The Film Fluff Report – Days 5 & 6 @MIFF2015

After the stress of trying to float my needle along the material like a floating grain of rice (see previous blog) I could only manage one movie on Tuesday. I was due to see a second one with my gorgeous ‘ungodly’ daughter (my UGGD) but she came up with a truly wonderful excuse to bail out on me – she went into labour! The end result being the arrival of a beautiful 3.1kg baby girl later that evening. So now I am a very proud grandUGGM.

The movie I did manage to see was called “The Postman’s White Nights”, which was a strange little film. Although it is billed as a film, it borders on being an observational documentary – or as the programme called it, a docu-fictional account of life in remote Northern Russia. The people play themselves and the director uses both a moving camera and fixed cameras set up in their homes. Not a lot happens in the villages, except for smoking, drinking vodka and fishing. The Postman is a kind man with brand new teeth, who lusts after an old school friend who has returned to the village with her young son. The Postman has given up the vodka, not an easy task in these communities. We go with him as he collects the mail, the papers, the pension cheques, and bread and distributes them amongst the villages dotted around the lake. We meet various characters along the way and watch as his relationship with the young son develops. It was a strange film as it was about not much and didn’t really go anywhere, but was oddly enjoyable for all that – a glimpse into a life that I certainly don’t aspire to!

Yesterday I saw 99 Homes, a terrific American film I know will get a release here. This is a film that lays bare, on the one hand, the despair of those evicted from their homes and on the other hand the greed and criminality that accompanied the subprime mortgage crisis in the States. Many people’s lives were ruined, but a small handful made a fortune out of it. The acting was terrific – it stars Andrew Garfield, who I only know as an English actor but here he is being a working class man (turns out he was born in LA but raised in the UK), and a face that I felt I had seen before but could not place in any movie, Michael Shannon. Shannon plays Rick Carver, the Gordon Gecko for the GFC. Laura Dern was also in the film – she seems to be playing people’s mothers these days (she was Reece Witherspoon’s Mum in Wild). I know she had her son early, but really???? (Garfield is 31 and Dern is 48) I hope she gets to play someone other than a mother soon, as I think she is a terrific actress.

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