Tuesday, 18 August 2009

A second weekend of AWESOME-NESS. Day Three

Day Three. The final day of the festival and check out day at Dark Water hotel. I'd survived.

There was a winding down feeling on this day and not so many Q&A's for the films. Also the schedule was catching up with me so I was tired. I'd also only had an ice cream for my dinner the night before.

We checked out of the hotel but Deckard must have got Jens as she was nowhere. Instead was a woman, who I'm sure didn't actually work there, especially as she asked us for a rating of our stay, maybe she knew about the Dark Water stains. Anyway, under pressure we gave a good rating. She didn't make a note of this, maybe she was just interested. Maybe she knew something we didn't. We handed over the key and left the Dark Water room to take its next victim.

Breakfast time once again. No one joined us today so we took the time to fill out the feedback questionnaires. First on the bill was Dogs of Chinatown. This film had some of the same people in from Contour, which was shown at last years festival. The fights were good, but it suffered from the criminal element. It's hard to feel sympathy for criminals. also there was a good visual style at the beginning, which returned at the end, but was lost in the middle. Still, it entertained with fighting.

Following this was The Assessment. A horror film, similar to Severance. It also starred the awesomely named Keith Blaser. Anyway, it was a bit dragged out, with a lot of moaning of what to do in the middle by the characters. There was a good lake death towards the end, but it's nothing special.

The Bodyguard: A New Beginning was up next, a film by Chee Keong Cheung. Filmed in both Hong Kong and London, once again it had good fights, especially a good chase scene through a shopping mall. It does suffer from the sympathetic criminal though. Rival triad bosses going after each others daughters for revenge of some kind. I didn't quite follow the reasoning behind it, but you stopped caring. Action was good though, and the Hong Kong setting gave the film a higher visual dynamic. Chee gave a Q&A after the film with actor/fighter Mark Strange which was interesting, especially the stories surrounding Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.

We then said our goodbyes before attending the final film, Underground, again by Chee Keong Cheung. This is basically a tournament film. And that's it. A string of fights, good fights but towards the end you didn't really care. And that's about it. It stars Danny John-Jules as a shady businessman type and Mark Strange as a homeless fighter. It could have done with a more developed storyline between the fighters, but the choreography was good.

And then we ran away in order to get our train home. So we began the long drawn out wait for trains. Sunday travel is never good. But eventually we made out connections and arrived safe and sound, back in reality of day to day life.

In summary it really was an awesome weekend. Great films and cool Q&As. It was disappointing that the attendance wasn't larger. I'm not sure why the turnout wasn't greater, you;d think the guest speakers would have got some attention. I just can't help thinking that Swindon isn't the best place for a film festival. However, I'm glad I attended, as I said at the beginning of this three post adventure I doubt it will be topped in the near future.

Now I really should get back to making music videos and stuff.

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