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The CAYOM Film Festival: Volume II - The Festival's End

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    It's time once again to movie to a fabulous new locale for the 2nd Annual CAYOM Film Festival. Whereas the celebration of cinema occured in Puerto Rico last year, this year's festival brings us to the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain. We have had many excellent films showcased at this festival last year, and this year's palette looks equally strong. 

     

    We have many amazing directors presenting films this year at the festival. To commemorate a rising director in the world of Hollywood, Nicholas Winding Refn, the jury has decided to set his new film, The White Tower, as the opening night selection of the festival. Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Ryan Gosling, Lauren Roux, Tom Hardy, Vincent Cassel, and Michael Fassbender have been seen on the red carpet for the film's premiere.

     

    We have several other excellent films, ranging from epic war films to darker horrors to dramedies about youth. Included with these films is a large special exhibition about the history of film as a medium, from the first footage of film in the late 19th century to the films being shown at this festival. This is in addition to the special interviews and press conferences that will occur throughout the festival from esteemed directors such as Steven Speilberg (Obliteration), Kathryn Bigelow (Chrono Heist), and Michael Gondry discussing his time loop film.

     

    The director of the festival has presented a speech about the power of film in presenting not just stories, but how film and life  can imitate each other, even in the most fantastical of film ideas. Several films show us perspectives that we seldom recieve the chance to observe, such as that of a soldier in a war, an elderly man nearly at death's door, and so on. What can be amazing about film is how, when done effectively, we can truly feel for this point of view once the filmmakers have expressed their magic on the screen.

     

    This effect allows us to feel things that we never expected, and it may even spark changes within ourselves, for better or for worse. *laughs* Perhaps is this effect that film has, showing us new views that may change us in many ways, that has helped the medium endure for all of these years. True, we receive films that served only to entertain, some of which do a better job of it than others, but even the simplest film can make us think for a moment. Every film tries to show us something through new perspectives, ranging from themes of good vs. evil to critical social commentary. 

     

    In conclusion, the films presented here invite you to view life, regardless of whether or not is is real or fiction, normal or insane, uplifting or heartbreaking, through the perspectives of some incredible characters. Let yourself go within the worlds of these movies, and you may discover something you never realized once these films have ended. This is the true power of film. With that, I hope you enjoy the wide variety of offerings at this year's CAYOM Film Festival, thank you. 

     

    The program of the festival has been decided after much thought and deliberation, and it offers something for all film lovers.

     

    Monday

    --The White Tower* (dir. Nicholas Winding Refn) - OPENING NIGHT

     

    Tuesday

    --The Bronx Is Burning (dir. Martin Scorsese)

    --The Mansion* (dir. James Wan)

     

    Wednesday

    --Midnight In The Afghan Valley (dir. Josh Trank)

    --The Giver (dir. David Lynch)

    --Donuts Are Zombies Too Along With The Dominant Walruses (dir. David Lynch and Baz Lurhman)

     

    Thursday

    --No Greater Glory (dir. Michael Haneke)

    --Cinema Studies (dir. Cameron Crowe)

     

    Friday

    --The Concert's End (dir. Kenneth Branagh) - CLOSING NIGHT

     

    *Out of Competition. All other films will be shown in competition

     

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    Finally, we would like to introduce some special players at this year's festival. The jury this year consists of esteemed Italian film critic Salvatore Paghettini, famous American actor Alexander Phallian, and renowned Japanese director Beniko Lanaka. These three critics will then select three films to be sampled to our guest judge. He is an esteemed member of these forums, and he loved Les Miserables as much as last year's judge. Please give a warm welcome to our second guest judge:

     

    TELEMACHOS!

     

    With this, the celebration of film will soon commence. It's time to get to your seats, everyone. The White Tower is about to start.

