IFFR film 19: Café Noir / 카페 느와르 (Jung Sung-Il, South Korea): 4/5
Wow, very long at over 3 hours (they even included a 15 minute break in the middle which is rare for a festival showing), but quite something special, especially for those well versed in Korean films. Luckily the second half was even better than the first. An interesting mix of styles, switching from colour to b/w for some scenes etc. And I've never seen the city of Seoul itself used as a character quite as beautifully like this, with long single-take shots where the camera just glides along the streets or river for minutes and minutes.
Also: it wasn't until the credits that I realized one of the characters that looked so familiar to me was played by indie music star Yozoh! The little keyboard she continuously carried on her back should have been a hint, I suppose.
IFFR film 15: Twisted Roots / Väärät Juuret (Finland): 4/5
Another one of my favourites of this year. Colourful family story, in pretty Finnish winter scenes that (as explained by director Saara Saarela during the Q&A) had to be shot quickly during the 2.5 hours of daylight available each day. Nice soundtrack too.
IFFR film 12: Toad's Oil / ガマの油 (Japan): 4.5/5
My favourite film of IFFR 2010. Wonderful directorial debut (and starring role) by one of my favourite actors, Kôji Yakusho. A funny colourful moving story, in some parts reminiscent of the surrealness/sensibility of Taste of Tea. Also a nice role for Satomi Kobayashi of Megane / Kamome Diner.
IFFR film 11: All That I Love / Wszystko co kocham (Jacek Borcuch, Poland): 4/5
After this very enjoyable film that I chose mostly as a schedule filler, an extra surprise was to see that the director and part of the cast had arrived in Rotterdam just in time to do a fun Q&A afterwards. Always quite special to suddenly see the real actors walk out in front after having just watched them on the big screen.
IFFR film 9: Trash Humpers (US): 3/5
Crazy ugly funny repetitive VHS weirdness from Harmony Korine. The funny stories and voicemail messages shared beforehand were a nice treat. Lots of walk-outs during the film itself though. I laughed a lot, but can imagine it was a real rough film to get through for those audience members that went in without any idea of what to expect :)
IFFR film 7: Adrift / Chơi vơi (Vietnam): 3/5
In my experience Vietnamese films are some of the most photogenic films in the world, this one certainly was too. Had to run to another film afterwards so I missed the Q&A with director Bui Thac Chuyen (who also directed Living in Fear, which I saw at IFFR 2007).
IFFR film 2: Air Doll / 空気人形 (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan): 4/5
Though the half hour pre-Air Doll interview turned out to be a bit boring, it was still pretty cool to see master director Kore-eda (Still Walking, Nobody Knows, After Life) in person. And the film itself was beautiful, as expected. Including a small role for prolific actor Susumu Terajima who I have gotten used to seeing appear in at least one japanese film each festival.