I went to four screenings yesterday

Tekkon Kinkreet

When I was in college, one of my friends and I would drool every year as SIFF came around, and wish we had the time and money to buy a full pass, gorging on movies for a week. So far, doing this at Platform has been every bit as enjoyable and exhausting as I thought. I’ve only been up an hour, but I’d really like a nap.

Anyhow, Tekkon Kinkreet was as wonderful as the festival organizers claimed. It’s an adaptation of a manga series published in the US as Black and White, the story of two young homeless boys and their neighborhood. Apparently the visual style of the movie is significantly different than the manga. The landscape is dirty and run-down, but brightly decorated with neon lights and sculptures. In the post-screening interview with Michael Arias, he said that one of the reasons for that choice came from the art director, who had just spent 10 years working on Steamboy, which is set in early industrial Manchester, everything in shades of gray. After that it was time for color.

The story alternates between comedy and tragedy, friendship and violence. In one of the first scenes, we see White, the younger of the two boys, with snot dripping from his nose despite a whole roll of toilet paper at hand, because he’s completely inept at cleaning himself. And then he and Black beat up the two boys from a nearby neighborhood who’ve come to challenge them. It’s an emotional, multi-layered story. I’m eager for this to get widespread distribution in the US so I can watch it again.

My last screening of the night was competition group 3 (adults only). Lots of funny, bawdy, and gross works. My favorites:

Dreams and Desires–Family Ties. This is a chav-tastic bit about a middle-aged woman with too many fantasies and a new video camera, attempting to film her friend’s wedding. Slapstick and bawdy.

At the Quinte Hotel. Based on Al Purdy’s poem. I really want my book club friends to see this one.

Never Like the First Time!. Combines interviews with four people and animations of their stories, spanning the whole range from silly to sad to romantic.

Cold Calling. A little revenge fantasy about telemarketers, with silly critters instead of people.

The Carnival of the Animals. Dancing breasts, and penises, and naked bodies, and frolicking. A good way to end the evening.

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