Some variety today with animation, crime, and science fiction…
After killing his wife, businessman Kyung-Min seeks out his school friend Jong-Suk, who ghostwrites autobiographies. The two men reminisce about Chul-Yi, their old class classmate, who fought back against the bullies and briefly became the King of the Pigs. The first South Korean animated film to be screened at Cannes, the powerful The King of Pigs expertly employs surreal moments and an engaging mystery among a magnificent script to relate the sublime tale. Produced for only a reported $150,000, it proves once again that quality animation can be had for little money.
The semi-autobiographical Hail stars former convict Daniel P. Jones. Just released from a Melbourne jail, Danny moves back in with his girlfriend Leanne(Jones’s real life partner Leanne Campbell), as though nothing changed. He has trouble re-establishing himself in society. Danny’s years in prison and the things that got him there took an emotional and psychological toll. When Leanne accidentally dies, Danny descends completely into the darker side of his reality. The well-written, compelling film makes effective use of the faux-reality style. Jones’s excellent performance further enhances the film.
The slick, stylish, and self-indulgent Vanishing Waves squanders its immense potential. Lukas, who helped to develop the technology that allow thoughts to be transferred digitally from one person to another, agrees to participate in the human trials. Unbeknownst to him, he is connected to a comatose woman. At first, all Lukas experiences only feelings and geometric shapes, but then things expand at an unexpected pace. He soon is immersed in a full realized vision, complete with the personality of the other test subject. The pair fall in love. Not wanting to end the trials, Lukas keeps the full details of his visits. Additionally, he begins showing real world changes in his personality. The mind sequences are beautifully handled with a dream-like quality. Sadly, that fails to save the overly-long, sleepy Vanishing Waves, which may have been served as a Twilight Zone epsiode.
Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world, started here in Austin on September 20. During the course of the eight day festival, I’m blogging about my cinema experiences.