Life Imitates Art Imitates SpÄ±nÌ al Tap: Perhaps the oddest thing about Thursday night’s world preview of D Tour, the disarmingly truthful documentary on Tenacious D, was not that it was so poorly attended, but how that poor attendance seemed to be predicted by the doc itself. Like the famed Rob Reiner mockumentary, this real film chronicles a band whose popularity wanes as its pomposity spreads. At the same time, it offers up some wonderfully fine glimpses of Jack Black, (possibly the most charismatic comic actor of our day), and his long and rather sweet friendship with his very human bandmate, Kyle Gass. Gass was also in attendance Thursday night, along with a couple members of the band and the filmmakers. Needless to say, it’s my favorite doc so far.
Have you ever gone into a gallery and seen a painting you think is pretty okay, then caught a glimpse of the label, realized it’s been made by an important artist, and decided that you liked the piece it a lot more? You know you have. That’s how I felt watching the French film Roman de Gare, which was a sweet, sophisticated, and twisty tale starring the achingly gorgeous Fanny Ardant. When the final credits ran, it turned out to be directed by the sometimes great Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman), and suddenly I was loving it. Je suis une hypocrite, non?
The festival sure offers ample opportunities for self-hypnosis. What’s my vote for the most dazzlingly and mesmeric opening scene that’s guaranteed to lower your blood pressure? It’s The Mourning Forest, an intense yet occasionally snail-paced meditation on life and death. Either way, it’s certainly the most visually gorgeous film I’ve seen so far. It’s not Ozu, but it is beautiful.
Here are the films people have been buzzing about so much that the fest will actually be adding them as extras into the already-established weekend movie lineup.
Friday: The Silly Age, Sputnik Mania
Saturday: The Sky Below, La Antena
Sunday: War Dance
And in the “Shameless Plug” department, those of you living way out in Goleta or Isla Vista can see In Bruges at IV Theater on Friday, February 1 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Though it doesn’t get a lot of publicity, IV Theater has been a part of the Film Fest for four years now. (Full disclosure, I program the theater for the university’s Magic Lantern Film Series.)