VIFF 2011 Reviews: Crime after Crime; Patang; Letters from the Big Man.

And the winner today is . . .

Crime after Crime. USA 92 min.

A nightmare of a gift for director Yoav Potash, who starts out naively following the efforts of two lawyers out to secure the release of a woman jailed for life for killing her abusive husband. Since Deborah Peagler has served 20 years based on shaky evidence, the case seems to be open and shut. But the parole board, the courts and especially the Los Angeles prosecutors’ office seem determined to ignore fresh evidence and keep Peagler locked up. The fight stretches on for six years until an aging Peagler contracts terminal lung cancer. The final scenes jerk tears.

Summary: An account of official duplicity that calls for redress. See this one.

Patang. India, 93 min.

Family politics interwoven with a kite festival. It was not the film’s fault, but I dozed off and all I remember is the kite competition in which the contestants try to bring down each others’ kites. I found it slightly more interesting than basketball.
Letters from the Big Man. USA, 115 min.

A 200-kilogram sasquatch stalks a female park ranger in the Oregon wilderness. As she gradually becomes aware of its hidden presence, we begin to wonder exactly what it wants from her. The answer provided by the film is (naturally) shrouded in cryptic mysticism. Unintentionally, this film points up the absurdity of cryptozoological claims that bands of hairy hominids inhabit the North American wilderness. Note — this is not a fright film; no shocks, no violence.

Summary: Not for those with a sense of reality. Great scenery.

About aharmlessdrudge

Way back during the late Bronze age -- actually it was the 1950s -- all of us in high school had to take a vocational test to determine our interests and, supposedly, our future careers. I cannot remember the outcome, but I do recall one question that gave me pause. "If you were to win a Nobel prize, would it be in literature or in physics?" I hesitated over the question: although I enjoyed mathematics and science more than English class, I did have a couple of unfinished (and very bad) novels hidden away at home. I cannot remember what I chose back then, but the dilemma followed me to university, where I switched from mathematics to English and -- after a five-year stint in journalism -- back to mathematics. I recently retired as a professor of statistics. Retirement. What a good chance to revive my literary ambitions. I have finished a novel -- more about that in good time -- and a rubble of drafts of articles about mathematics and statistics is taking up space on my hard disk.
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