I’m often asked whether I walk out of films at MIFF. The answer is; not often. In part because I like to sit in the middle and it’s very distracting to others if I stumble out midway through. Though that’s not an impediment if something is truly terrible. I have a friend who sits on the edge of a row on the side aisle to allow easy exits and he probably walks out more than me. In fact you used to see more walk outs at MIFF; they’re not so frequent these days. I don’t know if that’s because the films are less adventurous or audiences more polite. I could have walked out of each of these films and been none the poorer! So these are the bottom of the barrel. Distinguishing between two and one stars is a fine line; not much difference. I didn’t manage a tweet for most of them; only the ones I saw in the early days. And I was being polite about them!

And Breathe Normally
Iceland seems a cold and windy place as shown in this film. Incredulity intruded on my enjoyment but there’s a great performance from the little boy and the plight of the refugee experience is truthfully portrayed.

This is a first film from Isold Uggadottir. I really didn’t enjoy this. I found the main character, Lara, thoroughly unsympathetic; her behaviour was quite unrealistic. The plot was completely implausible. I did think the little boy Eldar, played by Patrik Nokkvi Petursson was great. Babetida Sadjo who played Adja the refugee who is first interned and then finally waved through passport control was also very good. Here’s the trailer.

In The Land of Wolves
No tweet

This little film by Australian film-maker Grace McKenzie could have been much better. It’s film making in the raw in a village in Georgia. The characters are all interesting and very articulate. However there is no overarching story or even theme to bring it altogether. Disappointing. But worth seeing for the glimpse into a very different world. Here’s the trailer.

Grass
No tweet

I’m afraid I found this terrible, despite having enjoyed this director, Hong Sang-soo’s other films and loving the actress Kim Min-hee who has a compelling screen presence. I’m reminded by the trailer that there is some great music to be heard. But that’s about it! Here’s the trailer.

And these are my one star films which means I didn’t like them at all. And should have walked out of each!
Our House
This film certainly favoured mood and mystery over narrative. Very similar in tone to Journey To The Shore. A touch too opaque for comfort. But beautiful performances.

I didn’t understand anything that was going on in this film! Here’s the trailer.

Lu Over The Wall
This was a gentle little tale. But I didn’t find the animation very attractive. Technical difficulties with the subtitles didn’t help.

How unusual to see a Japanese animation that wasn’t great! My tweet says it all, check out the trailer and see whether you agree about the drawings. I couldn’t find a sub-titled trailer so this one is dubbed. Might have been better at MIFF because the subtitles got all jumbled up. Here’s the trailer.

Book Week
No tweet.

This was very disappointing. I’ve seen some great Australian films at MIFF but this wasn’t one of them. A shame. Here’s the trailer.

 

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