    Edited by Spaghetti
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    Well, I certainly like baseball. :)

     

    I only just realized that the writer for it directed 42, which is kinda funny, since the film is a carry-over from the old CAYOM though it's been cut down to focus solely on the main sport story. The original version had two major subplots running through the film that while interesting I decided sort of expanded the film too much. The only element of those subplots I left in was the pre-credits sequence since I felt it still fit in well as jarring the audience into the reality of what mid-70s NYC was like.

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    Reviews for The White Tower are in. What did our panelists think? Let's find out.
     

    Alpha's Review
    A Bunch Of People Climbing Up A Mountain, And Nothing More
     
    The White Tower is a generic drama that feels like a plate of leftovers then a full meal. The film is only about a group of mountain climbers trying to scale the “White Tower” peak in British Columbia. It’s what you’d expect; people climbing a mountain. It’s rather pointless; we gain nothing from this experience. With that, the film drags on forever, even though it’s only 96 minutes long. The performances by Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston and Ryan Gosling were pretty good, but it’s the one bright spot in the film. WIth a bad story, boring flow and pointless message (Climbing mountains lead to catastrophic events), The White Tower is an experience you’ll forget in T-minus 1 day.
     
    C

     

    Blank's Review
    This is an odd film. Very odd. Not odd in a surreal sort of way, mind you, but it's odd in the sheer making of the film. It's a PG-13 Refn movie. I realy don't think this should be possible to be honest. It might sound macabre but the main appeal I have with Refn is his R-rated sensibilities. It's like Tarantino. Anyway, what I'm saying is that making this a PG-13 film hurt itself. It also dabbles in cliches, something I'm never a fan of. It felt a lot like the Year 3 movie, Everest, except with Carey Mulligan instead of Guy Pearce.
     
    Besides these complaints, it proves to be a competant movie. One thing Refn does bring to the film that's nice is his signature great soundtrack selection. The cast gives a great performance, and I'd be surprised if Mulligan isn't nominated for Best Actress (although that's mostly due to us having little selection.) Refn brings his visceral style well to the cliche story, and all in all, it's a good, if not great film.
     
    7.5/10

     

    Spaghetti's Review

    Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold
     
    The White Tower, an adaption of the 1945 novel of the same name, offers audiences a chance to embark on an epic adventure through a dangerous mountain, brought along by some really good actors in the modern world of film. So far, so good. You also have Nicolas Winding Refn, an odd choice for the film, although he certainly puts up a decent effort to make the film work. Does this mountain trek deliver on the goods? Yes and no.
     
    The character driven approach that the film takes is agood choice, and all of the cast is given a decent amount to do, even if not much of it is terribly memorable. Carey Mulligan is a decent standout as the brave mountain climber Carla, who may have some flames lighting up with a fellow American climber, played by real human being Ryan Gosling. Some of their exchanges are rather cliched, if not a bit sloppy in the handling. Mulligan and Gosling's movements feel rather forced, among other aspects of the film, such as her disdain for a "Nazi" German explorer. I know they needed to fill the relatively brief run time, but these plot lines feel like padding, IMO. (I do realize that a lot of it was the book.)
     
    However, Refn's divergence from his usually violent films still allows him to put up some great direction. The shots of mountain travel are breathtaking, and the soundtrack feels subtle yet effective, a good use of techno in a non sci-fi/action setting, even if it doesn't work as well as it did in Drive. It does show at times that he's trying to step out of his comfort zone, but when he directs well here, he hits the jackpot. I've already got a cinematography contender for the year. Refn and the acting ensemble work with the script enough for everything to work in the end.
     
    So when all is said and done, this is a fine movie. It's a little flimsy at times, especially in its script, but the solid performances are able to bring it to some decent heights. It's worth a look if you're interested.
     
    7/10

     
    Average Score:
     

    65: Generally Favorable Reviews

    Edited by Alpha
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    Just realized that a few of the URL links embedded in my film go to YouTube videos no longer available. May I resend my film to you three later tonight with those links fixed?

    Edited by 4815162342
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