Monday, September 14, 2009


And so it begins. I saw the first films of my much abbreviated festival this year.

The first one was really interesting, if not amazing, and I have no idea whether or not it will ever see the inside of theaters in North America. It was a Spanish film called. V.O.S., which in Spanish basically stands for Original Version – Subtitled. And I’m still puzzling over that title, slightly, especially after the director explained that while the film was bilingual, the actors speaking in both in Basque and Catalan, it was actually dubbed for its theatrical release in Spain. (Whereas, we saw it with the original actor's voices, but subtitled.) I assume it had something to do with that? Or a joke on what's real and what's fake? (see storytelling structure, below.) I'm not sure.

There were two interesting storytelling choices made in this movie. First, it’s told out of order, with the actors directly addressing the audience (almost) at times. In addition to this out of order thing… one of the main characters is writing a screenplay based on the story that’s supposedly happening to the characters, so occasionally there are parts where other characters break out of the scene to argue with the screenwriter character, to say, “That’s not how it happened.”

And if all that weren’t enough, it’s quite obviously filmed on a sound stage, with the “crew” interacting with the actors at times and the actors walking from set to set and by the end almost seeming like they were actually living in the sets on the sound stage. Confused? Well, so was the audience, but I think we were supposed to be. One of the sections of dialogue was actually an argument about the storytelling structure being too complicated. But in the end (actually, by about 1/3 of the way in, it was all fairly clear.)

The movie was based on a stageplay and from what I understood during the Q&A, the only thing really added to the screenplay from the stage script was this idea of the film crew being part of the movie.

I know all that sounds really complicated… but it was actually quite entertaining and funny in parts and the lead actor was hot, which goes along way for me. ;-) Okay, he might not look super hot in the photo above, but trust me. He had a bit of a Gerard Butler thing going on.

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