Well, I've been avoiding posting about the last day of the film festival. I went to see two of the festivals award winning films. First I saw the winner of the World Narrative Award - My Father My Lord. This film really annoyed me. It's slow and laborious, and the basic premise seems to be that people who are completely dedicated to their religion (in this case, the person in question is an orthodox jew) are dangerously disengaged from the people around them. I'm not talking fundamentalism, violence, etc. I'm talking about the people who believe in their faith so strongly that it's all they think or talk about.
I'm not usually the kind of person who thinks that a negative portrayal of a member of a group is necessarily a general statement about that group. But this filmmaker seems to have a message, and aside from the fact that it seems kind of anti-Semitic, it's presented in such a manipulative way, it made me feel insulted. I think the film used boredom and alienation - by boring and alienating its audience - to make us resent the protagonist. Ugh, I don't even want to talk about it anymore. When I was leaving the theater, a woman was on the phone telling someone how beautiful the film had been. I wanted to ask her if she was on crack, but I didn't.
The second film I saw was the Emerging Narrative Award Winner - Two Embraces. I liked this one a lot better, but I think by this point I had gotten a little burnt out on the film festival. This one actually did look beautiful. It had a sort of high contrast look, with muted colors, and a sort of dirty chromium sheen. There were two stories that take place in Mexico, and the theme seemed to be how people connect with each other. Really nicely done.