A black comedy about a pregnant woman who believes she is being driven to kill by her unborn foetus in vengeance for the death of her partner. Alice Lowe is great in this, giving it a Inside Number 9, British comic/horror/tragedy vibe. Loved her Halloween costume at the end, like Kate Bush from Wuthering Heights gone absolutely barmy.

I liked how she contrasted the extreme alienation of pregnancy with how you simultaneously become public property. Complete strangers want to touch you but you become no one as you body and identity is hollowed and occupied by another.

The Handmaiden

Just out of the extended director’s cut of The Handmaiden. Ooft that, ladies and gentlemen, was a stoater of a movie. It’s actually surprisingly funny for something so erotic. I was expecting what you usually expect with something so exquisitely beautiful and stirring – that the trade off was a slow, langurous pace and a plot heavy on introspection. What I didn’t expect was what the movie actually was, a solidly paced crime mystery with a lot of humour. If you were hoping The Handmaiden was an exquisitely shot sensual erotica, go see it, you’ll be more than satisfied. And if you would prefer to go to a movie with constant twists and turns, fun and funny, then also go see it, you’ll be more than satisfied. Now if you’ll excuse, I’m off to take a cold shower. Mercy!

Ovarian Psycos

Gotta be 100% honest, this is the first documentary I’ve seen at the festival that I didn’t think was very well made. So many things were just not shown, leaving me to kinda guess or fill in my own blanks. It’s about a Latina cycling group in L.A. that has a pro-equality, anti-racism, feminist ethos.

The trouble is the documentary makes it all seem a bit woo-woo. All the interviews with the members have them talk about helping their community, fighting for their community, but what form this help or fight takes is left largely unshown and unexplained. Instead they’re shown howling at the moon, having committee meetings and making rap. If this description doesn’t do justice to their work, that’s the fault of the film because any actual engagement with the community at large is absent. At one point a guy (who comes off like a total fucknugget) kinda scoffs, “They make out like it’s some civil rights thing. I don’t know if you can say you’re fighting for your community by tooling around on a bike.” He should be immediately shut down with shots of them doing fundraisers for community projects, making welcome vulnerable girls into a productive environment, going to rallies, but none of that happens. That comment is made and it just cuts to them throwing attitude around. And it makes it look like his point is valid, that it’s a style thing with no substance.

The whole film was like that. Characters had arcs with whole pieces missing. Xela leaves, Evie gains her mother’s support, but the whys are always mostly missing. Either pasted in haphazard after the fact or just told flat-out with no real explanation.

It was all just so unsatisfying.