Abraham Lincoln

RVIFF Reviews: 30s Murder Comedy, Kid Punks, and the Harsh World of Gasoline Theft

September 17th, 2023 | Robin

A Ken and Robin Consume Media Special Feature

For the second year running, my wife Valerie and I are attending our own at-home film festival. It takes the place in our hearts and vacation plans formerly reserved by the Toronto International Film Festival. The Robin and Valerie International Film Festival is the cinema event you can play along with at home, with a roster of streaming service and SVOD titles. Its roster includes the foreign, independent and cult titles we used to love to see at TIFF, but cheaper, hassle-free, and on the comfort of our own couch. Daily capsule reviews roll out throughout the festival, with a complete list in order of preference dropping a day or two afterwards. Review ratings are out of 5.

The Gasoline Thieves [Mexico, Edgar Nito, 2019, 4] Naive rural middle schooler joins a gang of fuel thieves. Unflinching social realist crime drama reveals an unexpected and deadly illicit trade.

The Braves [France, Anaïs Volpé, 2021, 4] Struggling actress is cast as understudy to her best friend, who has been hiding her cancer diagnosis. Drama of friendship and loss handles inherently melodramatic material in an imagistic, naturalistic way.

The Crime Is Mine [France, François Ozon, 2023, 4] As a career move. a struggling actress (Nadia Tereszkiewicz) connives with her lawyer roommate (Rebecca Marder) to confess to a murder she didn’t commit. Frothy homage to fast-talking 30s murder comedies creates a clever dilemma for the characters and gives Isabelle Huppert a broad role to hilariously chew on.

We bailed on Taiwan’s Marry My Dead Body after about half an hour and instead substituted…

We Are Little Zombies [Japan, 2019, Makato Nagahisa, 4] Emotionally numbed 13 year old orphans form a punk band. Surreal journey of dissociation told through an arsenal of surreal technical events, many drawing on 8 bit video games.

Due to moderate demand, the RVIFF shirts I made for the two of us are available in the Ken and Robin merch store.

If you enjoy this special text feature of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcast and don’t already support our Patreon, consider tossing a few bucks in the tip jar. Or check out my book on action films and their roleplaying applications, Blowing Up the Movies. Or the roleplaying game inspired by the Hong Kong films I first encountered at TIFF, Feng Shui 2.

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