Curious Joe has been covering the Venice Film Festival for the last 10 days, check through the last week’s posts for coverage and reviews of some of the events.
Sad times, but it’s my last full day at the festival. The whole thing really has been quite great, but I’m not lying when I say I’m actually kind of looking forward to the breezy delights of comfortable Glasgow again. So on with the last couple days of film watching.
The French L’Hiver Dernier, a part of the very well programmed Venice Days section of the festival, is very well calculated. It’s quite hard for actors to use no emotion without seeming robotic, which works well in films like Alpis. This time it comes across as a lot more intriguing, as if the characters are actually holding something back, rather than just having no humanity.
It’s a story about trying to do the right thing when everything around you is going wrong. Its isolation has familiarities with the Russian How I Ended This Summer and such an atmosphere is always effective at creating a level of interest and curiosity in the audience, which is otherwise fairly unseen in most other films.
Development speaking, it doesn’t really go anywhere, but the point of it is that pretty much. The protagonist stays strong and sticks to himself quite resolutely while others around him are evolving. This comes down to basic subjectivity really, dependant on whether or not you can get yourself in the mood for it.
There were two reasons I opted to see Missione Di Pace, one was that I’ve seen very little Italian films so far (not that bad but it is an Italian festival after all…) and it was billed online as a comedy, which is something else I don’t think I’d seen yet either.
It was good fun. That’s about it really. I have a strange feeling that a lot of the humour was lost in translation, and a lot was also very relative to local Italian jokes (one of the few I understood was a reference to the divide between northern and southern Italy, which had the audience in stitches). But to be honest, managing to go through these barriers and still entertain the non-Italian speaking crowd is quite an achievement for a film which clearly relies so much on its locality.
The best moments were almost definitely the occasional dream sequences featuring Che Guevara as the lead’s best friend, and the clichéd dynamic in the father and son’s hate/hate relationship was actually executed fairly originally, another very strong achievement considering what it had to face.
That’s it for my Venice coverage this year, I might be seeing a few more films today, so if you want to hear about them then it’s probably best to follow me on Twitter and I’ll be talking about them there. In the next few days when I’ve recovered, Curious Joe should hopefully be back to normal and I’ll be retreating once again into my editor shell.
So yeah, laters Venice.