Only made it to 3 Sundance movies all together this year. At least none of them were poo. Here’s what I saw last weekend.
King of Ping Pong (Ping Pong Kingen)A Swedish film about a chubby kid who domineers the ping pong club at the youth center, gets picked on at school, has a nutty mom and an absent deep sea diving dad, and sucks at driving stick. It was too weird for some in the audience. I enjoyed it, especially for the production design, but it did seem a bit lacking. The funny and touching moments were a bit too few and far between. But worth seeing if you like foreign and quirky.
Strangers Somehow all my screenings were foreign this year. No complaints. Strangers is an Israeli film and was my favorite of the bunch. It is the story of an Israeli man and Palestinian woman who meet by chance in Germany and the relationship that ensues. The interesting thing about this film, other than the politics inherent obviously, is that it was made without a script in “real time.” Meaning, the 2 actors got background information about their characters, there was somewhat of a treatment, but then they just filmed the actors around Berlin and let the story develop. The filmmakers were at the screening, and when they told us this, I was a bit worried. But my doubts were gone immediately when I saw the visual beauty of the film and heard the music. The film was expertly scored by Eyal Kazav in a traditional turned moody sort of way. I can’t find any of the music yet, but hopefully the soundtrack will come out. Politics stress me out, so the political backdrop and wartime events that occured at the time of filming that naturally became part of the film (that whole real time thing) could have kept me from getting into the movie, but the truth was far from it. Rather, the focus was on telling a love story and there was no message of bias. Oh and another great thing about it, the actors are gorgy. Liron Levo was there at the screening and afterwards there was a throng of women wanting to take their picture with him and I didn’t blame them. But I took my shot from afar.