MIFF Day 11 - 3rd August 2002

01:59 4/08/02

The first thing I saw today was a forum at the Festival Club called D-Cals at MIFF: Destination Unknown. It was a discussion between a group calling themselves the Damaged Californians (who have a film at the festival and other work) and the festival director. My favourite presentation in this forum where the 'holiday snaps' where the D-Cals placed themselves in pictures of Melbourne and told a story without having been here before.

At the start of a documentary double after this I saw The What if Man - the Science Fictional Life of Peter Nichols. It was a good documentary about a man who has written two editions of an Encycolpedia of Science Fiction and is an expert in the field. For some reason a few women in the audience found the subject matter somewhat amusing. The introduction by the film maker and the Peter was good too.

The next documentary, Black Chicks Talking is what I think that most of the people came to the session for. It was introduced by the director Leah Purcell who was very well received.

The doco is based on a book by the director and has five of the women featured in the book discussing their stories over dinner. It was a very funny and honest story. My favourite particpant was Deborah Mailman (especially her jokes) and when Leah did the 'victory dance' with one of the other women.

As I had a bit of break before my next film I decided to have dinner and then go and see the forum at the Festival Club, Black Chicks Keep Talking. It featured a lot of lively discussion about the topics covered in the film, but once the Q&A with the audience started it went off the rails a bit as one of the audience members decided to use it as a forum to air their personal greivances. I know they had something important to say, but it didn't really give them the right to highjack what should be Leah's big night.

Iggy Pop Live at the A Venue B was a refreshing change from the other films I have seen during the festival as it was straight concert footage of a performance from a couple of years ago in Belgium.

Even though Iggy is now getting on a bit, he still manages to dance around on stage shirtless and played about 22 songs with only a couple of breaks. I particulary liked the part where he got some of the audience on stage and when he was giving the people high fives at the end.

My last film for the night was Dead or Alive 2 : Birds. Even though it looks like a sequel it is no relation to the first film. The film is about Japanese gangsters, but it takes a different approach to its predecessor.

For starters there is a lot more humour in the story, such as the triad boss who likes magic tricks and the killers sending SMS messages to each other, even though they are right next to each other.

The action is also a lot slower paced than the original, but this means there is time to develop the story of the two main characters Mizuki and Sum. I really liked the scenes where the three old friends return to their old playground and the child's play that they put on was an excellent sequence in the film.

The story does go backwards and forwards between the main characters and what has happened as a result of their actions, but the main focus is on their story. This film also doesn't go for the gross-out factor as much as the first film and so is somewhat easier to watch.

I would recommend this film to people who like a good story with interesting characters and the first Dead or Alive film to viewers who like lots of action and fast moving story.