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Edinburgh Film Festival

Posted: August 29th, 2004, by Chris H

I’ve been to see some films at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Two of them were really good. Red Cockroaches is a SF film made for $2000, shot in NYC and edited on a home computer. I thought sounded a bit like ? and as everyone at diskant likes pie I thought I should taste it. It turned out not to have a huge amount in common with Aronofsky’s film, beyond no budget and an early scene on a subway platform. Apart from the obvious (it’s in colour), the pace of this film is more measured and it’s (arguably) a lot weirder. Like Star Wars (stolen line alert) it’s the sensitive tale of a boy’s attempt to sleep with his sister and the ensuing adventure. It’s thoughtfully shot and edited so well that although the effects are obviously digital, it looks better than films costing 1000x as much. No honestly, it’s fantastic.

Incident at Loch Ness is another film whose inventiveness makes up for its low budget. It’s the story of legendary director Werner Herzog’s attempt to make a documentary about the Loch Ness Monster. You might remember it being in the papers last September. Saying much about it would spoil the story so suffice to say not all goes to plan. Relationships in the crew are fraught to the point where the producer mutters to camera (after an argument about the boat), ‘at least we’re not dragging it over the mountain’.

The other film I saw was War, a moody post-apocalypse thing. When I was younger, post-apocalypse films were a lot more fun. They had punks and weird cars and guns. Here we have much mud, toil, graininess and confusion. Which is probably more truthful but unfortunately I’m no less confused about the film than I was before it finished. Some beautifully stark black & white photography didn’t make up for a lack of empathy with the characters and if I was feeling cruel I’d say that the film is plain boring and confuses moody with meaningful.

Chris H

Chris was hit by a brick as a child and lost the popular culture part of his brain. This affliction means he is only able to listen to obscure japanese noise bands and watch films with overtly complex storylines. His other interests include skulking, editing documents, taunting policemen and entering undecipherable handwriting contests. He lives in an enormous underground laboratory where he spends many hours trying to un-invent television.

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