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Well, slap me with a haddock and call me Gerald! It's the last podcast from the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2009! Five films covered, with more dross than we're used to. Scott and Drew drop fact bombs on The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life, Wasted, The Calling, Jalainur and Wide Open Spaces.
A family comedodrama about momentous events in the lives of family members, The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life is fairly unremarkable but decent enough.
Wasted focuses on the lives of two young Scotch junkies and their immediate circle of, well, other junkies. Connor and Suzanne run away from their adoptive home at an early age for reasons that very, very gradually unfold through a series of flashbacks. This does not work out well for them. Wasted isn't a terrible film, but it's bleak, dispairing and largely pointless. It's not exactly shining a light on any problems that we aren't already well aware of, and it's not saying anything surprising or new about the standard issue junkie protagonists.
The story of The Calling, and I'm using the term fairly loosly, concerns a young student's attempts to get a convent to believe that her calling is indeed about devoting her life to God while everyone else attempts to convince her that she's batshit mental. Along the way we'll discover more about the characters of the convent, which is largely notable for containing characters with nothing of note about them. The performances vary between bland and terrible, many of the characters are vastly annoying cliches and those that aren't are simply vastly annoying and overall, next to nothing of any interest happens. Indeed, my abiding memory of this film will be a dull film featuring far too many shots of women crying while choir music plays.
Chinese outing Jalainur is also a film where net to nothing happens, but does it in a far more intriguing way. Concerning a retiring train engineer's friendship with his young apprentice and his retirement from the grim life in a mining village, returning back to more civilised lands and his daughter. With little dialogue and no fully elucidated character motivations, it relies on strong and beautiful cinematography to hold attention over the piece. I'll be damned if I can explain exactly why I liked it, but I did. So there.
Disappointingly, Wide Open Spaces proves to be a comedy that's not particularly funny. Which is a shame.
Our picks for the best of the fest are Mary and Max, Moon and Giallo, although the last one in that list is also eligible for the worst of the fest, which in out humble opinions are Harmony and Me, Follow The Master and Antichrist.
That's yer lot for now. We'll be back soon!