Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Midweek @ The Film Festival

Tonight we had the Cannes award winner Tokyo Sonata followed by Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure.

Yet again the festival has put together a contrastint pair.
Tokyo Sonata is a gently told story of a family in meltdown - A father who becomes part of the secret unemployed when he loses his job, a wife and mother exceedingly isolated from her husband as he hides this secret and a teenage som and pre-teen son both looking for where they fit it. The music (especially the piece that ends the film) is magical. A fantastic human journey that appears to almost run off the rails at the end but finishes beautifully.

Standard Operating Procedure is a jarring, confronting assualt on your senses and humanity all at once. This film tries to tell the story behind the Abu Ghraib photographs. Using lots of the usual Errol Morris techniques this film is incredibly confrontational and makes you angry with the US Army, With The US Government, but most especially with every single person involved in this.

Use of interviews with nearly all the photographed army personnel involved is cut with interviews with other people who were also there.
The investigator that put the body of evidence together and (it appears) made the assessment of what was criminal and what wasn't, The Military Police Commanding Officer, and a Contract Interrogator. The decisions taken and the search for blame and responsibility is thought provoking (Seems tame - it's anger and frustration provoking at the same time as astonishing). The repeated display of the photos (I believe) attempts to almost de-sensitize you to the images throughout the course of the film to provide you with some context of the environment within which these people operated...but can you every really see that? Great Pick for the festival..sure to start many many discussions.

Errol Morris writes a blog for the New York Times almost daily - His blog for the New York Times is here for those that want to read more.

Film Festival Sock Progress
Sock 1 - Still Complete
Sock 2 - Cast On + I row knit. (Yay - the inertia has been broken!)


zephyrama said...

Oh I love your film festival posts. I'm seeing it through your eyes. Thank you so much. While I love where I live, there are a few things that I miss about the big smoke and you are helping me indulge in one of them!

jp said...

Thanks! I am actually really enjoying writing them at the moment. They are helping clarify my thinking.

I really love the film festival - two weeks a year where I put my head in the hands of someone else (the festival director) for a huge whack of's a fabulous experience.