As my brother – a man who can be relied upon to trot out business aphorisms on a whim – likes to remind me: if you keep going the way you’re going, eventually you’ll get there. I prefer the following much less succinct and much less successful metaphor: if, in a subconscious agreement with yourself, you said you were going to let the bus crash, then you can’t say – when it crashes – why did the fucking bus crash?. It needs work, I admit.
I hope some of you got to attend the Glasgow Film Festival. I didn’t get to see all I wanted, but I made it along to 3 films.
The Swell Season is a b/w documentary about Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, best known for starring in the Oscar-winning film Once (and is also the name of their spin-off band). Hansard seems to have exactly the same facial expressions, delivery and range in real-life as he has in a fictional context, which took a little adjusting to, but he comes across like a decent enough bloke, and while the brand of hyper-earnest, intimate songmanship won’t be to everyone’s taste, there’s plenty here to like. Not least the story of Hansard and Irglova’s falling in-and-out of love as the pressures of fame build. I was not convinced of the need for subtitles when his mother and father are speaking however, especially when Damien Dempsey escapes such denigration.
Superclasico is a straight up-and-down comic drama about a man in the aftermath of a relationship breakup who travels to Argentina with his diffident teenage son to try to win his wife back. The humour is middle of the road, and the story a little ludicrous, but there’s a couple of familiar Danish faces in Paprika Steen and Anders Berthelsen, who kept intact my sympathy for the characters. A very, very easy hour and a half spent.
Lastly, the festival closer, Le Havre, is the latest film from Aki Kaurismaki (think I have the name right). I didn’t know this directors work beforehand, but I’m likely to seek it out now. It’s a lovely story, shaped uniquely by Kaurismaki’s deliberately limited palette of lighting, colour and choice of shot. The deadpan dialogue doesn’t grate, and at times is hilariously absurd. Uplifting, attractive filmmaking.