sff 2017 day 8

Wow! Home by 10, a little late for whisky though it would be nice to have a wee drop. Still managed to squeeze in two excellent films, starting with The Party (UK), written and directed by Sally Potter. One of Potter’s earlier films, Orlando, screened at my very first filmfest in 1993 and I loved it as I have loved several of her films, especially her later work, The Tango Lesson. The Party was a tightly written tale of a dinner party conversation going really wrong with secrets exposed, all unfolding in effectively one, long chat and still managed to surprise with its twists right up to the finale. It reminded me a little of an Ian McKewan novel, such as Amsterdam; short, sharp and twisty. Brilliantly acted with various tensions at play, and an insightful, witty script.

Final film was a more relaxing heartwarming film set amongst the vineyards of France, Back to Burgundy (France). The basic story is of 3 siblings, one of whom returns from 10 years away in Australia and other places, dealing with their family’s vineyard after their father passes away. The story is simple, with heart, and I s’pose has that sense of a quote later in the movie that french wines are planned for 10 or 20 years later whereas Oz wines like to be fresher, both approaches are different forms of pleasure and love, like wine takes time to mature, to improve, not necessarily to decay. The movie was focused on the interplay of the 3 siblings, and progressed through a full 4 seasons, ie a full year, in the cycle of the vineyard: starting with when to harvest, to breakdown, to prune, to grow, and back to harvest. It was never schmaltzy, nor too heavy, and conveyed a strong sense of family.

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