Yay, it’s the weekend and I managed an extra hour’s sleep, a couple more would have been nice. Oh well, second last day of filmfest so the sleep in can wait til next weekend. A big day with 4 films some good, some not so good. First cab off the ranks was a fabulous movie from Adelaide, Girl Asleep. The basic tale is a 14 year old girl trying to fit into a new school, set in the 70s not to mention her parents insisting on throwing a 15th birthday party. This film comfortably, casually, easily mixed real and fantastical scenes together in a way that flowed. At the same time, it had depth in its dealing with adolescence and social mores. This was an engaging, fun, surreal and generally fab flick.
I was really dreading the second movie of the day, Oyster Factory, an observational documentary set in an oyster factory in Japan. “observational documentary” running for 2 and a half hours late in the festival was enough to strike fear in my weary body. It probably fits well into the “cinéma vérité” approach to film making. Filmerd over 3 weeks with no preparation this wasn’t bad, though it could’ve done with some cutting…yet there was no part I didn’t enjoy. I did feel a little awkward at times in that sense of middle class white privilege watching a film about workers at the lower end, and their primary jobs of shucking oysters. At the same time, it’s an important film about the decline in oyster farming in that part of Japan, going from 20 businesses to 6, and the difficulty in finding staff to the extent of importing labour from China. It ended up having a political element of sorts, along with the insight into the day to day.
Unfortunately the 3rd film of the day, Thithi, from India. Set in a small village, and starting with the death of an elderly man at the age of 101. The story is about the money troubles of his grandson, and bits of love with the great grandson. It’s mostly a comedy and the audience had a strong Indian presence who seemed to be getting a lot more out of it than I did. I didn’t mind it, though drifted off a little, and overall wasn’t particularly fussed. However it was clear from the opening scenes that the audience, who understood the language, were laughing loudly at things I was only vaguely amused by.
Following the movie, we made a mad dash out at the start of the credits, to get from Dendy Quays to the State Theatre. We just made it to Circular Quay station to get a train to St James and were in our seats at the State Theatre 15 minutes after leaving the previous cinema, just in time for the next film. That was the tightest film-to-film dash I think I’ve ever done. And that film was the Irish, Sing Street, full of the better music of the 80s. Once again a film dealing with teenagers growing up and trying to find a space. This one is about music and building a band to impress a girl. the music is fab including Duran Duran and The Cure. While a simple tale, it had a good groove and avoided being painful. Fun, easy with excellent musical taste.