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AIFF’13 Day 5: We Are Done

Monday 8 April 2013

End of the Show
Day 5 we usually end early, and this year was no exception. When I need Coke™ before noon to keep going, or Advil™, that’s my clue to pack it in. We usually get through the 3PM slot, but this time we bailed after the noon block.

9AM: We Always Lie To Strangers  The filmmakers for this are really good. The story meanders between the Presleys (no relation, I think) and the Lennons (Sisters, and brothers, not John) as two of the more influential families in Branson, Missouri. I will admit to a prior bias against Branson, as being filled with narrow-minded bigots (they might say “God-fearing patriots”), but I will allow that the individuals portrayed seemed generally friendly and more open-minded than I would have expected. The Presleys are fairly right-wing; the Lennons are decidedly Liberal. I think a lot has changed in the last twenty years or so; see this article. While the shows were still hokey and folksy in a way that doesn’t interest me, one big take-away from this film is that the locals seem to have embraced (or at least largely come to accept as necessary) gays and other “non-traditional” community members as part of the town’s structure, so that the line “we always lie to strangers” mainly refers to the facade presented to the 7.5 million tourists each year. Good film, worth watching.

Noon: The Forgotten Kingdom  Winner, AIFF Audience Award for Best Feature. A fairly simple story about a guy who has to bury his father, meets an old girlfriend, pursues her, gets fobbed off by the dad, hits the road, rebuilds a widow’s roof with this weird kid…ok, maybe it’s not such a simple story. Lots of simple individual stories woven into a whole around the protagonist. Some of the elements were a little obvious: the ring and the alley, and the horses after the storm, for two. But it watches almost like the trials of Hercules mixed with a little Leah/Rebecca and some Lear. Another good film, worth having watched once, but there are others I’d rather see again (e.g. Sparrows Dance).

A beautiful day in Ashland to close out the Festival. Now a long nap, until the hills start mumbling in anticipation of AIFF 2014.

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