Thursday, 19 November 2009

Lasiorhinus krefftii: MICMACS A TIRE-LARIGOT

Before leaving Australia, seven years ago, I met a small group of bloggers in Canberra through one of my friends. Sadly I left the country before getting to know them particularly well, but even now I read their blogs, creeped out as they undoubtedly would be by this fact. Okay - I read two of the blogs, because one of them got dooced around 2005 or something, and the fourth was the partner of the third, who also disappeared. But the two I continue to read have had interesting enough experiences; without spelling things out, one of the blogs has been published in book form in the UK, the US, Australia and has been translated into, of all things, Scandiwegian. The other blogger seems to run her blog at a far more cards-close-to-her-chest level, and was, of late, posting reviews of movies at a horror film festival in Melbourne.

A year ago, I went to the London Film Festival to see one movie ("Not Quite Hollywood"). The ticket itself was £11, which in itself is the most expensive cinema ticket I've ever purchased (trumping an entire semester at the ANU Film Group as it was around 2000) - and then the train was another £17. On the upside, as I left the Leicester Square Odeon after the screening, I walked into Benecio del Toro as he arrived for the premiere of Che.

I mulled over these two slivers of fact and decided: as the Brighton CineCity festival starts today, and the prices (from free to £5.15) are affordable, I thought I'd see every film that took my fancy and write up a review. Because as you can tell, I appear to have lost all semblance of the talent I once had for English composition. How's that for a clunky paragraph or three?

So, Y&I decided to stroll down to the Duke of York's Picturehouse (the best cinema in Brighton, and perhaps coincidentally the longest-running cinema in the world; it has been a cinema since 1910) to join the throngs for the opening night: Jean-Pierre Jeunet's MICMACS A TIRE-LARIGOT ("Micmacs"). The film sounds intriguing from the write up - precisely focussed character studies in a bizarre ensemble - but it could go either way. Fortunately, I enjoy either way - Delicatessen (successful, entertaining) or The Million Dollar Hotel (failure, fascinating). But it was not to be, because every Francophone in East Sussex had decended on the Duc de York's and we had not bought tickets in advance.

We grumbled a bit, and bought advance tickets for Jim Jarmusch's THE LIMITS OF CONTROL, Wojciech Has's SANATORIUM POD KLEPSYDRA ("The Hour-Glass Sanatorium"), and Wojciech Has's REKOPIS ZNALEZIONY W SARAGOSSIE ("The Saragossa Manuscript"). In a striking bid for individuality (or more accurately, a desire to submerge our individuality by running back to the warm embraces of our homelands), Y got a ticket for Miyazake Hayao's 崖の上のポニョ ("Ponyo"), while I went for Warwick Thornton's SAMSON AND DELILAH. Reviews to come of these films, and many more!

Here's the MICMACS trailer (sorry, can't find it in English):