Only one more week to go folks. If you've been putting off the festival, now's your last chance. Go now before it's too late!
Top Pick -- The Arbor; 5:00
This pick is a bit of a gamble (oh wait, all my past picks were gambles as I never saw any of them beforehand). It's especially true this time around as this is by a newcomer, and also features a style of performance called verbatim theater, "a form of documentary theatre in which plays are constructed from the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event or topic." This film is the story of playwright Andrea Dunbar, and won the director Clio Barnard Best New Documentary Filmmaker at Tribeca. I've seen reviews that love the film, and I've seen some that absolutely trash it. But festivals are about bold choices, so why not make one tonight?
Also, there's a Godard film playing tonight, if you're up for that.
Top Pick -- Viva Riva; 7:45
I like this pick because you probably won't see many films like it. Coming from the Congo, this fiction film is about a con man on the run from an old boss, a corrupt church, and a Kinshasa warlord. If you use the word "raw" to describe only one film this year, make it this one. Hollywood Reporter writes, "Where Viva makes a strong mark is not with erotic scenes that are flamingly explicit (and acrobatic) even by western standards, or the brutality and gore that are equal matches for Korean revenge films. It is the way he exposes his society’s well-oiled corruption machine with such candor."
It couldn't hurt to also check out Romanian film If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle, which I actually have seen and it is an enjoyable film as far as Romanian films are concerned. In the same way, The Imperialists Are Still Alive!, a film that played at Sundance, is also engaging. Although you have to wade through some pretentious and snobby culture blab for the first 30 minutes.
Oh this is really a toss-up. This is probably of no help to anyone, but I'll just throw out three films and you can see which sticks:
My Perestroika -- Doc on the generation born after the end of the USSR. Won the Silverdocs Jury award.
The Bengali Detective -- Kolkata police corruption doc. It's got social commentary and detective mysteries!
Men in Rut -- Farce featuring the international deer-calling championship in a Czech village that doesn't even appear on any Czech maps.