Vivid & Sydney Film Festival 2010
I hope you all stayed up late waiting for this. It was a late night. And I must say that tonight Rage is playing the worst music I’ve heard in ages (apart from the stuff after 5.30 am). Terrible guest programming.
So tonight I went out to two flicks at the 2010 Sydney Film Festival. Firstly there was the Australian premier of The Tree at the State Theatre. It is a decent film about loss, grief, imagination, families and country Queensland. As I’ve recently lost my brother in an accident it was all a bit close to the bone for me. Everyone is going to say it is beautiful, poetic and lyrical, but I’m not so sure. There was a lot I liked, but overall, I don’t think it grabbed me or convinced me. Sorry.
After that we walked down Macquarie Street to look at all the Vivid lights and then entered the Sydney Opera House for Nosferatu with Darth Vargus. The band and score were excellent as were the sound effects by Miss Death. Jamie Leonarder’s introduction just went on for too long. And for me the film is just pretty corny. It may well be historically significant, but I’m glad we didn’t have to sit through it without the amusing live soundtrack. Even so I fell asleep a number of times.
I have to add that the seats in both venues were excellent and I had heaps of leg room. You cannot say that about all film venues in Sydney, especially some old cinemas in Oxford St.
I thought of you as I watched The Tree. I recall seeing Million Dollar Baby a couple of weeks after dad died – I actually had to walk out in the middle for a while – it was too much for me. I liked The Tree, had a nice feel to it, and wasn't sickly as I half expected from the blurb.
What you are saying about the Tree (which I obviously haven't seen) is so true of many films and our reactions to them. Our reactions are often very personal and affected by our personal experiences and how we are feeling etc at time. I remember seeing a film at MIFF a few years ago (unfortunately the name escapes me though I remember the film vividly). People I spoke to fell into two camps: those who thought it wonderful and those who didn't. As a lot of the film was about the protagonist's reaction to a cancer diagnosis, those of us who have experienced a cancer diagnosis thought it was spot on and a great depiction of someone's reaction. Those who had not been there seemed not to get. The female director had been diagnosed with cancer herself and it showed.
Yes, on a personal level I did identify with the somewhat illogical nature of grief portrayed very well in the film, but the reason it lost me is more about its failure to develop some characters well enough (why include them?) and a few times where I think it went off on tangents, but I guess that is life really. It is a good film and maybe I'm just being picky.
I think that's the point of offering a critical opinion – picking out the bits that didn't work for you so others can consider it. Keep it up.