Sunday, October 26, 2008

Other AFF Films

In addition to Death In Love, I also suggest folks check out the opposite end of the spectrum: the comedies Role Models and Summerhood. David Wain's Role Models is wide release, starring Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott, and will be very easy for you to find at a multiplex near you. On the other hand Jacob Medjuck's summer camp flick Summerhood is, like Boaz Yakin's Death In Love, still on the festival circuit and may require some seeking-out. Please support the little guy and make the effort, for both Death In Love and Summerhood. Indie filmmaking depends on you, the audience.

Another AFF film I liked was Paul Schrader's Adam, Resurrected. For a while, I was completely engrossed by this story of a circus performer concentration camp survivor, and if it weren't for some peculiar (and, I'd say, somewhat unsuccessful) choices made by director Schrader in the last 15-20 minutes of the film, I'd recommend it unreservedly. As it is, it is a very interesting piece that's still really worth watching, and perhaps you won't be popped out of the film at the end like I was.

There were also some really fun short comedies that I wholeheartedly enjoyed: The Miracle Investigators, Below The Law, Easy Pickin$, Richard Cocksmith And The Above Ground Pool, and The Universe Connection. Any of these are worth checking out, though the first three may be funnier to more people than the quirkier humor of the last two. My own experiences trying to simulate a 50's look in Drake Tungsten give me a special fondness for The Miracle Investigators, which is brilliant straight-faced comedy that hits a period look (the 70's) with great success.

Oliver Stone's W was probably his best film since Natural Born Killers, but like NBK, I can't unreservedly recommend W. It is interesting, and both Josh Brolin and James Cromwell do a good job (as do Jeffrey Wright as Powell and Richard Dreyfuss as Cheney). However, the film isn't anything we haven't already heard, and the emotional hooks aren't deep enough. It's still worth a viewing either if you're a Stone fan or you're into biopics, but I'm not convinced it's as important a film as Stone was probably hoping for.