Here I am, still projecting at the Provincetown Film Fest. Provincetown is at the end of Cape Cod, the end of the world. It’s the most fun place anywhere.
Today I got to start the day right with HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE. It’s by the New Zealand Taika Waititi, who directed one of my fave movies last year, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS.
The film is about a tough-talking Maori orphan (age 10) who gets placed with new foster parents out in the middle of nowhere. You know how it goes – misfits come together and wind up forging important relationships and learning something about themselves. But then shit goes down and the kid and foster dad Sam Neill, a longtime fave o’mine, have to take to The Bush and hide out from the law. Comedy and tragedy ensue.
This movie went in some unexpected directions, and was really funny and sweet, but I have to say, I found myself frustrated that this is just another film about boys, and unnecessarily so. Why not make it about a girl orphan and her foster mom? So easy to change, but directors/producers/etc. just don’t do it. THING HAVE TO CHANGE! Take your kids to see it, but see WHALE RIDER too.
UNCLE HOWARD is a doc about the filmmaker Howard Brookner who died young, of AIDS. His nephew, who adored him as a kid, made this film. He spends the first hour, tracking down the outtakes for Brookner’s film school thesis film that became a feature, the documentary portrait BORROUGHS (1983). There’s a lot of great footage of William Borroughs, along with Jim Jarmush (who helped shoot that film). Young Jarmush with black hair is a sight to see. Someone says about Borroughs, “Uncle Bill was a Wasp – you never had farting rights.”
The film, like so many docs these days, is too long. I don’t know why people feel the need to make documentaries 90+ minutes, but usually an hour suffices. I think festivals need a film to be a certain length to be considered a feature, and I think’s it’s ruining movies. This is a film I enjoyed, but it should have been cut to an hour.
OUR KIND OF TRAITOR (Susanna White, 2016) had promising locales (Russia! Morocco! Switzerland!) and some hot actors – I’ll watch Stellan Skarsgård and Ewan McGregor in anything – but the MI6 guy, Damian Lewis, was a real pill throughout. The story just plodded along and got pretty boring pretty fast. There’s no worse sin than for a film to be boring, in my opinion. Often a dull film also makes me mad – what a stupid waste of money and talent and time a boring film is, after all.
Tomorrow is my final show day – 4 more movies including one I showed already and didn’t like – at least I’ll have a chance to finish reading my novel. Here’s hoping for more good films! Tune in tomorrow!