Day seven and the usual annoyances of the festival have been fully realized by this point:
Interrupting cell phones (still pretty uncommon); people who thrash down into their seat making it rock back into your knees; the sound of hands gliding up and down down the handrails along the auditorium steps with a peron's rings creating a distinct metal hum that slinks its way across an auditorium as the person tries to find the way to the concession lobby or their seat in a dim/dark theater; film programmers who begin every film introduction with a robust "GOOD AFTERNOON/EVENING!" as if it desperately trying to rile up a high school assembly crowd (thank god they don't do an "I can't hear you!" rant to an embarrassing effect); people who come in late and insist on squeezing through others so they can sit in the center of a seating block; and, as I found out yesterday, people who knit during movies.
I guess I'm more annoying with my quiet crafting than I thought.
During a screening yesterday (day 7) I was doing my thing and a woman in the row in front of me kept looking back at me, obviously annoyed at the squeaking of yarn as I worked through some tight stitches. This Princess Fiona look alike à la "Shrek" kept starting at me with a harsh look to stop, never uttering a word. Finally, I had to return the staunch look back at her and I stopped my knitting as a courtesy. She didn't look back again. That same hard bitch look that kept her silence is the most likely factor why no one will approach me as a bachelor out on the town.
If that's the worst thing I have to deal with at the festival this year, I'll take it.
So after an early morning screening of "The Lighthouse" (not part of the festival) I ran up to the art museum to meet a friend for lunch and then went to the mid-afternoon showing of "The Report." A meaty, investigative piece is always a thrill to watch, but this one didn't do it to me. This Amazon- and Vice-backed piece is about a staffer (Adam Driver) for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) looking into the CIA's use of torture after 9/11 to find terrorists.
"The Report's" overall message is just a big F-you to the government, a resounding theme pointedly placed at Donald Trump's presidency. I had the same problem with "The Post" in late 2017. Both films are made just fine, but I find "The Report" to be another story to justify distrust of federal, security leaders who are to keep us safe. It's a story that will reverberate in "Seberg" showing on Saturday night about the FBI's secret surveillance operations throughout the 1960s. What "The Report" shows, based on a real events and at least one public document, is the unsavory practices and lies of our leaders. "Spotlight" it is not.
Next was a gorgeous animated French film called "I Lost My Body". A severed hand wanders through the city looking for its owner, a young man who has fallen in love with a young librarian named Gabrielle. Wait, a hand traverses a city to find his owner? Yes. And it is the most whimsical and playfully sincere journey. The hand's ingenuity and the budding romance between the two humans seem like mismatched stories to put together, but boy is it a real treat.
If "I Lost My Body" were placed in the hands of an American animation studio it would have been a hokey, uninteresting CGI-based mess. The traditional animation brings me back to simpler days and times, and adds a more honest mood to the film. If it were CGI it would have been nothing but a sight gag with an upbeat attitude of a wandering hand. At best, it could have been a potential opening short featuring Thing from "The Addams Family". "I Lost My Body" is one of the best films I've seen at the festival thus far. It's true animation with a good story and flawless execution. It really pulls at the heart strings.
Rounding out the day was the Icelandic film "A White, White Day," a film that only peaked my interest because I wanted to relive memories of my Icelandic vacation earlier this year. Alas, it was a downer about a widowed policeman investigating a love interest his wife had an affair with. It's a glacial study that focused on the more uninteresting moments of a widow's life (why did he want to know about the other man?) and not the enjoyable moments of him rebuilding his life with his adorable family. I'd rather watch a movie about he and his precocious granddaughter instead of this tiring exercise about unneeded clarity and the yada yada yada about loneliness.
And the film didn't bring me back to the wonderful experience I had in Iceland.
The Whistlers: Very Good
The Lodge: Poor
A Hidden Life: Fair/Good
Deerskin: Very Good
Varda By Agnes: Good
Les Misérables: Excellent
It Must Be Heaven: Excellent
The Truth: Good
Paradise Hills: Good
Porno: Very Good
Oh Mercy!: Good
Young Ahmed: Very Good
The Report: Good
I Lost My Body: Excellent
A White, White Day: Fair