Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fantastic Fest - Day 2 1/2

I took a necessary break to catch up on my UT work and class work for my kids. Ended up chatting with Justin about the Silver Jews concert the night before and over hearing conversations about "wicked ass" parties everyone's going to. There might've been a time when I was interested in those wicked ass parties, but I'd rather just sit in my house, stare at a wall and listen to music at this point in my life. So I used the time to revive myself in preparation for the last screening. This was THE movie to see of ALL movies to see.

Let the Right One In
I wanted so badly to love this film. And I was for the first third. It hooked me with these two twelve year old characters and the sweetness and quiet of their relationship. There were so many pieces and moments about it that I truly loved. The most beautiful photography I've seen in a film at the fest so far. Performances that were subtle and sweet. But here's the thing and I'm completely and utterly guilty of this myself and don't claim that I get anything right in my own films. So don't go at me with stakes and daggers. I haven't seen a film yet that had a solid script. Again, this is just me and my humble observations. Nothing I've seen has felt complete or solid. My favorite film of the fest The Substitute almost got it right but fell short at the end. I think what killed Let the Right One In for me was the tone. It felt all over the place. It didn't feel like it wanted to be any one thing. A bizarre scene with cats really made me cringe and throw a look of confusion on my face. Did it further the story about this relationship about these two kids who want and need to be friends? Not really. It just felt like all of these elements that are "cool" but don't move or push the story along kept creeping in and shifting the tone of the film. Had it just been about these two kids and not delved into all of these different characters where it felt like we were branching off into different storylines, I would be singing a different tune. Yes, it's a film with much beauty. Yes, it's a stunning piece of cinematography. Yes, the performances by these young actors are stellar. Yes, the look of the film is careful and unsettling. But emotionally did it sucker punch me? No. Did I want it to? Desperately. The Substitute did this, but it was in the 2nd act of the film when it should've been at the end. Blah, blah, blah, these are my ramblings.

I'm taking the morning and early afternoon off to work with my students on 2nd and 3rd drafts of their scripts. I've watched their scripts grow from humble beginnings to tight, solid stories. That's what it's about right? The story?


Clay Liford said...

Just saw "Let The Right One In" at Sidewalk, and the cats were problematic for me too! I really was expecting to see Garfield from the CGI Garfield movie in that scene. The ending seemed to suffer from the same problem too. An otherwise good film marred by strange and seemingly unnecessary choices. Also, there's the matter of the "money shot" if you know what I'm talking about. David and I got into a serious debate about that one. I won't brag here about who was vindicated on THAT one!

Kat Candler said...

if i'm thinking of the money shot with fire ... yeah, i'll be curious to talk to you guys about the film. again, i really wanted to love it, but couldn't get past the inconsistencies of it. hope you kids are having fun in alabama.