My Saturday was pretty low-key compared to some of the earlier days at the festival, a fitting finale, I thought. I saw Forever, a meandering, meditative documentary on Pere LaChaise cemetery in Paris. It is a sprawling city of a graveyard, the final resting place of a huge number of writers, artists and scholars, including Yves Montand, Maria Callas, Colette, Moliere, Jim Morrison, Chopin, Modigliani and Oscar Wilde. The filmmakers basically just stroll through the avenues, interviewing people visiting the graves, both the known and unknown. On occasion, we learn a few things about the interred and the effect one can have on another’s life through art or love. It’s a thoughtful and touching film, if a little slow in places.
The replacement for Michael Clayton as a closing gala was Sleuth the new Kenneth Branaugh-directed version of the Anthony Shaffer theatrical two-hander... I’m not sure how I felt about it… I’m still marinating. It felt a bit bound to it’s stage origins, and wordy, but not without a wit as the two leads, Jude Law and Michael Caine, played off each other.
And then, that was pretty much it. The closing party? My schmooze meter was over in the red… I just didn’t have it in me.
I’d like to thank all the staff of the AFF, from the executive to the press office to all the volunteers, who made it so easy for me to see 23 movies and attend the events. Hats off to the programmers for bringing in so many quality films. It’s been a spectacular week. And my humble thanks to you for checking out my sleep-deprived ramblings. I'll see you at the movies.
(FYI, here’s a list of films I saw, not including the two shorts programs or the part of The Little Black Schoolhouse I managed to catch, with the ones at the top of the list being the films I enjoyed the most.)
Fugitive PiecesStarting Out in the EveningScott Walker: 30th Century ManPoor Boy’s GameRoom 205 (Kollegete) ZooIn The Shadow of The MoonChasing Ghosts: Beyond The ArcadeWeiner Takes All: A DogumentaryControlEmotional ArithmeticEnd of the LineShake Hands With The DevilHelveticaForeverThe Stone AngelSleuth(2007) Just BuriedThe Tracey FragmentsReservation RoadNightwatchingWeirdsvilleSilk