A strenuous day 2 began with the harmless "Machete", Robert Rodriguez's latest idea for a movie, adapted from the spoof Grindhouse trailer of the same name. While occasionally hilarious the film is a strong rival to "The Expendables", in that its fatefully lazy plotting emphasises both the good and bad of its manic tone.
My second viewing was altogether different, the tender Italian film "Dark Love", about a girl who is gang-raped and her psychological post-struggle, as well as the struggle of one her incarcerated assailants to cope with what he has done. Director Antonio Capuano deals with the subject modestly, and successfully avoids any offensive contrivances.
I then made a brief return to my hotel room to freshen up before the evening's double-screening of Julian Schnabel's "Miral", and Anh Hung Tran's "Norweigan Wood". The former constantly frustrated me with its tepid approach to a heavy subject matter, and a wildly miguided narrative structure. By contrast, "Norweigan Wood" is a much more sincere, gripping take on adolescence, as well as being profoundly beautiful. While it gets a tad bogged down in repetitive teenage exchanges about love, and depicts an over-reliance upon sex as a cure for solitude, it proves remarkably fruitful on an emotional level.
Coming Up: A Review of "Miral"