sff 2016 day 1

Filmfest is underway once again: the app still sucks, the website sucks but the films are ever excellent. As far as I can tell, the website has no keyword search, instead you have to narrow down by filters. The main movie page is based on infinite scrolling ie it loads the next batch of movies when you reach the bottom which means that the browser’s find function is useless. It does not handle known item searching well…admittedly that’s also an area that library discovery layers have also had issues with.

Having given up my subscription (20 years)  a few years ago, we now use flexipasses and spend a lot of time reading the programme working out whick flicks to see. Happy to say that I’m really enjoying this approach and having to make decisions around which films to see and which to skip and dealing with trying to choose when there several films on at the same time. New this year is that some films have ratings and there seems to be a whole bunch of films rated 15+. This means we are able to take Ms15 to quite a few films and give her a taste of festival too.

My first night of screenings started with two films, the first was “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World“, a doco from Werner Herzog. This was engaging, accessible exploration of the internet, covering its past, present and future. It included interviews with various luminaries including the creators of TCP/IP, hackers a la Kevin Mitnick, and Elon Musk even got some screen time. There were fascinating interviews with scientists and about robotics and automated cars, as well as cellular research. The film never got bogged down in technical detail and while it examiend a few of the darker aspects, it remained ever optimistic.

The second was from Turkey, “Mustang“, centred around 5 sisters. This was a fascinating piece of film making with numerous layers to explore. I really enjoyed a post film chat about this as we explored some of the things that were implied and weren’t immediately obvious. It concerns a group of sisters stuck in rural Turkey, and being raised by their grandmother. Issues around families, the loss of innocence, politics and gender issues.

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