Movies By Starlight + Good Shit Happens DVD (A++)

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Movies By Starlight is an annual summer event here in Wellington. This was the first time I went, for just one of the three nights to see the Short Films program. It was truly outstanding. All of the films, with perhaps one exception (“The Hill”), were extremely well made, finely crafted, intelligent pieces of work that all had a distinctly Kiwi voice.

Highlights included “The Platform”, which featured a great soundtrack and a fun little plot. “The Freezer” had a really nice story with superb cinematography. “French Doors” was a sweetly odd ‘thriller’.

However, the film that stole the show is one of the best short films I think I have ever seen in my life. “Two cars, one night” is a really touching story about a few little kids who have been left to wait in the family car outside a bar at night. The dialog is so real and beautiful. The kids’ acting is brilliant. The atmosphere is perfectly captured. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so perfect.

There’s a great write up about the filmmaker in the Listener. And if you want to buy the film, along with some yummy Kiwi beats, you can buy it on DVD from Smoke.

After getting a copy of the Loop 005 Good Shit Happens CD/DVD/Book I must say it is absolutely brilliant. It’s got great music, great music videos and great short films. The production values and the shear talent are pretty mind blowing. If you ever wanted a taste of what’s happening in New Zealand youth culture then this is it. And I’d say it’s more interesting than most things happening in youth culture anywhere.

March 4, 2004 in Art House, Comedy, Documentary, Experimental, Fantasy, Intellectual, Musical, New Zealand, Sci Fi, Slow Paced | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

You Can Count On Me (A)

Perfectly balanced movie, excellent acting, excellent story, excellent characters, funny, poignant, and plenty of cringe moments. It does land on the conventional side of things, but as far as conventional movies go, it's very well crafted.

Mark Ruffalo is amazing. Rory Culkin is extremely good. Matthew Broderick revives his Election character with all the cringe in tact. However, I'd say Kenneth Lonergan arguably makes the strongest performance in my favorite scene, when 'Father Ron' (Lonergan) confronts the 'thoughtful fuck up' Terry (Ruffalo) about his personal world philosophy. I would have loved it if the film followed this line of thought more deeply.

I wish more people would have the courage to ask thoughtful questions and really pursue thoughtful answers.

This movie gets pretty close, but in the end, it decides not to make any statements. Instead, it opts to simply tell a good story about regular, but nevertheless interesting people.

Acting: A+
Direction: A+
Editing: A
Script: A
Cinematography: C

September 24, 2003 in Art House, Cringe, Drama, Intellectual, Slow Paced | Permalink | Comments (1)