The Kautokeino Rebellion (2007)directed by Nils GaupOkay, let me paint the picture for you: late 1800s in the far north of Norway, where the men can gut a reindeer fast than you can say "hvor er toalettet" and the women can ski a mean mile, especially if they have the Good Book in hand. How can you not enjoy a little reindeer herding and a little folkish uprising in the name of righteousness? The Kautokeino Rebellion tells the story of the oppression of the reindeer herding Sami people by the eager merchants and pious preachers. An absolute crowd pleaser for the Minnesotans. Gaup, who hails from Kautokeino, was supposed to be at the screening, but his flight was late. Only my humble opinion, but Take It or Leave It.
Three Monkeys (2008) Nuri Bilge CeylanI had been looking forward to Three Monkeys ever since the MSPIFF schedule had been posted. I am a fan of Ceylan's films, and his panache for disassembling time through clever framing and editing grows with each film. Three Monkeys is a dark and serious film that barely gives you room to breath under the weight that the characters hold. The main thread of the story involves a husband and wife and their adult son, who might be the three monkeys, but I'm not so sure. The film has a stunning opening that is surreal and eerie. It brilliantly sets the tone, not the story. I can't really do the film justice in the time and space I am giving myself. It is a visual treat. Three Monkeys is playing again right now as I type, so you've probably missed it. I don't think a one of Ceylan's films has had a run here in the Twin Cities, and I doubt that Three Monkeys will be any different. Expect it on DVD someday. Highly Recommended.
Jerichow (2008) directed by Christian PetzoldSomewhere buried in a stack of magazines is a Cinema Scope article on Petzold that I put off reading until after I saw Jerichow. Petzold also directed Yella (cough, cough, have yet to see) which played at the Fest last year. The setup is a triangle between a married couple and a studly stranger (who I think is Jason Stathams German brother.) The stranger takes a job helping Ali and is instantly attracted to his wife Laura. These three people are a jumble of unexplained impulses and emotions that I struggled to reconcile. Maybe that's the point, I'm not sure. It certainly lent a certain amount of uneasy about what would happen next. Although the finale is unexpected, the trumped up circumstances is a little hard to take. Jerichow might come back to town or it might not. Recomended.