- Whale Rider - brilliant film, gorgeous cinematography, talented and personable cast (three of whom were present post-screening for a Q&A session). Got two standing ovations, if you like to use that as a gauge. Ultimately a very moving film that doesn't thump you over the head clumsily with the Moral Of The Story. Quite literally full of "real people" - the majority of the cast 'extras' are the local Maori whose legend informs the events. It's picked up awards at every prior festival where it has screened - if it doesn't get one of the Golden SpaceNeedles from SIFF I'll be very surprised.
- The Italian Job - not a SIFF film, but I caught this yesterday before the festival movie I was slated to watch. With four hours to kill, why not spend two of them in another film at the same venue? I have not seen the original movie of the same name, and didn't really get a chance to discuss reactions afterward with grouchychris who had, so I can't say how it compares, but I liked it. I got the impression that GC and faintheart certainly didn't hate it, but other than that, they'll have to speak for themselves. A good caper flick, nice performances turned in by all and sundry, and some really fun driving/chase scenes with the three Austin Minis.
- Minimal Stories - a perfectly adequite "slice of life" film about three people traveling long distances in Patagonia, Argentina for various personal reasons. None of them get what they are looking for, or at least what they think they are looking for; their lives don't even really overlap that much. I'm sure it would have stood out more if I'd seen it by itself rather than having to switch gears after the Italian Job.
I hope I'll be able to get a little more down later.