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AIFF’13 Day 3.5: Need Liquor

Saturday 6 April 2013

This afternoon and evening were rather rougher than the morning.

3PM: Short Docs. Lots of emotional stuff here. I’m not a big fan of films that push obvious emotional buttons: kids with cancer, Alzheimer’s, generally anything that gets an emotional gasp from the older women in the audience. It’s not that I don’t care–far from it–it’s just that if it’s a normal part of the human condition, and there’s nothing obvious to be done about it, I can’t get attached to it. Give me a cause to rally around, and I’m there. But I need to be led to the water to drink. So this block, which had a lot of emotionalism and not a lot of practical application, and not a lot of novelty, didn’t have a lot for me. I did awfully enjoy Cutting Loose, a look at British prisoners who work in the prisons as hairdressers, and this competition they have each year. Black Cherokee was also a fine offering; the principal is probably the purest artist around, totally uninterested in making money off his art. Other than that, okay films, but nothing that one needs to rush out to see.

6PM: Double bill, Pit Stop and PalimpsestPit Stop was a rather conventional film about a complicated series of romantic relationships. If one ignores the homosexual aspects, it’s just a series of break-up and new romances. The most unusual aspect was the couple that was divorced but spending a lot of time together (sharing a house when both were interacting with their child), the ex-husband even weighing in on his ex-wife’s new date. A reasonably done film, but pretty conventional in the end.

Palimpsest was a departure from the norm. An unusual story about a man who does house tuning by listening to various objects in the house that emit low-level noises–appliances, mostly–and makes suggestions for replacing or changing them to alter the mood of the home and its occupants. Yes, it’s more subtle than that. Quirky. Recommended; I might want to see it again to see if I was missing bits of the story.

9PM: This is why I need to drink. The first story, Karaoke!, was an okay film about avoiding problems.

It’s the feature, Between Us, that’s the cause of my need. Two couples trade off in having horrible, gut-wrenching problems in their relationships. Yes, it’s emotional, but it’s the canonical train wreck that one just can’t stop watching. No one’s relationship can possibly be this bad, and yet this probably happens all the time. Highly recommended.

Day 4 tomorrow; luckily, a late start.

Save me the aisle seat!

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