sff 2017 day 1

And we’re off and running. Still feels weird starting midweek. In olden days when I had a subscription, filmfest usually started on the Saturday of the long weekend at the State Theatre. This year we started at Event Cinemas on George St on a wet Wednesday night. I had a quick look at the programme and while we’re at the State occasionally, I think most of our films are elsewhere including Event George St, Dendy Quays, and Dendy Newtown. In other news, the app hasn’t changed and is still painful to use.

Day 1 was a good start to fest,  beginning with a multi country flick (France, Belgium, Germany) called “The Young Karl Marx“. A biopic of Marx in his mid 20s in the time that he was developing his ideas on philosophy and later communism, while moving from country to country and trying to make ends meet for his wife and child. The movie also charts the development of Friedrich Engels and their meeting and continuing friendship. That sounds potentially dull but it was riveting and full of life, exploding with the formation, discussion and communication of ideas. Engaging conversation, intelligent wit, and sly humour made this a delicious, fun, enlightening film.

Following the departure of my partner and Ms16, I stayed on at Event for the second movie of the night, Game of Death (Canada, France) which debuted at SXSW. Sort of like Jumanji combined with Battle Royale in a pleasant splattery romp. A bunch of delinquent youth find a weird board game and start to play, eventually realising it’s playing for real and if they don’t kill the required number of people on the display, heads will literally start exploding. If anything for me, there wasn’t sufficient splatter but at the same time it combined a little bit of 80s schlock with some 8 bit computer gaming to manage some of the killings. Some nice ideas at play too which meant it wasn’t quite braindead either.

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