Monday, July 30, 2007

A Little Bit Of Cinefan

Just managed to catch three films at the Osian's Cinefan Festival despite waiting for ages to try and watch as many films as possible.

The first was the practically silent, often too slow and immensely engrossing and stylish I Don't Want To Sleep Alone. The mattress works brilliantly for me as do the occasional flashes of great humour.

Then on to the greatly recommended Yacoubian Building. Not terribly deep. Often disturbingly pessimistic. Too long, at close to three hours, but immensely watchable nevertheless. In fact, you get past the unnecessary pessimism and get into the grandness of the scale of the film, the fascinating colours and the beauty of the people, their expressions and the sets in no time at all. What doesn't work for me are the predictability of the circumstances and the outcomes (especially because it is such a long film).

And finally, Opera Jawa.

I don't know what this very singular form of Indonesian theatre is all about, but what I saw, I loved. Admittedly, a two-hour film composed of no dialogues and only two-line songs in an alien language is difficult to sit through. And if you haven't seen the film, it's difficult to explain what makes it as fascinating as it was. But it was. The dance. The storytelling itself. The mundaneness of the concerns. The elaborateness of the settings. The complete lack of adherence to tradition in some senses. I would watch this one again. And again.