Last batch of TIFF capsule reviews

Just finished up my coverage of TIFF for DVD Verdict with three new capsules here. Includes the new Rivette and the directoral work of Tsai Ming-liang regular Lee Kang-sheng.

Now I can focus on Memories of the Future!

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3 thoughts on “Last batch of TIFF capsule reviews

  1. What you wrote about BEFORE I FORGET (2007, Jacques Nolot) in DVD Verdict makes this film seem very interesting for me. You wrote that

    “A film more fascinating to ponder after the fact than while actually watching, I walked out of the screening not liking it much, but my feelings have become much more favorable in the days that have since passed.”

    I haven’t seen any films by Jacques Nolot, but your description intrigues me. I would like to have this kind of experience—seeing a film for which my fondness keeps growing stronger after watching it.

    Talking about the experience of liking the film during or after watching it, I would like to share my own experience.

    1.Many times I see a film which excites me very much when I’m watching it, but my excitement fades away very quickly after that. Most of the films in this category are Hollywood thriller films.

    2.Sometimes I saw a film which I thought was just ok, but after a few years, I have a chance to see it again, and now think that it is truly great or a masterpiece. I think this kind of films demands that the viewers must have had some kind of life experience before the viewers can truly enjoy it or understand its greatness. I have this kind of feelings with the films of Maurice Pialat and Claude Sautet.

    3.Sometimes I see a film which I don’t enjoy in the early part, because the film seems to be in a different wavelenght from mine. But after a while it seems as if my wavelength is attuned to the film, and then I start to feel the film is very very great. I had this rare experience when I was watching THE BIRTH OF LOVE (1993, Philippe Garrel, A+). It was the first Garrel’s film that I saw.

    4.Sometimes I saw a film from a certain director for the first time and didn’t enjoy it much because the styles of the film is not what I’m accustomed to. But after a few years, I see another film by the same director and fall in love with it completely. I guess this kind of thing happens to me because now I know what to expect of that director when I see his/her second film, and thus can attune my wavelength to the films of that director. I have this kind of experience with the films of James Lee (from Malaysia) and Youssef Chahine.

    5.As for your experience with BEFORE I FORGET, it reminds me of the feelings I have with CALM PREVAILS OVER THE COUNTRY (1976, Peter Lilienthal, West Germany, A+). I saw it the first time in 1996 or 1997, when I hadn’t seen many European films yet. I didn’t like it at all during the time I was watching it. The film is no entertainment, no-nonsense, without an ounce of sentimentality. I couldn’t follow the story. The film is truly uncompromising. I think I gave it C+ after I just finished watching it. But after a while, I found that I couldn’t shake this film out of my mind. I think this kind of film makes me truly grow as a filmlover. It really broadens my viewing experience. It really makes me feel that I have experience something “new”.

    However, I saw DAVID (1979, A+), another film by Peter Lilienthal, and it is a straightforward, though well-done, film. So I don’t know if other films by Lilienthal would be like. I hope I can see CALM PREVAILS OVER THE COUNTRY again.

  2. Hey celinejulie-

    I think you nail many of the reactions one can have when watching films, and maybe art films in particular. I love films like Before I Forget that really begin to reveal their power in retrospect, providing much to ponder and consider after the fact. Most of my favorite films fall in this category. One of the most disappointing film experiences for me is when I expect a film to really have that lingering effect but I realize a few days later I hadn’t thought at all about it since I’d seen it. If I’m honest, for better or worse, how much I find a film on my mind a few days later has became a major part of the criteria of differentiating between a film that is good and a film that is truly great.

    As always, thanks for commenting! It’s good to hear from you.

    -jesse

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