IIFF 2009: Tuesday, best day so far

September 30, 2009 at 9:00 am (Festivals, IIFF, Movies, Reviews)

Ah, Tuesday, the middle of the festival. Another busy day, lots of work in the morning, another press conference and another lousy lunch. People are starting to gather here in Iasi – I assume most guests will be there for the final days and everything around IIFF will become more animated.

First movie of the day: a 2005 German romcom directed by Til Schweiger, Barfuss, that was released across Romania a while ago. I missed it back then, didn’t miss it right now, and that was a wise decision. The film is adorable, fresh and extremely interesting, despite being a bit too long. This is the story of Nick, a failure who isn’t able to keep any job more than a few days, who falls for a mental patient who’s about to commit suicide, and takes her across the country for a memorable trip. The story is simple and straightforward, but both characters are likeable, the chemistry is there, the jokes work, and despite missing a few notes, Schweiger does a tremendous job both directing and acting. Good film, highly recommended for everyone looking for a simple, relaxing good time, without feeling cheated by Hollywood’s commercialism and banality.

Then came the highlight of the festival (so far). Moon is a psychological SF about Sam Bell, a man sent on a 3-year mission to, well, moon, who, after 3 years of loneliness, slowly starts losing his mind, and hooks to the memory of his family back home as his only hope for going back to normal. Between hallucinations, dreams and hopes, things start unraveling and deteriorating for Sam, after he discovers a possible revelation. It’s really difficult to find anything wrong with this film. From the story, to the directing, acting, cinematography – everything is top notch. The plot is extremely intriguing, despite developing extremely slowly, and never feels overdone or exaggerated. Sam Rockwell’s acting is of Oscar caliber. Duncan Jones directs everything like a pro, not a beginner, knowing exactly what to emphasize and how to move everything forward without ever losing grip of the material. Moon is one of the best films of the year – and a sure candidate for the IIFF trophy.

I ended the day watching another older movie, Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, that I’ve already seen a couple of times. Nothing new here. Solid movie all around, highly recommended.

In this report: Barfuss 8/10, Moon 10/10, Eastern Promises 9/10


  1. bhuttu said,

    Felicitari si multumiri, in egala masura, pentru acoperirea extensiva pe care o faci festivalului. Ma pasioneaza si ma distreaza cum intorci festivalul pe toate fetele atingand aspectele esentiale, aproape impresionist. 🙂

    Daca-mi permiti, doua micute sugestii:
    1. Nu stiu pentru cine scrii lucrurile astea, dar in formatul asta aglomerarea de filme (3/zi) e putin cam mare ca si ramana ceva in mintea cititorului. Poate la un moment dat te opresti asupra cate unuia si il descrii mai pe larg. Aia ar fi recomadare.
    2. Defectul tuturor criticilor de film, si al criticilor in general: atitutinea atotcunoascatoare, fiecare enunt aruncat cu forta unei legi si o forma specifica de aroganta. Toate astea sunt inerente, probabil, dar uneori trebuie sa fii ceva mai bland cu filmele, macar contextualizand si tinand cont de restrictiile producatorilor (buget, cadru cultural etc.).

    Da’ e in regula, te citesc cu placere. Baga mare. 🙂

  2. cristane said,

    Mersi de aprecieri 🙂 Sa-ti raspund la sugestii… 1) Sa scrii o cronica larga la un film este un proces dificil si extrem de time-consuming. Totul e atit de alert aici incit abia am timp sa incheg si textele astea. Cronicile largi ramin pe altadata. 2) Nu cred ca exista cronica de film in lumea asta fara “atitudine atotcunoscatoare”, pentru ca tocmai asta inseamna critica de film, sa spui clar ce-ti place si ce nu, deci automat sa lauzi sau sa critici filmul in functie de opinia ta, buna, proasta, asa cum e ea. Nu inseamna ca am dreptate. E pur si simplu ce cred eu despre filmul respectiv. Si niciodata nu am desconsiderat un film pt ca are buget mic, de exemplu.

  3. bhuttu said,

    Poi de cronici largi ziceam cand se termina festivalul, evident. Numai ca si in perioadele de liniste, tot in 3 randuri expediezi filmele, cel putin pe blog. 🙂
    Iar cu critica… e de discutat, desi in principiu avem amandoi dreptate. 😀

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