Film Festival: Mongol and Silent Resident

I went back to Toronto Saturday, hoping I’d get a chance to go to the sci-fi book sale at the Toronto Research Library with Rin, but ended up miscalculating a bunch of things falling behind so late that I had to miss out on that and head to the theatre to find Kyle. Rin was nice, though, and did my shopping for me, including picking up some of the late Madeleine L’engle’s‘s books.

Mongol (trailer): Kyle calls it “Young Ghengis in Love,” which is pretty apt. I had a hard time figuring out what this movie was trying to be. Bits of the first half reminded me strongly of Atanarjuat (Young Ghengis spends a lot of time running across the Mongolian steppes). The ending features a cool, epic, cast-of-thousands type of battle oh so popular these days (although the gathering of that military strength is largely glossed over). There’s a kinda kung fu revenge story going on (without the kung fu). And, of course, there’s the love story between Ghengis and his wife, who he doesn’t actually see very often and who usually ends up bearing other peoples’ children. Odd, unconventional, but still worth watching, I think. It’s a bit of a mishmash, but the way it plays out is still pretty satisfying.

Kyle and I ended up having dinner at Little India on Queen Street. Probably the best butter chicken I’ve ever had. I ate too much.

Silent Resident (website): This movie made no sense. Perhaps it might make more sense if most of the important exposition wasn’t written in white subtitles on a white background, but I get the feeling fixing that wouldn’t help much. It reminded me of the 1987 Doctor Who episode Paradise Towers, although a little bit of cannibalism might have livened it up a little.

It’s a descent into madness story set in a near future fallen utopia. There are some distinctly weird bits, but it spends more time being brooding and not enough time being weird. I could probably forgive it for not making sense if they cranked up the weird a bit more.

Some good points, though: the setting was really cool. It was filmed in a real, honest-to-goodness utopian socialist housing complex in Austria. It was built in the 80s, proving that even in the future we will still have ugly bathroom tiles. That gave the movie a lot more authenticity than if they tried to build their own CG thing or something. Also on the good side, there was lots of boobies. Yes, I said it.