sff 2016 day 4

Day 4 got off to a strong start with a documentary on Jheronimus Bosch, a dutch painter, and 2016 is the 50th anniversary of his death in 1516. This was a fascinating look at painter from thr 16th century of whom around 25-30 paintings survive. He specialised in lots of little, figures in weird situations, his work would not be out of place alongside the Codex Seraphinianus. The film was a little about the politics of gathering paintings for an exhibition but the main interest was around a group of art experts and is they used various modern techiniques to assess and understand the works, exploring both the paintings and the underdrawings that can be seen with special photographic equipment.

Number 2 for me, was Life After Life, a chinese film that was sort of about family and memory. Set in rural china, in an old mining community, about a man’s dead life who reincarnates in their son. This is more pedestrian than it sounds and everyone accepts this to be so. The wife has come back to have tree moved so that she may continue on in her afterlife. A simple thing but not a simple thing as this film delves into remembering and connection. A quiet piece about life and life continuing.

The final film, Everybody Wants Some!!, and yes there were two exclamation marks, feels a little like a soft focus homage to Animal House but to leave it at that would be a disservice. Set in 1980, with a fab soundtrack, this is set over a weekend in a house full of baseball players, mostly at college on scholarships. While very much a boys’ film, it wasn’t childish, maintaining a sense of fun and engagement presenting its characters as multi-dimensional beyond the basic stereotype. Dialogue has always been an important part of Libnklater’s films and so too here, as ideas swirl back and forth and conversation is a continuous patter that provides the movie’s heart.

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