Review: Iris Prize Festival - Day #2 @ Cardiff Cineworld
The combination of an iPad in need of repair, editors on leave [respectively] and illness have resulted in delays in my reviews for this year's Iris Prize. So, back to it.
In a press screening of Eastern Boys (pictured), we were presented with a film that deals with immigration, love and lust. Spotting young Malek from Ukraine in a Paris train station, Daniel agrees to meet up with him for a fling. Only Daniel has been tricked by Malick's posey and his flat is gutted of furniture and the rest. Yet young Malick returns time after time to see Daniel, as an intense relationship forms. Dealing with its subjects in a very sensitive and considerate way, Robin Campillo's film thriller has much to say on the treatment of those from other lands.
Then on to another feature: The Bubble. This was on of Iris first features back in 2007 and was a telling statement of Israel's presence till now. What starts off as a harrowing depiction of a women's miscarriage at an Israeli checkpoint is then a snapshot of three young people in Tel Aviv (Noam, a solider, saw this happen). Noam falls in love with Yali, a Palestinian. With other friends, they experience the highs and lows of the predicament that the two states experience. For the most part, this is a slice of youthful Tel Aviv, whilst the ending in which Yali battles makes a decision to become a suicide bomber is totally heart-destroying. I left the cinema quite upset.
As for the shorts seen today, programme two had an interesting lot. Novena from Ireland took footage from a speech made by two locales in Dundalk to address the concerns of homophobia and discrimination seen in the Catholic church in general. It's inspiring to see an audience who, at first, looked vacant, but we're full of praise (pun intend) in support of the speakers and for the LGBT+ community.
Another Israeli film, End of Season Sale dealt with the remarkable nature of the elder generation of gay men. A scene with a young gay couple gawping at the elder character in blank faces spoke volumes. One More Night by Jeff Woodward had little going for it, in it's stance on a lesbian couple, one leaving to move one to another relationship. Filmed almost like a home movie, it never captured anything more than a fleeting glance of a couple who had lost their spark.
Gleisdreieck was a German short about a lady's two journeys to see different people. There is tenderness here, but I guess we, as an audience, have to decide who is who and what is what. I mistook the lady as having an affair! So, I was a bit off there. The last short here, Disaster Preparedness, saw an American lesbian couple deal with a storm as one is accepted to university and the discussion over whether to drink bath water looms. This snappy little short was immensely pleasant and had that American charm and slight silliness we can all relate to.
I would not be seeing anymore films till the next day. Elaine Paige called, as it was her final show.
Eastern Boys Rating: 8/10
The Bubble: 7/10
2nd Shorts Programme: 7/10
Favourite Short of the Day: Disaster Preparedness
Overall Rating: 7/10
*James' (WeepingTudor) latest film, For Max: The Love of a Contortionist, is on YouTube now (contains some mild language and adult themes).
Want to win a Sprout T-shirt? Fill in theSprout Satisfaction Survey!