11.30am. It's early and Faizan Rashid tells me that he's off to see the new comedy with Albert Brooks, "Looking for Comedy in the Musim World." The film had its world premiere at DIFF 2005 although Brooks himself has been keeping a low-profile during the film fest on account of a certain reason that I do not wish to go into here. So, how was the film? Faizan offers a review that is funnier than the film itself.
12.15pm. “Carmen in Khayelitsha,” winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. The award is questionable because although I enjoyed the vibrancy of the opera-musical style used by the director, the film overstays its welcome 20 minutes in. A version of Georges Bizet's acclaimed Carmen, set in a modern-day South African township, "Carmen in Khayelitsha" becomes repetitive and makes you wonder how you'll survive its entire 120 minute running time. I hope to do the film full justice and at least tell you (exactly) what why I didn't like it in an unabridged review. Coming to a screen - with a 1024x768 resolution - near you soon.
2.30pm. “Howl’s Moving Castle.” Hayao Miyazaki is what I would call a dream-master. He is the accessible version of David Lynch in the world of animation; a true artiste with the richest of imaginations and someone with an obvious understanding of the human soul. “Spirited Away” is a classic and Miyazaki’s earlier film work ("Kiki's Delivery Service," "Castle in the Sky," "Princess Mononoke") is a testament to his fierce talent. But “Howl’s Moving Castle” is a mess. It’s a visually stunning film that gives us a half-European half-Japanese looking world of magic and wondrous contraptions but little else. The director is known for creating astonishing, dream-like imagery and this film has a lot of eye candy. It does not possess the simplicity, the honesty, the pureness of thought and mind that “Spirited Away” did. The story is a contrived hotchpotch of politics, romance and coming-of-age. I am really disappointed. But you might find solace in an alternative verdict. Faizan Rashid is more upbeat about "Howl's Moving Castle" and you can read his full review of the film sooner than you can say Miyazaki (OK, OK, so I have run out of one-liners).
Day 7, last day of the film fest is now over. It’s been an exhausting yet rewarding week for us here at TEN Movies. I will soon call upon my dear friend and colleague Faizan Rashid to conclude the coverage with his ever-insightful thoughts on DIFF 2005. Faizan and I will also be compiling our Top 5 films of the fest for your reading pleasure. So do visit this page again in a few days if you care.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as we have. -- by Adnan Khan