Massive week for Standing There Productions. Deadlines, Film Festivals, weekend film shoots and yes, as you may have read in all the important newspapers, it’s my birthday on Friday.

Rita, Stew and Robin (who all worked on I Could Be Anybody ) shot a film on the weekend while I did a fair bit of writing and a fair bit of swearing at my computer. August is always stupidly busy, but who would have known that the annual festa that happens on August eleventh would be thrown into doubt…

I think I might celebrate my birthday some time in September. Meanwhile:

MIFF update

On Saturday I saw:
Iraq in Fragments, which was described as a poetic documentary about Iraq in three parts. It certainly was poetic, wonderfully shot. It was astonishing really, but I think I probably got more out of In The Shadow of The Palms . Iraq in Fragments was still shattering, which it would be hard not to be if you were a documentary about Iraq.

I then saw Hunt Angels , which was about the Australian film industry (in other words it was a snuff film) (shoosh no it wasn't).

Linda Linda Linda, which was Japanese. So far the Japanese are winning the "best country" category (aided by the fact that I have only seen two Japanese films so far and they were two of the best I've seen). This one took a while to grow on me but I can still sing you the main chorus of the song sung by the band all throughout the film. Also, it made me want to go to high school in Japan. How much FUN were those kids HAVING exactly!?!??! I remember high school being fun and all, but there wasn't a daytime festa and a fluid sense of time and a pancake baking session during lunch time and stuff. Massively robbed.

Then saw the hideous (in a good way?) Longing , which had a fairly high walk-out rate, many of them women. Interesting in that it was a film about infidelity on the part of a man who can't communicate in a relationship with two women, in a film directed by a woman. (And the only reason Claire and I didn't walk out was that we were engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the screen, each other, and anyone else we thought might benefit. Sorry about that).

Then, Lunacy. The title pretty much sums it up. Check out the photo on the website. It's an Eastern European horror film where the director appears at the start of the film to tell us it's not art, and then disappears to make way for an insane asylum and a whole lot of raw chops having meat-sex.

Monday: In Between Days (about a Korean girl living in America. Gentle and real but the highlight for me was the sound - the snow crunching, the breathing, the wind). Mutual Appreciation was great for any writer to see because the dialogue and the characters were so unbearably true. Cringe-makingly true.
Then The Willow Tree, about a blind Iranian man who suddenly sees again. Reminded me of an article I read by Oliver Saks once, in The New Yorker, which was about how people deal with blindness (do they still "see" in their mind's eye or do they drop the idea of vision completely and learn the world in another way. Also very interesting on how depressing it often is for people to regain site after years of blindness). The article is here.

Then last night I saw Shooting Dogs, which is about Rwanda and was made in collaboration with survivors of the events the story is based on. I found myself being annoyed by the performances of the two central white men in it, whose "acting" seemed a bit out of place in a real (and horrible) story.

Prairie Home Companion, the screenplay of which was written by Garrison Keillor (hurrah). Very funny, and also good to see from a writer's perspective because of the Robert Altman "dialogue running across itself" thing. Also, check out the cast list. Yikes. Next was The Host, which I adored despite the fact that it had a huge monster in it that terrorised the public. Usually, I hate that crap. This one was Korean. Right up there with the Japanese, the Koreans. Completely hilarious and dangerously out of genre. Yay.

I am completely exhausted. Standing There Productions is taking next week OFF. Right off. No films, no meetings, no nothing. We won't know what to do with ourselves.