Love, Soccer and Other Catastrophies – Luca Lucini – Italy
A great drama/comedy about a team of amateur soccer-players and their lives on and off the field. The relationships between them and their respective wives and girlfriends are genuine. Each character feels real and goes through real change throughout the field. The trials of the team, and the trials of real life mimic each other. It’s a great structure, and it made a great film.
Kabuli Kid – Barmak Akram – France, Afghanistan
A woman leaves her baby with in a taxi, and the film follows the driver as he tries to find the mother or find someone who can take this baby off his hands. It’s well directed, but the motivations or everyone involved are unclear and people change their minds too much. There was a probably a cultural barrier for me, so it was hard to connect to the story. At the end, I felt very unfulfilled.
Moon – Duncan Jones – Great Britain
This sci-fi film lacks the great production design that it needed to rise above the rest. 2001, Alien, Sunshine, Solaris: These all drew you into the film with their production design. This movie felt more like a TV show. Also, the science felt very iffy. I’m no scientist, but things in this film did not sit right with me, unlike the other ones I mentioned. Still, about half-way through I found myself starting to like the film, mostly due to the stand-out performance of Sam Rockwell and some interesting questions the film raises.
I Sell the Dead – Glenn McQuaid – USA
This turned out to be a very fun horror-comedy. Dominic Monaghan and Larry Fessenden play two grave-robbers. They go from selling fresh corpses to a crazy doctor (Angus Scrimm), to collecting more occult specimins like vampires and zombies for the rare but wealthy buyer. Monaghan tells the story to a preist (Ron Perlman), who is there to extract a confession before he is beheaded. This gives the film an episodic structure as he tells bits and peices of his life of crime. It’s not very deep, but its thoroughly enjoyable and full of horror movie-references from the full-breadth of horror cinema.