Sunday, April 11, 2010

IFF Day 9: Muezzin, Blood Simple, Kinatay

Day 8 was spent in nature, with family and friends. No movies, but I did watch 24. Interesting change of pace.

Muezzin is an Austrian documentary about imams in Turkey. More specifically, it's about the calls to prayer (ezan) they chant five times a day, and a call to prayer competition apparently held each year. The film follows a few of the imams who enter the competition, through regionals, all the way to national finals. What Muezzin does, very subtly and respectfully, is show how ambitious and vain these men really are. There may not be anything wrong with ambition and vanity per se (I would beg to differ, but in some strange cultures, ambition is even encouraged); but these imams are supposed to be 'men of God' in a religion that allegedy puts modesty above all.

Blood Simple. Pure Coens, even in their feature debut. Zhang Yimou's version now looks even more dull.

Kinatay is the first Philippine film to have competed at Cannes, where Brillante Mendoza won Best Director. I don't know if there was a problem with projection or not, but after the first 30 minutes or so (within which nothing happens), the film became so dark I could no longer follow it, and I left. Sorry to say, I was not the only one.

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