I’m not sure if I’ll blog (at length) about the fest. I’ve set two activities instead. The main one is to take something from the film I’ve just seen and write something creative from it. So from Just the Wind came a paragraph about a horse’s eyelashes. Moonrise Kingdom had me writing about a beach. I’ve written about a retired couple, a little girl who dances, and a woman who splits in two (after Faust). I’m really enjoying this activity, as creative stimulation. One of the pieces, so far, has potential to be something longer.
The other activity I’m undertaking is tweeting mini-reviews of the films, though only if I feel like it. I enjoy the challenge of giving an impression of a film in 140 characters (including the title and the #SydFilmFest tag). Here are a few:
Alexander Sokurov’s Faust: beautiful, grotesque, chattering madness. Appropriately bewildering. Loved it.
Moonrise Kingdom: super sweet, silly, aesthetically cohesive (of course). Lots of heart. A delight.
Vivan Las Antipodas: beautifully shot flip-sides of human & animal life on earth. Isolation + population. Earth/air/fire/water.
Death of a Japanese Salesman: how an organised, hard-working man approaches death. Heavy themes, a gentle touch. Tissues a must.
Around the sessions we talk about the films but we also talk about the audience. The pickle smell in the day sessions at Event Cinemas, the snoring patrons, the woman who sat next to G in Beasts of the Southern Wild last night and exclaimed oh my God literally every three minutes. The stylish misfits at Moonrise Kingdom. The women standing around talking about how strange it is that they’ve just spent time watching a confronting film about gypsies in Hungary (how strange of them to analyse something that isn’t strange). The day subscribers who lean into each other and ask how long the other has been coming: ten years, twenty years except for the year she was in Europe, forty years. The people who rustle and eat incessantly.
If you’re coming to Sydney for any reason, fit in a walk around the harbour in the sun, a visit to the MCA, food at Fratelli Fresh, and a scotch at Baxter’s. These things will take your mind off whatever is bothering you (like annoying audiences) and help you focus on the good stuff (like beaches and horse eyelashes).