miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Yorkshire)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Today was a bit of an odd one because we had to miss a chunk of the middle of the day for Holly's birthday party (probably more on which later) but we still caught a few things:

Red Sonja

Apparently, this film is 89 minutes long. It feels like about 3 days. Ponderous would be a massive, massive understatement. Add to the tedious direction the "quality" of the acting from Schwarzenegger and the rest of the cast (although there's a nice bit part from the guy who does the poisoning bit in the Princess Bride) and the dodgy script, and you come up with something that... well, you come up with something that if it were a horror or scifi film, I'd be raving about, but because it's sword and sorcery... Meh. The best thing in it was the annoying kid, that's how bad this film is. And I now know how [personal profile] matgb feels when I'm forcing him to sit though some obscure Tigon classic...

Doctor Who: The Twin Dilemma



Regular readers will know that [personal profile] magister and I go and see this every year. It was what you could call our first date, going to see the Twin Dilemma while the FFW was on. This year it was odd, because it was actually part of the programme and there were Other People in there with us, so we couldn't shout CRAGGY KNOB and VIOLENT BIOLOGICAL ERUPTION at the requisite moments. On the plus side, though, it was introduced by a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable young man called Matthew, who had a special T-shirt made for being Doctor Who Boy for the weekend (and wouldn't let us steal it). Somebody walked out, which we thought was very amusing.

The Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm in Cinerama

... was what we should have been watching when we went to Holly's birthday party. I would have loved to see it, and what I heard from other attendees at the festival it was great, and only enhanced by the film breaking and them putting the special cinerama "the film has broken" film on...

Masks (Director's Cut UK PREMIERE)

I don't think I can say I liked this film, or even that I enjoyed it per se, but bloody hell it was good. Intelligent script; stunning lighting and photography; beautiful shot-framing and Argento-esque colour pallette; a majority female cast, with (very refreshingly for a genre film) not just a technical Bechdel pass but most scenes that are not single-character a Bechdel pass; and even though the story had a number of women-traumatised-by-events-in-their-pasts, not one of them had a boringly predictable stranger-rape for her trauma.

But by Cthulhu it was harrowing. The structure of it was brilliant. You can feel the beats of how a traditional horror film goes, and the Andreas Marschall is paying very visible homage to several genre classics (especially Suspiria)... and sometimes the scare comes when you expect it, but mostly it doesn't - there's a lot of wrong-footing in this, sometimes only by a few seconds, but it gets tighter and cleverer as the film goes on, and the ending is a double body blow that left me gasping.

The performances from all the cast are astoundingly good, but especially the girls who play Stella and Cecilia, and... I'm trying really hard not to spoiler, here. Look, if you're a fan of horror films go and see this. Seriously. I quite often say that a film is worth seeing, but this is a must see for anyone who has even a passing geekery about the genre. I can't promise you'll enjoy it, but I can promise you'll admire it.

Conclusions

This year's festival was a bit of an odd fish. It was the first one that wasn't run by Tony Earnshaw, after he left the museum this year, and although the new festival director Sarah Crowther has done a sterling job, I did miss the affable old bugger wandering round. It was also slightly different in the types of films shown - a few more new ones, and more eighties nostalgia than seventies. I missed the annual pilgrimage to Horror Express (and so did a lot of other people, by what was written on the "suggestions for next year" chalk boards in the bar)... BUT. I saw more films I hadn't seen before this year than I have at any of the other FFWs, and I think [personal profile] magister did too. And some of them were really really good. And I loved the zombie-ridden trailer. And the make-up ladies were there, applying wounds to small children.

At the end of the day I had a bloody good time, and I geeked lots with like-minded people, and the films were good. So... it wasn't the same old comforting FFW. But it was still well worth the weekend pass and the time off work, and next year I'll be there with bells on.

Date: Sunday, June 17th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Pretty much agreed with all of this, especially your take on Masks. A wonderfully well-made, intelligent, thoughtful film, but thoroughly unpleasant.

Brothers Grimm was very good, especially Terry-Thomas' dragon dance, and it also wasn't *completely* historically inaccurate in its depiction of the brothers (far less so than, say, the Danny Kaye Hans Christian Andersen film). Yes, the film portrays Wilhelm Grimm as being more an affable clown figure who is only interested in collecting stories and telling them to small children, rather than a respected philologist who collected folk tales as part of an effort to try to define a distinctly German national character, but at least it did acknowledge that they collected the stories rather than wrote them, and that they were academics.

(And, y'know, dragon fights, dance sequences, swooping Cinerama shots of mountains, stop-motion animated elves...)

Shadow Of The Cat was great as well, in a Poe-esque kind of way, and it was a real shame you couldn't go to that, as it was apparently the first time it had been shown in about 40 years, from a print they thought was seriously damaged (but luckily was OK). Worth watching just for the fact that the cat which causes the deaths of almost the entire cast is just a plain tabby house-cat that is clearly someone's pet -- its complete lack of sinisterness actually makes it all the more sinister.

Date: Monday, June 18th, 2012 10:54 am (UTC)
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
From: [personal profile] lonemagpie
Wallace Shawn (the guy who does the poisoning bit in The Princess Bride) isn't in Red Sonja - that's Ronald Lacey (the Gestapo guy in Raiders Of The Lost Ark)!

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