November 15th, 2004

Swan rampant

Monday, Monday

Okay, it's Monday morning and I'm catching up on the news.  Aline gets Meloni's shirt (restoring balance to the universe after the PC crash, and hopefully inspiring more SVU fics), and Anne and friends get to hang out with Lee.  Meanwhile, I'm here in the "entertainment capital of the world" and the best I could manage the past few days was to attend the AFI (American Film Institute) Film Festival.  I'd wanted to take the week off from work to do it right, but that wasn't possible, so in the end I only managed to see nine films over five days.  I skipped the gala presentations ($75 for a movie ticket is a little too pricey for me, and besides, all the gala films are already calendared for release here in L.A.) and just concentrated on foreign films which may or may not have a U.S. release.  Some of these films have already played to great success in Europe/Asia/Latin America, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all of them will eventually be picked up for U.S. distribution.  Here's what I saw (imaginary drumroll):

  • Les Choristes (2004 France/Switzerland)
  • The Other Side of the Street / O Outro Lado da Rua (2003 Brazil/France)
  • The Rabbit on the Moon / El Conejo en la Luna (2004 Mexico/UK)
  • Infernal Affairs I (2002 Hong Kong)
  • Infernal Affairs II (2003 Hong Kong)
  • Infernal Affairs III (2003 Hong Kong)
  • Daybreak / Om Jag Vander Mig Om (2003 Sweden)
  • Omagh (2004 Ireland/UK)
  • South / Het Zuiden (2004 Netherlands)

If I could pick only one of these films to see again, it would be Infernal Affairs I, which is probably the most riveting, complex, cat and mouse thriller I've ever seen.  Picks two and three would be Les Choristes  (for the story and the music), and Omagh (for the story).  Omagh is also a good companion piece to Bloody Sunday, for anyone who's seen that film or knows the background of the U2 song.

Andrew Lau, the director of Infernal Affairs, was on hand last night for a Q & A after the third film.  He said there's already an American remake of Infernal Affairs I in the planning stages -- to be directed by Martin Scorsese and with Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon in the lead roles.  My advice:  Save your money and buy the DVD of the original instead.  There's no way that a remake will get this film right.  They'll probably change the ending and make a horrible hash of things.  It will be The Vanishing (Kiefer Sutherland remake vs. Dutch/French original) all over again.  *shudders at the thought*

I have to stop here, because RL is beckoning . . .

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