After just 4 hours of sleep last night, I woke up, went across town to pick up tickets, and proceeded to see two films. I then had to take a nap (2 nights with just 4 hours of sleep got to me). I then woke to see one more…and so glad I got there in time.
First off, I saw a Canadian film starring Zach Braff & Isabelle Blais (from the incredible film THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS). The films is called THE HIGH COST OF LIVING (dir. Deborah Chow). In it, a RX, “high end” drug dealer accidentally hits a pregnant woman on the side of the street. He flees the scene and later feels guilty – so he investigates to see if she’s OK. Along the way, he befriends her and finds out that the baby inside her died as a result of the accident – and she will have to have stillborn birth. The film has an interesting set-up, but there’s ultimately something wrong. It simply didn’t work for me. The moments of zany behavior seemed thrown in to break the tension…and seemed out-of-place…but the overall sadness wasn’t working for me either.
Next up was a film that many people are comparing to Wes Anderson – SUBMARINE (from actor-turned-director Richard Ayoade). However, this film is Welsh…and it’s quite fresh – with a big heart mixed in with the left-of-center comedy. The story is one of budding love between teenage minor-outcasts…and all the angst, humiliation and great lengths to please that come along with that – especially when you’re dealing with eccentric kids. The movie is visually stylish with a brilliant script and some supporting parts from people I love (Sally Hawkins and Paddy Considine). There’s certainly an audience for this film. (The director and two leads did a Q&A after this screening. They were delightful.)
Lastly, I saw HEARTBEATS – the new film from Xavier Dolan. Dolan’s first, Cannes-winning film is the opening night movie of the Downtown Dayton LGBT Film Fest. (Incidentally, tickets are available. Visit daytonlgbt.com for screening details.) This new film follows a gay boy and his straight female friend. They both fall for the same blonde, tossle-haired boy…and the dynamic between the two friends shifts. With a gorgeous pallet, a great soundtrack, interesting photography, and some fun intercutting of “confessions” from people in the dating scene, this film is great. (Dolan introduced the film and held a Q&A after.)
I just got back from a party celebrating all of the queer content of this year’s festival. John Cameron Mitchell was guest DJing, and I met up with some new friends who associated with festival. It was a fun night, but I’m glad I’m getting to bed before 3:00.
First thing tomorrow is the new film from Francois Ozon – one of my favorite filmmakers of all time.