The Wizard Film Fest Review Day 2
There are rumors about this one. There were horrific warnings about this one. They were blind - all the women who would come up to me - their eyes milky white, and they would whisper to me, "Do not dare to enter this for you shall not return." I thanked them for their advice but I am a film critic, and I didn’t get into this job because it’s easy. I got into it because I like movies and I like to write about them. The film they were warning me about was by Iriethana Arcanegrin, who is one of the first female directors I had encountered at this festival. Her film was called:
"The Beauty and Mastery of a Fearful and Horrifying Wind: Ill Omens".
Long title, but as long as the title was, the thing they had all warned me about was the length of the film. As a film critic I am capable of a lot. I mean I’ve seen in one sitting both the extended edition of "The Hobbit" and the extended edition of "Lord of the Rings". But this movie is a long one, and it wasn’t even clear how long the movie would be. The pamphlet said it was x^2*240. I really wasn’t sure what that meant. My guess is the movie was very, very, very long.
It began with a tracking shot of a young man in the woods. This lasted for five minutes. As we got closer and closer on this young man’s eyes, inexplicably the movie stopped. The lights came on, and the critics and the fans shuffled out. I’m sure of what happened. I was really unsure too but I guess five minutes was good. The young man walking through the forest was really beautifully done and it was an intense little short film. I walked up to the bar waiting for the next movie to start when Iriethana Arcanegrin came out to get a drink.
“So what did you think”, she said in a thick Ukrainian accent.
“You thought it would be longer, right?” she said as a faint smile came over her.
“It is not an unwarranted reputation,” Iriethana said.
“My last movie, "The Prepositions of the Ingenious World on a Dangerous and Unknown Plane of Existence", for me earlier, at say four years ago, is still playing. I check in there every once in a while. The critics that were watching it have formed a Society. There’s talks of worshiping me as a god, but I put an end to that pretty quickly.”
“Well, that’s certainly one of the stranger things to come out of this week… So, so why so short?”
“Well, I like to think that the thing is a layered piece that you return to over and over again,” said Iriethana Arcanegrin.
She said that as she walked backwards, wriggling her fingers and making ghost sounds, when the bartender came up from behind the bar.
“Madam Iriethana Arcanegrin, your drink,” said the bartender.
She walked forward and picked up her drink, and then once again walked backwards making ghost sounds and wiggling her fingers.
The festival has been showing mostly very artistic films, but sometimes when you’re at one of these you crave a little action. Fortunately the next one I saw was full of action. There was so much action that at one point the entire screen was filled with blood for over 10 minutes! Just blood with a bunch of different shades!
"Happy Fun Day" from Choi Dong-Woo
The movie starts in an action movie 101 way with a violent cold opening that has little to nothing to do with the main guy, a very good looking Korean man. The man’s head explodes, and then another man’s head explodes, and then a third man’s head explodes. You don’t why – no context, no nothing, just exploding head after beautiful exploding head, to the point that the exploding heads start to resemble a Jackson Pollock painting of different shades of blood. It’s the single most violent thing I’ve ever seen.
Then for a half hour the movie turns into a romance where the main wizard romances another wizard - a female one romances a girl wizard. And then a guy comes in and his head gets blown off, and another person’s head gets blown off. Really it’s a very head-blowing-off sort of picture, full of just beautiful violent imagery after violent imagery. The violence becomes so endemic of the film that in the end nothing occurs but violence, and violence becomes disturbing for its lack of violence. You become sensitized to the very nature of non-violence. The movie ends of course violently. The movie started violently; the middle was violent. I couldn’t even really tell you what the plot was, what anything was, but I left it with a Recommend.
What does Kurt Cobain have to do with magic? Nothing, probably, but one wizard was born in the 90’s, and he just really wanted to make a movie about Kurt Cobain, so who am I to judge? Not me, I really wanted to see a Kurt Cobain movie made by a wizard. The movie was called:
"Kurt Cobain as Seen Through the Eyes of a Wizard".
It was a simple, beautiful movie in a lot of ways, and in a lot of ways it was very experimental, because it seemed to be actual footage of Kurt Cobain, somehow mythically obtained. But the credits finally confirmed it to me. There were no actual actors in this. They were all transformed mice that the wizard, Loran the Mighty, Big fan of Nirvana, had made to look like the late great rocker.
Loran the Mighty, Big Fan of Nirvana, was also apparently a fan of improv in movies, because most of the dialogue related to cheese of some sort – where is cheese; how to get cheese; what has happened to my beautiful mouse body; what are these new sensations I felt?
There was a beautiful speech near the end where the mouse that was turned into Kurt Cobain said, “I was once a proud mouse, and now I am a filthy man animal. What are these horrid appendages that have grown from me? You cruel and unfair being of evil. Return me. Return me.”
So I gave it a Recommend.
I left, expecting to see the Aztec-inspired lobby that I had seen in my days here. An odd sensation - I opened the doors that had previously opened onto the Aztec lobby and I was once again in "The Beauty and Mastery of a Fearful and Horrifying Wind: Ill Omens", and the young boy who was walking through the woods now came upon a house. He opened the house to see who were clearly his parents, and as I sat down, I found I was at the bar again as if nothing had happened. I spied the director Iriethana Arcanegrin across the room. She was holding a drink. She shrugged and walked away. After that happened several more times I came to realize that that movie would continue on for the rest of my life. At random points in my life I will somehow be watching that movie again.
All in all, I would say it was an exciting cinematic experience. Simon made friends with a bunny, so I have a pet bunny now. I named her Penelope.