LIFF 2012 Day 4

Aaltra (Bel/Fra) (wiki)

This very minimal film drips with a Belgian style of humour from the outset.  No-one has a name.  Pedestrian scenes are infiltrated with absurdities, and the entire thing is shot in grainy black and white.

Right, well now most people have moved on, but those that stay to read the rest, this is actually a pretty good film.  A greedy, lazy farmworker makes his days pass a little better by constantly getting in the way of  a stressed out office worker.  When his ant bullying causes the employee to lose it, they both end up paying the price when the piece of farm machinery he was working on clobbers them both, confining them to wheelchairs.

Somehow unable to shake each other off, the farmer has a plan - get to Finland and sue the manufacturers for all they have, but when their money gets stolen their only hope on getting there is to make the most of their disability and the patience and goodwill of those they meet along the way.

Aaltra begins slow but the story, and the laughs pick up as the road movie section of the film begins proper.  As mentioned, some of the humour is of a very Belgian flavour.  In one example, two ambulance workers sit at a bar.  For several minutes one talks to the other about what car he should have bought, and then partway through a hand reaches up from beneath the bar and takes a sip of a pint.  No explanation is given and no-one in the scene acknowledges it happening.  It shouldn't be funny, but it is.

Arthouse comedy sounds a bit pretentious and is probably unfair, but without wishing to put anyone off, that's the most accurate description that comes to mind.  If it comes your way, go see it with a pinch of patience and an open mind; you can have a good laugh or two with it. 7/10

Bonus: WTF?

The Art of Negative Thinking (Nor) (wiki)

This was a big hit at LIFF 2010, and since it was being re-shown, and there was nothing else on, I introduced it to Ms. Plants.  It was just as enjoyable as it was two years ago (although the print had aged some by this point). 8/10

No comments: