VIFF 2011 Reviews: Circumstance; Pure; Corpus Celeste; A Simple Life.

Monday, October 3.

None that rate my must-see list today.

Circumstance. Iran, 106 min.

Like most horror films, Circumstance begins with real, banal, life. Atafeh, teen daughter of a wealthy non-religious Iranian family, enjoys fast cars, loud music and the caresses of her girl friend, Shireen. But her comfortable circumstance is disrupted when her druggie brother Mehran returns home with a new high — religion. Gradually, Mehran’s fresh obsession insinuates itself into the family: the father at first permits his son to perform regular prayers, then joins him in the ritual. The horror reaches its climax when Mehran announces his intention to marry Shireen. Although the drama is set in Islamic Iran, there’s a warning here for Westerners, potential victims of creeping Christianity.
Pure. Sweden. 101 min.

Adolescent girl becomes a symphony groupie. Conductor seduces her. The orchestra plays Mozart’s Requiem. Hi-jinks ensue.

Corpus Celeste. Italy, 98 min.

While Circumstance presents the menacing face of religion, Corpus Celeste celebrates its absurdities. The central character, 14-year-old Marta, not only has to endure the ravages of adolescence, she also has to take classes leading to her confirmation. The local priest plots the theft of a life-sized crucifix from a neighbouring parish. Hi-jinks ensue.

A Simple Life. Hong Kong, 117 min.

Judging from the sold-out auditorium, I gather this film has been a hit in Hong Kong. The plot is simple and the theme sweet. When the long-serving maid of a well-off family has a stroke, the family rallies behind her. Despite her disability, the maid proves more intelligent than her benefactors. Hm. Hasn’t the story of the clever servant been done before? See this in the company of Hong Kong ex-pats (they gasp and laugh at the right places) or skip it.

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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1 Response to VIFF 2011 Reviews: Circumstance; Pure; Corpus Celeste; A Simple Life.

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