Leeds Film Festival 2009 - Day 13

2 films is enough for today :)

(S Kor) (this trailer makes it look like a serious film, but it isn't)

The quiet countryside of San-mae is known as 'a crimeless village'. This is good, since the trio of policemen in charge of it, (headed by clumsy, greedy idiot Captain Yoo) are next to useless. However, it's neighbouring fields become home to a beast with a taste for human flesh. At about the same time as the first disappearances are being noticed, Kim, an ex-officer in Seoul gets re-posted with his pregnant wife and insane mother to the village. There, he meets with a mad woman who latches onto any stray child and insists that she is their mother, and you don't want to disagree either. There is also a pair of curious backpackers, a couple of scientists on the lookout for this strange beast in case it's a new species, Mr. Chun, an elderly game hunter, recently met back up with the famous TV hunting celebrity Baek, who for good measure has brought along a couple of beefcake 'Finnish' men (even though they sound like Americans).

A fair old cast, some of whom are picked off by the beast and some make it to the ending. It's thus a typical Predator-style movie, but with an eastern twist, which in this case is a bit of slapstick overacting and a couple of comic situations that were genuinely funny. It did manage to hold my attention all the way through, and as well as the laughs, there were some genuinely heart-racing moments, particularly with the final hunt through an abandoned factory. You could do worse. 7/10

(Nor) (trailer)

High up in a Finnish ski resort, ex-skier Jomar sits in his cabin watching TV, only getting out of bed when he must to buy more alcohol and antidepressants, sort out the ski lifts, or help people with equipment and passes. After a nervous breakdown, his wife Linnea left him and moved to another town with Lasse, his one-time best friend. When Lasse returns one day out of the blue and tells him he has a 4-year old son, a desire burns within to travel north to see him, but fighting with his agoraphobia, he does nothing. Unfortunately, he burns the house down and with only a handful of tablets and booze, he decides to set off north on his snowmobile, not really knowing whether he will make it, where he is going, or whether he wants to get there anyway.

On the way, Jomar meets with a few isolated inhabitants of the harsh wilderness, where blizzards sting the face and snowblindness is easy to catch. He spends a night in the cupboard of a young girl, another one with a deeply suspicious guy who has the secret to getting wasted on only a drop or two of alcohol, and a lonely man in a wigwam chained to a skidoo. Each encounter boots him a little further across the countryside, sometimes because of a shared, positive experience with the people he meets, or more often because things go horribly wrong and he has to leave quickly.

North is a very simple film, it's very funny in places, quiet and relaxing in others, although the ending may feel a little flat to some, it was still a good experience. 7.5/10

Film Count: 141/150

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