Into the final week and fitting films in around the Animated Shorts and Leaf Label Night where I finally got to see The Red Balloon and Un chien Andalou, which I hadn’t ever realised was only a short but was remarkable especially for the time it was made. Monday was Wrinkles a animated Spanish film which told a moving story in an entertaining way. Three longer shorts made up The Fourth Dimension which started with a great performance and song from Val Kilmer in Harmony Korine’s Lotus Community Workshop, a solid segment in Chronoeye but led down by meandering hipsters in Fawns.
Persistence Of Vision was another documentary which told a really interesting (and completely unknown to me) story but didn’t much to impress as a documentary and had the weird side-effect of making me want to track down and watch what looks like a truly terribly film. Alois Nebel was another film I’d wanted to see based on the visual style in the trailer and unfortunately that style remained the only thing that kept me interested, perhaps it was tiredness but I couldn’t get involved in the story and was pleased when it came to an end. I also struggled with Uncle Vanya, I was really impressed with the opening and switching of styles but once again tiredness got the better of me and I lost interest.
It’s fairly safe to say I only bought a ticket to see Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope to fill the gap before 2001, so it was a bit annoying when a repeat of the one film I really wanted but had failed to see, Beauty Is Embarrassing was scheduled against it. It all worked out good in the end because Comic-Con… was one of the best films of the festival. Incredibly well made, laugh out loud funny, fascinated stories held together with common theme, edge of your seat tension and tears. I thought I may be alone in my high praise of the film (after all who cares about a bunch of comic geeks) but it came 6th in the Audience Award results.
I was worried about seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey but also excited because surely this is a film that has to be seen on a cinema screen. I remember forcing myself to watch the film as a teenager and it taking several attempts to make it all the way through. Trapped in a cinema I knew I’d have to sit through it all and was worried if it would be too much hard work at the end of a two week festival. It turned out I needn’t have worried, it really is an amazing film and only let down by a saggy middle part. If I were to sum it up I’d say that all the dialogue that doesn’t feature HAL doesn’t work or at least those are the scenes which have dated badly.
A repeat screening of Wolf Children at Saturday lunchtime was a welcomed delight and another great film which I thought was much better than The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars. I’d calculated at this point I’d been to 39 screenings and so it seemed rude not to try and squeeze in one more. The sensible option was to stay at Hyde Park for The Story of Asya Klyachina although I was tempted to come back for the Creatures Of The Night Buttgereit double bill, both had the director attending which is something that had been lacking from this festival. Wine got the better of me and I never made it back for the late night screenings so Asya Klyachina became my 40th and final screening. It was great to have Andrei Konchalovsky introduce the film and come back for a Q&A, even if he didn’t seem too keen to answer questions and made a swift exit.
All the films I saw at LIFF26 are logged and listed on letterboxd and I love the site so expect to continue logging all my films there (and hopefully integrate or replace my Film Diary. It’s been nearly a week since I watched a film and this feels strange.