AFI FEST 2012: Day 1
This will be my third year attending the AFI FEST PRESENTED BY AUDI. It’s been quite an interesting ride up to this point and I’ve seen some truly fun and amazing films. Ben Wheatley’s Kill List was quite the pleasant surprise last year, as was Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber the year before. I was introduced to the lovely filmmaker Hong Sang-soo by way of his film HaHaHa and then a year later with The Day He Arrives. Got a look into Norwegian crime with Headhunters and was wooed by the smooth melodies of Café de flore. It was also at this festival that I saw Melancholia as well as the US Premiere of The Adventures of Tin Tin. Like I said, quite the experience!
A big staple of this festival is that all of the screenings are free. You just go online and reserve the screenings you want and then grab the tickets that day. If you miss out on getting your tickets there’s no need to panic. Just hop into the rush line and try to get in that way. The first year I attended I got into every screening I rushed. I even managed to nab the aforementioned screening of Tin Tin that way. Basically, there’s no excuse – other than not being in LA – to miss out on this festival!
Enough with the advertising! It’s time to talk film. Specifically, it’s time to talk about where the films of this year’s AFI Fest rank on my Flickchart. Let’s start with my first day at the fest!
Gilles is a young revolutionary in 1971 Paris, only he and his cohorts haven’t quite caught on to the fact that the revolution is winding down. He and his friends escape to Italy for a summer to discuss their ideals and plans for the future. Along the way he finds a muse in Christine, and together they reconcile growing up with their political ideals.
How It Entered My Flickchart
2. vs. The Master – Neither of these films have much in the way of plotting, so you have to compare the acting on display. That means The Master wins by a landslide.
3. vs. Eurotrip – Comparing these two films is like deciding between a steak meal and a bag of skittles, where Après mai is the steak. I’m going with the film that I can really sink my teeth into.
5. vs. Father of the Bride – I have a soft spot in my chest for this Father of the Bride, and since I’m eventually going to BE a father of the bride, this wins out. May not be the best way to pick a winner, but I’m sticking with it.
6. vs. Wrong Turn – Remember my food analogy above? Well, Wrong Turn is candy corn, and candy corn is just…there. I’m still going for the steak.
7. vs. Stand and Deliver – Edward James Olmos wins this round with the stronger film in regards to unruly youth.
8. vs. This is Not A Film – Both of these films deal with pivotal times, but This is Not A Film is just a bit meatier. Although it’s tough to rank a loose memoir against a documentary.
10. vs. Timecrimes – Time travel wins in this matchup. It also wins in most cases…
11. vs. Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey – …except for this one.
Après mai entered my Flickchart at #415 of 1403 movies. It also entered my 2012 AFI Film Fest chart at #2.
Dolph wakes up one morning to the terrible realization that his best friend in the entire world has gone missing. His best friend is Paul, his dog. This aggressively absurdist film is the follow-up to Quentin Dupieux’s critical favoriteRubberand features a wild cast of crazies that make you question what is real and if it ever truly matters.
How It Entered My Flickchart
1. vs. The Bourne Legacy – A film right up my humor alley versus a stale sequel? Yeah, Wrong wins it.
2. vs. The Master – As much as I liked the acting on display in The Master, I enjoyed the absurdity of Wrong more. Just a personal bias, but I get more out of unapologetic wackiness than I do from acting showcases. Then again, maybe I just haven’t consumed enough of the P.T. Anderson milkshake yet.
4. vs. Midnight in Paris – I like Woody Allen films quite a bit, and this one is charming. It wins out, but maybe not by much. This was a tougher decision than anticipated.
5. vs. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – I was surprisingly pleased with Lemony Snicket when I saw it in the theater. Some delightful acting and direction. Still, the wackiness in this just doesn’t stack up against the “no reason” coda that Dupieux employs with Wrong.
6. vs. Ben-Hur – Wrong just doesn’t hold a candle to this epic.
7. vs. The Patriot – I remember enjoying this patriotic action romp, but not much else. The film doesn’t have quite the memorable moments that Wrong does and certainly isn’t as daring in its execution.
8. vs. George of the Jungle – Two wacky films go into the Thunderdome, only one emerges victorious. Which one is it?Dupieux’s Wrong wins by a rainy office.
9. vs. Romancing the Stone – I feel like a broken record at this point, saying that a film just didn’t “stick” with me as much as Wrong has, but it’s true. Rubber was this way too. There’s a unique signature to Dupieux’s films that just doesn’t exist in Romancing.
10. vs. Hard Boiled – Honestly, the single-take tracking shot in the third act of Hard Boiled is what wins against Wrong here.
Wrong entered my Flickchart at #292 of 1403 movies. It also entered my 2012 AFI Film Fest chart at #1.
Stay tuned. There’s more films to come and more rankings to be had!