Rock’s Report From The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: Dave McKean’s “Luna” and Diao Yinan’s “Black Coal, Thin Ice”

liao_fan_and_gwei_lun_meiI am going to keep this short and sweet for these next reviews. My fellow staff writer has already covered these films but I felt it was my duty if you will (they gave me free tickets) to write a couple quick capsule reviews for Black Coal, Thin Ice and Luna. The scathe, if you will, has left me and now I am relinquished to write a normal review. First up, Dave McKean‘s Luna.

Luna_02I didn’t like this film at all. Like anything, there are moments where it’s good (I even and did go, “wow”), but that was really few and far between. I thought the actor choices weren’t up to par with some of the production design, but then again I salute the filmmaker for bringing this film to us. Sigh. I wanted more than the self feel good white people philosophy turned Tyler Perry classic. I’m not bashing Mr. Perry, he’s good at what he does (melodrama) I just didn’t expect it to come in this film. The elephant and dead horse in the room is a dead baby (I could be forgiving) and tears and tears and morose self-awareness and a dead baby (again). We get it! Flatly put, this film was very one note and never moved to a major. (Adam’s opposing view of this movie can be read here)

Black_Coal_Thin_Ice_03Black Coal, Thin Ice is liken to an asian Coen Brothers noir film complete with its own fireworks. It wavers on the line of should I laugh at this or not, then it plays to your surrealist sensibilities without you being aware until the final sequence. It’s masterfully done, but at times I got confused as to why the drunk protagonist knew where everything was and how he got her to fess up, but yet he falls in love with her, rapes her, and now they are wonderfully in love. Maybe I dosed off and I missed a small major detail but there several holes. I still recommend it for the sheer ingenuity of the filmmaker but it ain’t no Inherent Vice (and yes both femme fatales were the films’ vices and things just happen ala Inherent Vice AKA, still my favorite movie of the year) (Adam’s thoughts on this movie can be read here)

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Categories: Reviews, San Francisco International Film Festival

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