My Day 4 At Frameline Film Festival 2012: “Fly By Night”, “Yes or No” and “Fjellet”

My fourth day at the festival consisted of two chick flicks – one horrible, one wonderful – and a heap of some pretty bad short films.  Reviews of Fly By Night, Yes or No, and Fjellet, after the jump

Fly By Night

When the best part of a block of short movies resembles something a freshman film student might hand in at the end of his or her first semester, the overall program will most likely be forgotten by the following morning.  Not that I was expecting masterful direction, breathtaking cinematography, or even Brandoesq style acting from the program, but it would have been nice had just one of these seven shorts been executed without its flawed elements overshadowing their stories – some of which were actually intriguing.

Yes or No

Some people might describe torture as being strapped down to a chair while having your eyelids pried open as an array of violent images project in front of you with the sounds of Ludwig Van being blasted.  Others – mainly me – would describe torture as being stuck in a packed theatre and unable to leave whilst Saratsawadee Wongsomphet‘s stupefying 1980s Casio keyboard calypso happy-time musically infused tween date movie plays out on San Francisco’s beloved Roxie screen.  Want to know the plot?  Believe me, you don’t.

Fjellet

Question: Had I seen this movie without having just sat through two of the worst movies of the festival so far, would I have enjoyed it less? Who knows.  The fact is, I saw this movie when I did and whether or not that played a factor in how much I actually liked it is something I will probably never find out.

The story is such of two gorgeously written characters who spend their 73 minutes of the film’s running time traversing the countryside.    The film itself, has the simplest of plot progressions and never once makes any attempts at appeasing to a more mainstream audience by speeding up the action or adding any unnecessary subplots.  This film’s strength is its simplicity in plot – well, that and the scenery.  This couple argue, love, cry, hike, sit, argue some more, piss, hike some more, kiss, and then hike even more.  All this just so they can find peace from the loss of their son who recently died.  So I guess this is what a Norwegian slow burning character study looks like.  Can’t wait to see more.

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