch the last train, so I missed the last fifteen minutes. Two out of five.

Day two (Friday):

* “Strawberry Shortcakes”: – Highly enjoyable film about four Japanese women, who are somehow connected. Sometimes sad, mostly warm and funny. I’d buy this on DVD if it wasn’t too expensive. The “Happy birthday” scene gave us something to talk about for the rest of the day. Four out of five.
* “Sketches of Frank Gehry”: – Pretty interesting: Sydney Pollack made a documentary about architect Frank Gehry. A bit too much in the “Gehry is so amazing” department; pretty much everyone the director talked to is either a friend or a fan. Still, the insights in the way Gehry works, and the chance to hear his therapist talk, were much welcomed. Three out of five.
* “Nightmare Detective”: – The Japanese ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ starring the Japanese Jennifer Aniston. Some cool ideas, marred by bad execution, especially towards the end, where it becomes totally confusing. One of those films that make you realise how well-made Hollywood movies are. Two out of five.
* “The Matsugane Potshot Affair”: – An odd film with a bizarre sense of humor. As the film festival website wonders: “Is this a family tragedy, a fraternal quarrel or a crime story?” A bit of all three, obviously. Too bad I missed the part before the end because I really had to go to the bathroom. Three out of five.
* “Paprika”: – Amazing Japanese animation. Apparently based on the same source material as ‘Nightmare Detective’, but this time it works so much better. A mix between the postmodernism of ‘Fight Club’ and the over the top style of films like ‘Akira’ and ‘Spirited Away’. Afterwards I had the feeling I’d just seen what’s going to be a (niche) classic. Five out of five.