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KIFF: Day Seven in Review

October 13, 2011

Well, the festival has come to a close. There were plenty of great movies, good people and fun was had by all.  Here’s a recap of the final day:

Another Planet. Directed by Ferenc Moldoványi

Another Planet is an ethereal documentary that, spanning four continents, tells the stories of various impoverished and despondent children. It is beautiful from start to finish, employing a score that feels as otherworldly as the beauty that transpires onscreen. The film is more visceral than the average documentary styles. It flows from one story to the next, proposing no clear thesis; it is just images and stories. The only linkage between each child is the sadness in their eyes. Instead  of a traditional narrative, each individual tale feels more like a vignette. It lingers in the mind, not as one cohesive piece, more like a vivid dream that isn’t easily erased. Winner of the 2011 KIFF Jury Award for Documentary.

The Vintner’s Luck. Directed by Niki Caro.

The Vintner’s Luck is the romance, not between a man and a woman, but between a man and the soil beneath his feet. It is where he builds a home, nourishes his family and learns how to live his life. This soil is also what allows Sobran (Jérémie Renier) to strive towards his greatest aspiration: creating a beautiful wine unlike anyone else’s. This idea is actualized through Sobran’s relationship to an angel, Xas (Gaspard Ulliel) who visits him annually to discuss wine and its relationship to living. The angel gives words of faith, hope and wisdom to the man, while Sobran allows the angel a more first-hand experience to both the beauty and the torment of living. The Vintner’s Luck is designed to be a metaphor and meditation of life, but I will admit that it is frequently more obvious than necessary, still it is an interesting piece and no less than stunning to look at.

Dirty Girl. Directed by Abe Sylvia

It’s 1987 and Danielle (Juno Temple) is her high school’s dirty girl: the trampiest, raunchiest girl in Norman, Oklahoma. She says and does what she wants. However, this unapologetic behavior lands her in the Challenger classes, which doesn’t appear to be special ed, just the place where all the losers go.  This is where she meets Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), an overweight loner who is attempting to meet every stereotype found in the “How to be Gay” handbook. Due to their daddy issues, the two form a bound and embark on a journey to keep Danielle from an unwanted conversion to Mormonism and a chance to finally meet her birth father. As witty as it is goofy and as coarse as it is sweet, Dirty Girl is flawed, but endearing all the same.

And last but not least…  

The Audience Awards have finally been announced. Lesson Plan took the win for Best Documentary and eMANcipation received the honors for Best Narrative. Both will be shown at the Glenwoods Fine Art Theaters. Keep an eye out for two films worth checking out!


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