Monday, April 9

2018 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Sunday, April 8th 2018

2018 PFF & IHSFF Festival Recap – Sunday, April 8th 2018

Coda’s ongoing coverage of the 2018 Phoenix Film Festival & International Horror Sci-Fi Film Festival. I'll be using these posts to recap the films I've experienced as part of these festivals.

Last night, the festival awards were announced. I don't need to list them here but you can find them through this link.

ALL THE WILD HORSES – Directed by Ivo Marioh

Our planet has no shortage of amazing stories to tell. And this is one of them. I don't think cinematography and editing are talked about enough when discussing documentaries. These are the two elements necessary to make your story cinematic.

This film documents the Mongolian Derby, the world's longest horse race and it showcases both of these elements very well. Drone shots as well as some great innovations in steadicam rigs have revolutionized both narrative and documentary filmmaking. I was very impressed with the level quality in the coverage of an event that is so susceptible to a wide range of natural obstacles. The editing bay is where the heart of the story is drawn out of all of the hours of footage. The story was pulled together very well to include a really good ensemble of characters.

This was a very well made examination of something that I was previously completely ignorant of. It kept me fully engaged throughout.

ALL THE WILD HORSES took home the World Cinema Audience Award. Its encore screening will be Sunday, April 15th at 9:35AM.

A SUBLIME LIFE – Directed by Luis Diogo

This Portuguese film is about the depressing reality of countless people living their existence without any passions.... Or, it's about a megalomaniac doctor who plays God with a society that he snubs his nose at.

It's a well structured and composed picture with a host of solid performances and nice camerawork. I was however, a little let down that I couldn't really tell which side of the moral fence the storyteller came down on. This left me with an odd feeling because I had no feelings of ambiguity about my own morality. 

RICH KIDS – Directed by Laura Somers

"So when did you find out that your family was poor?"

This is a very touching drama about a group of impoverished teens that break into a wealthy family's house to live like the other half, if only just for one day. I was really struck with how the house itself was shot as though it was an exotic location. This gave me the feeling that the filmmakers were extremely connected with this story and it helped immensely to get the audience into the same headspace as the characters.

My only real critique of this film was for the script. I think it could have benefited from at least one additional draft. Most of it was great and dialogue throughout the entirety of the 2nd act is what grabbed me and held on. It actually feels as though the writer was getting better progressively as the story unfolded. This is why I think it needed an additional once over. Some of the 1st act stuff would later prove to be expositional, unnecessary and a little inorganic.

That being said, consider me onboard and excited to see pretty much any future projects that this group of young filmmakers works on next.

RICH KIDS took home the award for Best Ensemble. Its encore screening will be Friday, April 13th at 11:10AM

ROCK STEADY ROW – Directed by Trevor Stevens

For all of its shortcomings, this film was a hell of a lot of fun and I imagine that I will be revisiting it from time to time in the coming years. It's a very campy post apocalyptic retelling of Kurosawa's YOJIMBO (1961). This makes me the most perfect audience for it. It's goofy and nonsensical and looks like it was insanely fun to have worked on.

I could have used a little more attention to detail when it came to the fight scenes. Good choreography and stunt work would have likely elevated this to an instant cult classic. As it stands, it may end up there anyways. It will find an audience with those who love films like TURBO KID (2015) and SCOTT PILGRIM (2010). 

No comments:

Post a Comment