Friday, June 4, 2010

Rain, rain...

Sydney does sunny days spectacularly well; but it also does rain most dramatically. This was the view from our office today -


Our tower building was engulfed in rain and rain clouds. Sheets of rain fell from the sky. It was ideal weather for staying at home (not an option for me) or for going to the Sydney Film Festival (which I did this evening).

Unlike Jody, I don't have a subscription ticket, but I do have a 30 ticket pass I'm sharing with a friend. This means I don't have the delight of seeing the unexpected wonders of a program organised by others, but it does enable me fit SFF participation around my other commitments.

Part of the pleasure of the Festival is that many of its sessions are held in the faux baroque, slightly tatty glamour of the State Theatre:

State theatre
State interior
State interior 2

The State is the last of the grand cinema palaces that were built in Sydney in the 1920s and 30s. It's miraculous that it survived the wave of theatre demolitions that happened in the 1960s and 70s when television made such gigantic cinemas uneconomic. It's now a much-loved Sydney icon.

I saw my first SFF film for 2010 tonight - Todd Solondz's 'Life During Wartime'. The film revisits the characters from the director's earlier success, 'Happiness', though this later film stands well by itself - fortunately, as I hadn't seen 'Happiness'. It's an unlikely black comedy about the possibilities and impossibilities of forgiving and forgetting, about sisterly relationships, and about pedophilia. It's supposedly set in Florida, though actually shot in Puerto Rico, and is vibrantly and hyper-realistically colourful. The film has a suberb cast - Shirley Henderson, Allison Janney (from 'West Wing') and Ciaran Hinds among others - and there's a rather irrelevant but perfect cameo performance from the seductive Charlotte Rampling. I liked the film a lot and scored it 4 out of 5. I'll be interested to read Jody's review

Fee reminded me that I should participate in the June busy lists she and Jody are posting, so here's my cumulative list for June so far:

Bunches of flowers bought 0
Number of rows knitted (socks) 56
Time spent tidying up 2.5 hours
Films viewed 1


Kris said...

I'm intrigued you liked the film so much. I haven't seen it, but I did see "Happiness" at a film festival in university. It's the only time in my life I seriously considered getting up and leaving the theater. It was just very disturbing and gross and discomforting. I wonder if he's toned that down for this film, or if you just have a higher tolerance for his style than me! I'll have to go read some other reviews and see if I can find a comparison...

missfee said...

oh it was so wet yesterday -thankfully there is sunshine today

jp said...

I understand the response from Kris.
This film was no where near as confronting as Happiness. The topic was not as distasteful as it was much more about the aftermath and learning to live again than Happiness was.

Glad to hear you liked it. I enjoyed it but wanted a bit more.

Bells said...

i saw happiness. Hard going, but I'm still oddly curious to see the new one. It sounds like it might be worth seeing.

Bells said...

oh and I just read Kris' comment properly. Yes that's a pretty apt description. For reasons unknown to me I bought happiness on DVD and sitting through it twice defied belief. I hope never to venture into that world again - but the follow up, if it's about the aftermath rather than the original events, could be worth seeing.

Anonymous said...

i am very excited to be going on wed night with jp herself. very interesting review, i have mixed feeling about his movies, but my curiosity is piqued now about this one!

Lynne said...

I haven't been to the State Theatre in years - I believe the last thing I saw there was a ballet!

Western Sydney also does cold and miserable a little too well for my taste these last few weeks! To think we have a romatic weekend booked in Blackheath for the long weekend! ??