Symmetrically bookended with a fade in from white light at the beginning and a fade out to white at the end, The Sound of Insects: Record of a Mummy tells a curious tale. As the voiceover narrator explains, a hunter in the wetlands of the north came across a dilapidated hut made of plastic where he discovered a desiccated corpse.
In its attempt to make serious points and to entertain, farce faces a challenge. It must maintain a delicate balance: playfully mock its exaggerated subject while avoiding cruelty or a level of serious indictment that would qualify its humor. The French showcase their expertise at this in director Francois Ozon's Potiche starring Catherine Deneuve with Gerard Depardieu and Fabrice Luchine.
Sometimes it's impossible to figure the blind-side hits coming our way. That could be the motto for The Human Resources Manager, both the film and the title character, the Human Resources Manager, who remains otherwise nameless, known only by his business title.
A good documentary needs an interesting subject and engaging footage with a complementary cinematic style. And for me, exceptional nonfiction fare surprises, delights, and informs. Producer/director Jeanie Finlay's Sound It Out qualifies on all counts. She found Tom, a solid, focused, passionate individual who anchors her documentary about a still surviving vinyl record shop in Stockton-on-Tees, England.
Thai writer/director Apichatpong Weerasethakul challenges viewers with cultural and conceptual dislocation in his curious, mystifying film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. For Weerasethakul, called Joe, mixes past and present, myth and reality, in a northern Thai village where Uncle Boonmee has returned to die from a kidney disease.
The fourth annual Q-Fest LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bi Trans) Film Festival screens from April 14th through the 17th at the Hi-Pointe Theatre. And with 21 films, 11 of them features and 10 short subjects, there's plenty to choose from. Of the feature length films, seven narrative and four documentaries represent three countries, including two Italian comedies.
Webster University features three documentary films in a Multicultural Committee Film Series from Thursday, April 7th, through Sunday, April 10th. The film I previewed, Monica and David, follows a Down syndrome couple from preparation for and enjoyment of their wedding through a trying relocation with Monica's admirably supportive mother Maria and stepfather Bob.
South Korean director Lee Chang-dong quietly but effectively documents the struggles of Mija, a sweet grandmother who cares for her teenage grandson. Poetry doesn't move quickly, but it lives up to its title for every carefully observed episode in Mija's life eloquently and lovingly reveals a complex individual confronting ageing.
Source Code is a genre hybrid that merges science fiction, romance, and action in a mind teaser that pleases. Captain Colter Stevens, last in combat in Afghanistan, awakens in another man's body on a commuter train with a bomb ready to blow it to bits. Stevens has eight minutes to find the terrorist.