Well, I'm back, with Spinster Aunt in tow. Things haven't started so badly. The festival has commissioned Carlos Reygadas, Guy Maddin, and Dutch director Nanouk Leopold to create films to be projected onto three office buildings in the city (watch a trailer for Maddin's entry here). They premiered tonight to little notice (I think most people arrive tomorrow), but the first two are sprightly little items.
Reygadas's film is the first of his features that could be described as a lark. Filled with things he likes (mountains, his hometown, sun flares), it films a female soccer match in an isolated valley as if it were a major broadcast, with instant replay, on-screen graphics, and a hot female sideline reporter. But then he adds art film touches, like cutaways to mountains in the middle of the action. A strange, surprisingly light-footed work.
The Maddin posits the origin of electricity as a metaphor for better sex. Isabella Rossellini is in an electric chair, titillated by spritzes of energy from the muscular goons working a wheel to keep the juice flowing. Set in a hothouse juke joint and marked by smoky dissolves, it's a sweaty little ode to Thomas Edison and orgasms. Archetypal Maddin.