The busiest day of the festival drew more than the standard filmmakers, students and critics, as casual and curious fans showed up for some of the major screenings such as Flowers Of War starring Christian Bale and the outstanding documentary Corporate FM. Check back tomorrow for Trey Hock’s review of Flowers Of War, but in the meantime here’s what he had to say about La Mitad Del Mundo, a film that ended up much darker than it’s playful description and illustrated poster would have you believe:
La Mitad Del Mundo directed by Jaime Ruiz Ibanez
“La Mitad del Mundo is at times funny and at times very disturbing. It is the story of Mingo, a teen simpleton, in a small Mexican village. He delivers plucked chickens for his aging mother to people in town, but as his young sexuality develops he tries to find an outlet for his newly discovered desires. Though his film is a times tonally unbalanced, and the images and exposure are often poor, director Jaime Ruiz Ibanez shows us the awkward sexuality, brazen rape and abuse, and bald violence that can well up from our stifled desires, and gives us a solid mix of human and inhumane.”
You had me at “brazen rape,” Trey. In all seriousness, Mr. Hock isn’t the only person who has expressed concern over the tone and the unmet expectations the movie created. Friday was the only day that La Mitad Del Mundo screened, so if you saw and want to add your own two cents in the comments.
I was able to catch the excellent documentary Corporate FM and despite a compression error that caused the audio to cut out at various points during the screening, it was still an outstanding entry and a frontrunner for the Heartland Documentary prize, in my humble opinion. Formatting: Go!
Corporate FM directed by Kevin McKinney
Corporate FM is a local doc with national appeal and is definitely worthy of a wider audience. The film, as one might be able to deduce from its title, is about the corporate takeover of AM/FM radio in the aftermath of the 1997 Telecommunications Act, which basically gave companies like Clear Channel and Cumulus the green light to buy as many local stations as they could.
The film took McKinney and his crew more than half a decade to complete and the thoroughness shows. He talks to local and national DJs, musicians that have been helped by the pre-Telecomm airplay, station owners, economists and promoters. Unsurprisingly, the only voice that isn’t present in the documentary is the corporations themselves.
The end result is an impressive documentary that is principled, researched and moving without resorting to excessive emotional manipulation. McKinney and his crew should be proud.
So there you have it. We’ll have more from Trey and myself tomorrow when Trey discusses the Toronto International Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival shorts programs. I’ll have a write-up of Bucksville and even more.