Edfilmfest 2018 - part 2

Posted on: 03 Jul 2018 by Philip Wyn Jones

Click here to read part one.

7: The Parting Glass (Stephen Moyer, USA, 95 minutes). This had the potential to be a good film. Relatives gather in advance of a family funeral. A young family member has died in unclear circumstances although suicide seems to be a distinct possibility. Opinions differ. There are flashes of humour but also bitter recriminations. What went wrong with this film? Simply, the screenwriter is also the alleged star. This creates an irritating ‘look at me’ atmosphere which extends to several other actors. They work hard but fail to create credible characters and seem to be showing off.

8: Ideal Home (Andrew Fleming, USA, 91 minutes). This delightful comedy has an unexpected opening sequence. I thought I’d wandered into the wrong cinema! It does, however, make sense. A young  boy, quite a handful, is virtually fatherless and seeks out his grandfather. He is part of a bickering gay couple on the edges of showbiz. Steve Coogan is the grandfather and one of my favourite actors, Paul Rudd, is his partner. Caring for the lad and keeping their careers on the boil is far from easy. Seeing the trouble they get into provides lots of guilty fun for the audience. 

9: Piripkura (pictured, Mariana Oliva, Renata Terra, Bruno Jorge, Brazil, 114 minutes). This fascinating documentary takes us deep into the Brazilian rain forests. As farmers and timber merchants continue to ‘develop’ the region the indigenous population needs protection. There are three known survivors of the Piripkura people. Two of them live in the rain forest. We join two expeditions  to locate these people. If they can be found and are safe and well, the area keeps its protected status. Success! Two little men, an uncle and his nephew, are found and they prove to be lovely people who are great company, briefly, before they disappear once again.

10: Several Conversations About a Very Tall Girl (Bogdan Theodor Olteanu, Romania, 70 minutes). Two young women get in touch on line and do exactly what the title says. They meet and there’s also some socialising with other people. The two girls, both well acted, couldn’t be more different but a relationship may be on the cards if they could just relax.

11: Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back) (Tom Edmunds, UK, 101 minute). Black comedy is a difficult genre to bring off successfully but this film does so brilliantly. Young William (Aneurin Barnard) is fed up with life. For one thing, no-one will publish his novel about suicide. He’s tried to take his own life many times but something always goes wrong at the last minute. While trying to drown himself in the Thames he’s offered help by a softly spoken gentleman (the great Tom Wilkinson). Then the fun begins, but is this professional assassin really up to it? Visually and verbally, this film is a treat but stay watching right to the very end.

12: Wild Nights with Emily (Madeleine Olnek, USA, 84 minutes).With a pleasing sense of humour, this feature sheds new light on the life and work of American poet Emily Dickinson. We learn that very few of her poems were published during her lifetime and that, without her permission, they were all given titles. In general, publishers treated her with great disdain or were terribly patronising. In her private life she was a very active lesbian and this is reflected in the countless love letters she wrote. After her death these were published in a censored form with names deleted. Using infra- red technology these names can now be revealed.

Click here to read part 3

Philip Wyn Jones

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