1. The Neon Demon
Probably one of the most divisive films of the festival with strong opinions by all, and all with valid reasons, but I loved the way it was filmed, with some beautiful camera work and editing. The soundtrack by Cliff Martinez is incredible and I am still listening to it pretty much on a daily basis. The cast are great - especially Elle Fanning and Jena Malone - and direction by Nicolas Winding Refn is slick and effective.
My only criticism is that it could have ended a little sooner than when it did. People who've seen the film will probably be able to guess as to which scene should have been the final scene, as it is a very strong scene.
There really is no way this documentary could not make you feel anything but warmth and goodness.
This was a film I knew I had to see but no idea what it was about, and I was so glad I did because the 2.5 hours spent watching it just flew by as each layer of the story was meticulously revealed to us. The chemistry between the three leads, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo and Kim Min-hee, is mesmerizing to watch and the cinematography is rich and lush in aesthetic delights.
Turns out, I've actually seen quite a lot of Park Chan-wook's films but am glad I didn't remember as I think some of the surprises might have had lesser effect. But definitely need to have a re-watch of hos earlier films.
There is definitely nothing new to this film but Yeon Sang-ho's film stays true to the zombie genre and doesn't try to make it anything more. However, his play with moral and social conscience and how they can sometimes not be in our own best interest is interesting to watch unfold.
What I loved about this film is that there is no gratuitous gore and any violence shown on screen is used well within the context of the film. Most of the horror, in my opinion, is psychological.
Sadly no trailer or any clips to show, so here's a picture of the two crazies you should stay away from:
The original songs and music are very audience friendly and am already eager to seek out the soundtrack! Triffett deals with the issues of sexuality, identity and just being true to yourself in a way that doesn't preach to teenagers (or adults) but has them questioning their choices and why they do the things they do.
The young cast of relatively fresh faces (as far as I could tell) embrace their characters and really go with them. Hopefully this gets a release soon, and maybe a stage production too!
The trailer is below but so is the original short film this was based on. While there are considerable changes, you can get an idea as to the feel of the film.
My third and final Aussie film in my top ten. I went into this one with minimal expectations and walked away touched with how it chose to explore a young girl's journey to overcoming fear and anxiety as she steps into adulthood.
Rosemary Myer's direction and Matthew Whittet's adaptation of the same play that he wrote show that theatre can easily be adapted to film and still retain its magic and charm. The cast are great, especially Harrison Feldman and Amber McMahon and the pre-teen "Neon Demon" girls are hilarious.
I've also made it a clause in any parties I host that all guests must now enter to a choreographed dance routine.
What I find interesting about this is a few months later, Artistic Director, resigned from the company as he felt unable to take the company in the direction that it needed to go in.
The story has you guessing to the very end and even when the big reveal is made, there are still a lot of questions as to what happens next. Its best to go in not knowing much about this film but if you insist, the trailer is below, but I think it gives away a big plot point and who wants that?
Touching story of remaining connected with each other and never losing sight of the bigger picture. The final 45 minutes is just absurd movie magic but it all works and is completely believable. Much to mull over with this one.
And the rest:
Under The Shadow
Blood Of My Blood
Notes On Blindness