Festival Watch 2006

Festival Watch 2006: Day Ten

It's all over.

So the screenings are all done, the celebrities are leaving town, and all the exhausted festival-junkies are waking up to the fact that they've missed a whole lot of work during the ten days of vacation they took to watch movies.

The awards have been handed out, the tired volunteers are going home to take a much-needed nap, and I'm here to make a confession: I haven't reviewed every movie I watched during the festival. It just got a little too tiring to write a review on every single film I watched, so I only focused on the films that I thought I could quickly and adequately write about.

In an effort to make up for all of that, here's a look at some of the films I saw this festival and a brief line or two as to what I thought of them:

Fido: This Canadian film will appeal to all those fans of the zombie comedy, but it still doesn't come close to achieving the skill of Shaun of the Dead.

Mercy: Taebi's magical film is endearing, but falls short of being truly engaging.

Bella: People's Choice Award winner Bella is an excellent exercise in story-telling, with the flashbacks fitting quite well in the powerful narrative.

Summer Palace: Interweaving sexual exploration with social commentary, Ye Lou has crafted quite the controversial but engaging film.

Maati Maay: Not a typical South Asian film, Prevakal's film is an interesting take on the story within a story theme, and features a brilliant performance by Nandita Das.

Penelope: Reese Witherspoon and Christina Ricci share a wonderful on-screen relationship in this exciting fairy-tale.

Princess: It's not everyday that you see an animated film that deals with the porn industry so well: one of my festival highlights.

Kabul Express: Exemplifies everything that is wrong with big-budget Bollywood. There is very little redeeming about this shallow and uninteresting film

Shortbus: Sex. Lots and lots of sex. And intriguing as it is for John Cameron Mitchell to use sex as a narrative device, this is no Hedwig and the Angry Itch.

Takva: Erkan Can's performance in this film is nothing short of brilliant, and the film itself is a bright spot among many forgettable films at the festival.


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