THE 56TH EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: PLANET WANNA-BE HOLLYWOOD

Ted Bundy ^ **** ^ Directed by Matthew Bright ^ Starring Michael Reilly Burke, Boti Ann Bliss, Stefani Brass ^ 2002
Man, what a fucking depressing film this is. As you will no doubt know, this rabid flickershow is based on the deadly deeds of Theodore Bundy, one of America’s most notorious serial killers, and it isn’t exactly a light-hearted ride by any means.
We see Bundy and his increasingly insane mindsets, but never truly learn too much about his motivations and psychology. What we do get is a horrific story turned partly into a black comedy, which is utterly fucking reprehensible in a film where representations of real people dying are being shown.
Burke is excellent as Bundy, and you have to wonder how he’s gonna get any woman to come anywhere near him after this role: he looks like he knew a little bit too much about what was going on in the deformed head of that fucking piece of shit Bundy. Method acting? Only the Coroner’s Office could tell you that one.
The end of the film, where Bundy is fried, is greatly satisfying, and the fact that the person who pulls the switch on this piece of worthless, insane genetic debris is a woman is poetic justice, like deadly revenge for all the women this scum slaughtered. And it’s totally appropriate.
“Ted Bundy” is one of those films that makes you walk out muttering dark things about the future of the human race. But it provides some good dating tips for young women. Namely, if you find yourself with a boyfriend who wants to tie your legs behind your head during sex and then have you pretend to be dead while he savagely fucks you…it’s time to find a new lover.
And you don’t need Dr Ruth to tell you that one.
Funny Festival Events Part 2
I bump into Sylvester McCoy at the Delegate Center. You may know who I mean: he was the last Doctor Who, the geeky guy with glasses.
Anyway.
I go up to him and introduce myself. I ask him if he wouldn’t mind answering me a question. He is perfectly amenable. I tell him that around 20 years ago, on Channel 4, in the dead of night, I saw a programme called “The Secret Policeman’s Ball,” a comedy revue which featured him and John Cleese and a host of other top comedians of the time. I tell him that even though it’s been two decades since I saw that porogramme, one image has stuck in my mind; that of Mr. McCoy hammering a six-inch nail up his nose. I ask him why he did it, and if he wasn’t afraid of rupturing something up there.
He tells me that he and his friends, who’d all been young and wild at the time, were looking to learn sword swallowing. However, it took three months to learn, because apparently you have to swallow cloths and regurgitate them to get used to this technique. They’d only had a couple of days to rehearse for this gig and come up with something, so he had checked out the book they had where a chapter said you could hammer a nail up your nose instantly. And it had worked brilliantly.
I gave Mr. McCoy some belated congratulations on that trick, saying that I had always thought it was cool, and shook his hand before walking off. Perfectly amiable guy. And I was thinking to myself: I was just talking to Doctor Who about hammering six-inch nails up your nose. Excellent.
And you can’t tell me it comes much more surreal than that…
Every Day God Kisses Us On The Mouth ^ ** ^ Directed by Sinisa Dragin ^ Starring Dan Condurache, Ana Ciontea ^ 2001
This is the riveting Romanian flickershow that started off my festival. Nearly put me off altogether.
And okay. I know, the thing about watching films from other countries where you don’t know their culture can be a double-edged sword. You can learn something new about a country and their outlook…or you can seem completely crass and uncosmopolitan and sit and laugh at this crap. I indulged in a little of both during this film.
Story? Oh, okay. Guy gets out of prison after having served 11 years for murder. On the train home, he wins a live goose, some money and a night with a gypsy’s wife. The goose becomes his constant companion, the pure and unsullied love of his life, and he takes it everywhere in a handy cardboard carrier box for the rest of the film. He strokes his goose for love and strength, and it’s a poignant sight. You’ve never seen a goose being stroked until you’ve seen a Romanian stroke a goose.
Upon arrival back in his small home village, this poor guy finds that things have changed a wee bit since he left. His wife is pregnant with his brother’s child, after he raped her. This, of course, does not go down well with our goose-loving protagonist. He kills his brother and, whilst he is doing so, the gypsies have followed him home. They kill his pregnant wife and mother by tying them up and torching their house.
Gooseman, understandably, is somewhat upset by this tumultuous chain of events. He and his faithful feathered friend set out on a random voyage of self-discovery…and it all gets boring as hell.
One thing though. The performances in this film are extremely good and naturalistic. When these people are drunk on the screen, they are drunk. Apart from that, arty sepia-tinted blacknwhite films just don’t do it for me, even if there is a love of wild fowl on display. Sometimes not even a goose can redeem a production. And that’s a sad indictment indeed.
Find out what Alex Cox has been up to in part seven of THE 56TH EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: PLANET WANNA-BE HOLLYWOOD>>>




Posted on September 10, 2002 in Festivals by
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