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KIFF: Day Four in Review

October 4, 2011


Only a few more days to go, here’s a handful of the films shown on day four at the festival. 


Virgin Alexander. Directed by Charlotte Barrett and Sean Fallon.

Husband and wife duo direct this light-hearted mash up of Pretty Woman andThe 40 Year Old Virgin, the story of a 26 year old virgin who opens a brothel in his home, an attempt to gain enough cash to avoid eviction. Comedy ensues. Virgin Alexander is a  love story, at its core, about the virginal, socially awkward, piano-playing Alexander and Ruby, the red-headed hooker with a heart of gold (once you get to know her, of course). Bronson Pinchot, known for his infmaous TV persona as  Balki of “Perfect Strangers”, co-stars.                                      

Berlin36. Directed by Kaspar Heidelbach.

In 1936, the United States threatened to boycott the Olympics if Jews were not allowed to compete for the German team. Gretel Bergmann is the best female high jumper, but she is Jewish and the Nazi party does not want her participation because it would disprove their concepts of a superior Aryan race. Because of this, Marie Ketterler is recruited to compete as well. Marie has a secret though: she is actually a man. Based on true events, this entertaining melodrama is certainly not something you’ll find in most history books.

Among Us. Directed by Johan Brisinger.

Among Us is a Swedish film about faith, predetermination and how necessary hope is in life. It follows a married couple whose son has recently fallen into a coma. Cecilia, the wife (Izabella Scorupco) refuses to give up on her son, but her husband, Ernst (Michael Nyqvist) isn’t so optimistic. This is until a mysterious Frenchman named Walter (Tcheky Karyo) enters their life and attempts to show Ernst the power of belief. I was a bit disappointed that the film had such a strong religious undercurrent throughout, but it is a beautifully delicate piece that is actually quite poignant and brilliantly acted throughout.

Nude Study. Directed by Stefan Popescu.

It is the story of Sarah, an Australian woman who travels to Canada after a recent miscarriage and the death of her mother. She begins working on her latest film, an avant-garde piece exploring vulnerability and sensuality through her nude subject, Lyndsay. The provocative piece could easily be labeled as exploitative, but its intentions seem to be an attempt at revealing a deeper honesty that can be found when someone has nothing to hide behind. While I’m still not sure if I liked this one or not, I was completely intrigued from start to finish.



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