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Durban Film Festival


All we need is love

27 July: Day 3

As it is still raining in KZN, it's perfect movie weather!
The two films on my plate today have the same theme, love, although they are as different as night and day.
These two films will not be money spinners, although Tom Tykwer's Drei (Three) could get some bums on seats.
Snowflower and the secret fan will only appeal to a small audience, although it is a beautifully made, tender film with heart.
Both films were bought by big studios, Fox Searchlight and Warner, but luckily they are not studio films.
Wayne Wang's Snowflower is a portrayal of an old-fashioned Chinese tradition of two women becoming best friends for life.
It's purely platonic as they have husbands and children, but the play on boundaries is fascinating.
I waited for the kiss that never came, but loved the closeness and emotion.
Snowflower can be described as the perfect chick flick where men, except Hugh Jackman, play very small roles.
Wang's use of juxtaposing tradition vs modernity, old vs new, city vs rural, is fascinating.
Snowflower yet again proves two people can be close without sex playing such a big role.
I loved Snowflower and gives it a 9/10. Attention all Durbanites, there is another screening at Nouveau at 20:45 on 31 July.
I guarantee you will enjoy this Chinese-American film with lots of heart.
Drei (Three) is not for the squemish. It is a super film that portrays sex and relationships as primal with shocking results.
Unfortunately you missed this film if you have not seen it as there are no more screenings and no plans to show it on the general or art circuit later. But you missed a lot!
It is an x-ray of the lives of three people in modern-day Berlin, a couple who are about to get married and a handsome stranger who walks into their lives.
What makes this "threesome" different is that Adam, the handsome stranger, has relationships with both Hanna and Simon but separately and doesn't know the  man and woman he sleeps with are a couple.
Does that make you innocent or not? Tykwer leaves that to the viewer to decide.  The sparks fly when all is revealed and the tension in the cinema is interrupted by uncomfortable laughter.
The film boasts wonderful performances, the camera is almost voyeur-like and the setting is beautiful. Tykwer, well-known for Run Lola Run and Perfume, has made a gem and it gets full marks - 10/10.
Where Day 3 had love and sex on the menu, Day 4 will have the weather, and that's not the rain in Durban!
I'm going to see Rainy Seasons, an Iranian film about youth culture in the Islamic state,  and Autumn, set in war-ravaged Kashmir.
During the day, I will also catch the outstanding Canadian doccie, St Henri, the 26th of August. The filmmakers of Autumn and St Henri will also be present
I wish we had film festivals like this every day, where the films titilate in ways studio films will never be able to.


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