It’s that time of year where SIFF is in town! Unlike last year I was pleased to find films I was interested in. Unfortunately, I have a heavy workload this quarter and I won’t have the time to attend these films. (alas, cruel fate!) Here are the ones I want to look at at a future time:
- Maurice: Released in 1987 and set in pre-WWI, England it tells the story of two college lads and their attraction to each other. When a friend is arrested for being gay they have to deal with hiding their affection and marrying wives. Pre-2000 period films of old tend to be lush and ornate, which is how they should be.
- Lady Macbeth: Based on the Russian novel it is about a young Kathrine who is given away to a wealthy man, bundled with land. Her marriage is miserable and unfulfilling, forced to stay indoors at all times. When her husband goes away on business she starts an affair with a handsome stranger. I first heard about this film because it is very diverse, which is unheard of in Victorian period pieces. The scenery is drab and bleak, so don’t expect any gilding or pomp here.
- The Suffering of Ninko: Fantasy story about Ninko, a dedicated novice Buddist monk. There is only one problem: ladies find him irresistible. He struggles with his newfound desires and erotic hallucinations. It combines live action with animated scenes done in ukiyo-e style.
Overall the selection of fantasy and period films were small. It looks like public tastes have settled on gritty and hard-hitting than the melodramatic. While I can see the annoyance with ostentatious extravagance it provides a good escape. Then again, with the current political climate and housing market woes in the area, I can understand why people don’t want to see that.