Adam’s SFIFF56 Report: Day 4 – “Just the Wind” and “Cold War”

Just_the_wind_03Before I begin my report of what I watched I’d like to point out that “officially” this is the 6th day of the festival, but being that I refuse to recognize the Opening Night film as a day, and considering I was unable to attend anything on Monday, I’m calling this Day 4. If you don’t like it, tough noogies! Now, that that’s out of the way, here’s how Day 4 went.

Just The Wind

Just_the_wind_01three-stars15Want to feel the very essence of a foreboding sensation for 90 minutes? Here ya go.

Just the Wind is not an easy film to sit through, as the numerous sounds of sighs and shuffling of feet from those exiting behind me throughout this screening confirmed. This is a very dark film, both in tone and style. It is a very simple film. It is also based on real events, not a documentary (duh) as the opening message to the movie so clearly points out.

The story is of a poor Romany family and how they spend one particular day while under constant threat of possibly being murdered by an unknown group of racists who have already killed four entire Gypsy families.

The great thing about this movie is that from a visual esthetic point of view, anyone can create the filmgoing experience. Here is what you do: Get yourself a hoodie with drawstrings, pull it over your face, then yank the strings as tight as you can until you can only see out with one eye and to where the view is obstructed with darkness every time you even slightly tilt your head. Do you feel as if you’re suffocating? Good. Now, set a timer on your phone (nobody wears watches anymore) to go off every 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, take the hood off your head and quickly run up to the closest person you see, hopefully not a stranger. Stand next to him/her at an uncomfortably close distance and follow them around for about 5 minutes. Then put the hood back on and repeat. At some point grab a keyboard, or I guess a piano will work, and start playing two ominously eerie keys over and over again. Then, after doing this all day, have somebody surprise you by firing a shotgun at you in the middle of the night. Don’t worry, you won’t be surprised by this random assault, because, remember that eerie music you were playing?Well, that should have fully prepared you for any horrors that were to come.

As an acting tour de force, I can see why this film was chosen by Hungry as their official submission for the 2013 Academy Awards. On the other hand, I think this is an odd selection to represent a country, being that it’s not exactly going to help with tourism. Still, this is an interesting film and one worth checking out. Just be sure to get a seat where the people in front of you – those expecting a more conventional film – won’t disturb you when leaving half-way through.

Cold War

Cold_War_03one-star2Oh my God, what the fuck did I just sit through!? If this is the crème de la crème of what Hong Kong blockbusters are, than I think I’ll stick to the Transformers movies.

I would go into a detailed plot description, but that would require me actually giving a shit. Here’s the gist. Essentially, there’s a lot of top tier policemen given job titles and names that you will forget as soon as their plastered on screen. These cops do a lot of double-crossings and have a couple of uninteresting gun fights, all set to an annoying early-1990s score, the kind you would find in any straight-to-DVD Dolph Lundgren classic. Damn, I really hated this movie.

The only reason I gave it one star and not a paper one is because somehow I managed to sit through the entire thing. It’s when I see films like this, in a programming line-up (a line-up that up until this point has been exceptionally well) that I must question the integrity of those who made this selection. C’mon guys/gals, if you wanted to bring in the Honk Kong audience and fill the theatre during a late night screening, how about next time you show something from Jackie Chan or John Woo?


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Categories: Reviews, San Francisco International Film Festival


  1. Filmbalaya’s Guide to SFIFF56 2013 | - May 2, 2013

    […] the Wind – “Want to feel the very essence of a foreboding sensation for 90 minutes? Here ya go.” – […]

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