San Francisco International Film Festival 2012: “The Waiting Room”, “Ok, Enough, Goodbye” and “Winter Nomads” Reviews and Trailers

The Waiting Room

Aside from entering a theatre with the intent of seeing the latest Uwe Boll movie, the emergency room is the only other place I never want to be.  Chances are (knock on wood) that I will wind up visiting an ER again before I die, cause hey, shit happens, right?  If, or rather when I do, I now know which one I’m going to – the one with admittance Nurse C.J. at Oakland’s Highland Hospital.  This scene stealing tough loving Nurse holds the entire waiting room down with her keeping-it-real persona and compassion for every person she sees, no matter their issues, and is well worth the price of a movie ticket to see her in action.

Ultimately, Peter Nicks‘ organic snapshot of a day in the life of patients and medical staff is impossible to watch without giving at least some thought into our current medical crisis.  Both subtle and impassive in its critique, The Waiting Room is a success if for no other reason than how it remains entertaining throughout its short running time.

Ok, Enough, Goodbye

As strange as it may be, Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia‘s “comedy” reminded me of my favorite books as a kid, “Are You My Mother?“.  The book was about a baby bird who approaches many different animals with the hope that each encounter will turn out to be his real mother.

Here, in Ok, Enough, Goodbye, it’s a 40-something Lebanese pastry shop owner who is suddenly abandoned by his elderly mother and forced to search for her, or rather her replacement, in various walks of life, be it a house maid, prostitute, the boy next door, or even a baby bird.  And while that certainly sounds like a funny premise on paper, the end result doesn’t seem to reach that desired deadpan humor that the filmmakers seem to have been going for.  Deadpan, yes.  Humor, no.  Sure, the film is well shot and uses long takes in establishing its character development, but sadly, that’s the only positive I took out of this unusual coming of age film.

Winter Nomads

I’m not one who yearns to go on week-long, yet alone, 4-month-long hiking trips, but after watching Manuel von Sturler‘s documentation of two shepherds, some dogs, and a few donkeys embark on their annual 4 month trans-human journey, I felt a part of me longed to be with the flock, baring all of the uncomfortable cold and wet elements.

I believe if von Struler was to go back in time and document herders from the old west that his film would look a lot like this one, with a few obvious changes of course, mostly the evolution of attire, and machines.  But thankfully, von Sturler was able to document the shepherds’ occupation of old without the discomfort nausea can often cause while traveling through time.


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