Tuesday 2 October 2012

Raindance Flops - Raindance Film Festival 2012

'Vinyl' (Dir. Sara Sugarman)

There were some good moments, some laughs; but generally this movie fell flat on the small audience at Raindance.

'Vinyl' is the story of a punk band who reunite for a night after 20 years apart and accidentally record a great track. Their optimism soon turns sour when the record label refuses to listen to their track due to them not being the target 'demographic'.

So, the band hire a bunch of pleasant on the eye teenagers to stand in for them, to mime to their tracks, so they can swindle the radio stations and record label into making them pay attention and rekindle their careers.

A fun concept, in a film interspersed with good moments. But ultimately, the film disappoints-- the story taking turns that manage to be unrealistic yet also entirely predictable.

The best thing about the film is the performance of the underrated and always hilarious Perry Benson. I just have to look at him and I laugh. A fantastic talent who lights up every scene he's in.

'Vinyl' is watchable, could have been great - but in the end was average. 

'Frank' (Dir. Richard Heslop)

'Frank', unfortunately, is the dullest and most uninspired film I have seen in a long time. Speaking to a few people afterwards, it appears, I wasn't alone with this view. There were also more than a few walk-outs; with each one giving the next early leaver the impetus to get the hell out as quickly as possible.

I realise we all have different tastes, different things we enjoy about films-- but  'Frank' just felt insulting on the viewer. No relatable characters, no energy, and a narrow representation of OCD and schizophrenia.

Perhaps there are people who think this film was great. Indeed, something about it made Raindance select it; yet myself and many others remain clueless as to what it is.

I feel I should be more objective in my review, or perhaps explain what the movie is about, but I'm too baffled and, to be honest, bored by what I saw!

Just because a film is low-budget, or artistic, or about a mental illness--- that doesn't mean is has to be impossible to relate to. And I get it I get it, the guy had mental illnesses, and the film was trying to depict what it is like --- but why keep the character at such a distance from the audience? That's what pisses me off about a lot artsy indie films, they try to keep you at a distance, try to be meaningful. If you want to be meaningful, don't try, just be truthful. 'Frank' is a huge disappointment. 

Wild In The Streets (Dir. Peter Baxter)

This documentary was about an intriguing bunch of people who live in Derbyshire, who once a year stop everything they're doing to fight over a medium-sized ball, and don't stop until somebody wins or everyone is hospitalised.

Sadly, there wasn't enough juice for a whole documentary. The sport, 'Shrovetide', is much like a celebrity sex video, you're curious at first but soon extremely bored and are ready to move on. Watch the clip below-- you'll find it interesting, and confusing--- indeed they are a curious bunch. But I don't recommend the documentary.

Glorious Deserter (Dir. Gabriele Neudecker)

I was looking forward to this film, a lot. The subject is fascinating, and the Raindance programme notes had me sold. 

But how can I describe this film to you? Essentially, a bunch of Austrian guys walk around, and we hear their voice overs, talking about the war. Occasionally, one of the characters looks directly to the camera, and talks a bit more about the war.

Nothing happens. 

Really. Literally. Nothing. No story. 

The film just wanted to give us a history lesson. 

And it's such a shame because, potentially, this movie could have been great. Such a fascinating and important topic --- but awfully handled. 

Care to share?

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