Posted at 2:41 PM on April 19, 2008
by Euan Kerr
I was able to take in a couple of films at MSPIFF last night: "You the living," a surreal Swedish nightmare comedy recommended by the Strib's Colin Covert, and "The Pope's Toilet," a bittersweet comedy from Uruguay about an impoverished family which pins it's future on opening a pay toilet in time for a Papal visit to their home town. Two very different films and both a delight.
One lesson learned though: build in enough time for ticket buying. It was probably a little busier last night as it was the first regular night of the festival, but the line got pretty darn long at the ticket desk for a while just before 7pm. I'd build in an extra 15 minutes just to make sure you see the beginning of the show.
Posted at 4:51 PM on April 19, 2008
by Euan Kerr
Nick Goldsmith and Garth Jennings, producer and director of "Son of Rambow."
Nick Goldsmith and Garth Jennings hit big with their film adaptation of "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" both in the UK and the US. But when they went to various studios and pitched the idea of "Son of Rambow" they couldn't get anyone interested.
Nick Goldsmith, the producer on the project says the issues was they wanted to make a film with and about kids which was aimed at everyone.
"The people who we were going to for money liked us, liked the script. Some of them liked "Hitchhikers," some of them didn't. But the problem was we were saying "Son of Rambow" is a film starring children but will appeal to adults. And people didn't get that."
Goldsmith says it was a shock. "I mean I thought 'Stand By Me' was quite a good film. 'Billy Elliot was pretty good. The problem is when you say your film is for everyone, 'everyone' is a very difficult market to pinpoint."
They eventually got the money to make the film and by early accounts it's been a success. The film tells the story of two misfits, one the school troublemaker and the other an imaginative boy from a fundamentalist family who team up to make a home movie inspired by "First Blood" the first Rambo movie.
Goldsmith and Jennings know the thrill the film caused when it came out. Jennings admits to having seen the film on a pirated videotape when he was 12.
"It blew my mind," he says.
"We weren't supposed to be watching it. It wasn't for our age group," he says. "So yes, pirated videos were on the scene and we watched it and we just thought this was extraordinary."
"That was probably why it had such an effect," said Goldsmith. "Because you weren't meant to be seeing it. You weren't allowed."
The film is a sweet story, spiced with slightly crazed stunts. Jennings and Goldsmith says the larger than life element reflects that 12 year-olds perspective.
The two will introduce the film tonight at the MSPIFF, with a q and a after. The film opens in Minnesota on May 9th.
(By the way Stallone is believed to be a fan of the movie.)
Posted at 4:50 PM on April 19, 2008
by Euan Kerr
The documentary "Young@Heart" starts off as a novelty, but quickly delves into some uncomfortable human realities. British film maker Stephen Walker who also narrates the piece, follows a choir from Northampton Mass. who are preparing for a big concert.
The novelty is that this group of 70, 80, and 90-year olds dropped their repertoire of olde tyme music some years ago and moved on to covering much more contemporary music.
The movie opens with 92 year old Eileen belting out the classic Clash song "Should I stay or should I go?" One of the delights of this film is the way the chorus tackles song after song with incredible gusto.
To reveal which ones would be a spoiler, but it's striking how all of the songs take on a whole new meaning when sung by this group.
And that's where the human aspect kicks in. All of these singers are dealing with the realities of old age, with illness and death. yet they won't let it get them down. You'll never hear that Clash song quite the same way again.