When Terenci Moix – a Spanish writer obsessed with Egypt’s Pharaohs and mythology, and who died a few years ago- used to live in London as a youngster in the 60’s, he lost quite a few jobs because of attending movie festivals. He just neglected his pecuniary duties to attend those orgies of culture in the capital of European pop culture and rain.
It’s not that I am going to lose my job to an International Student Film Festival, although after going to the movies 4 days in a row, my social life and some grading duties were put a little bit aside.
Last week, young directors from Japan, Germany, Austria, Korea, China, etc. got together at Kyoto Cinema, in downtown Kyoto, to show mostly their graduation work in the form of short and not so short films. In spite of the high quality of the films and the cheap fare of the ticket –hardly 500 yen per movie o 2000 for the one-week festival- the movie theatre was almost empty most of the days, which is a shame, taking into account that Kyoto has a student population of 200.000 souls.
Here are the movies I saw:
The grandfather: my favourite one, and old man full of knowledge and life experiences transmitting his hallucinogenic ideas to a devoted grandson. The grandfather we all wish we had had.
Evil in daily life (日常の悪魔): the suggesting bildungs roman story of a teenager who finds out how she can make use of her body to achieve her objectives (towards her homeroom teacher!). Her last words in the 29 minute-short movie are “今世界は私のものです” (“Now, the world is mine”). Scary (for home-room teachers).
Martina and the moon: The only Spanish movie, an incest story, told in a fairy-tale fashion.
Etude: Passion and obsession for piano music and dance. The story of two neighbours that only meet by exchanges of sheet music but decline to meet in person for not to deceive their own ideal images of one another. Very Japanese.
Schautag: playing with time, characters who happen to be ghosts, and the concept of guilt for a childhood fatal sin: the closest to a horror movie in the festival, quite good.
Which one is your last memory (ラストメモリー): a very reliable depiction of Japanese college students and their childish talks and dull lives, but which turns into an unforeseeable SF ending.
Baby complex: when a Japanese woman decides to have a baby, there is no obstacle big enough for her, even if she has to convert her husband into one. The main actress’ performance is praiseworthy: I had a nightmare two days afterwards with her “Yuuuuuuuchan” screams and her psychotic behaviour.
Pal: a technically-failed but original story of a young tranvestite, a dull but kawaii girl, and her obsessive-compulsive and mentally-ill panties-eater stalker.
From Kyoto, good luck to Nikias and Christoph, the German and Austrian young directors I met in the festival, now in their respective countries working in their new projects.