MUFF 13 – Opening and Closing Nights

August 7, 2012

Opening and Closing Night

Curated by RW.

Film notes by Michael Helms

OPENING NIGHT: August 24 8pm, Revolt, 12 Elizabeth Street  Kensington Victoria 3031

(03) 9376 2115

CHARLIE CASANOVA (2010)

Writer/producer/director: Terry McMahon

Cast: Emmett Scanlan, Leigh Arnold, Damien Hannaway, Thomas Farrell

The titular moustache-wearing character of CHARLIE CASANOVA is played with manic dexterity by one Emmett Scanlan who calmly (about the only time during the films running time that he does something in such a way) introduces us to Charlie with voice-over narration before the opening credits noting that, “If there is a God this may be my last will and testament”. This nicely sets the claustrophobic and doom-laden tone for the rest of the film as Charlie’s world loudly implodes. Holed up in a hotel during the course of some sort of conference Charlie is accompanied by his wife and another couple that includes his best friend, and a sycophantic male who seems to physically morph into Charlie by the end of the film. Charlie is a wealthy & successful businessman with a predilection for drink, drugs (especially Viagra) and stand-up comedy. The latter he seems to be in a constant of rehearsal for as every few minutes scenes spiral into another jackhammer rant from Charlie examining or pontificating mainly on the subject of the working classes and their use to him and his plans for world domination. Worse, Charlie’s 160-plus IQ has led him to believe that the only fair and truthful way to move forward is to subject every major (and minor) life decision to the flip of a playing card. At least this offers the opportunity for the appearance of an interventionist god he reasons.

By turns funny, sad, insulting, funny again, and ultimately downbeat and non-redemptive for it’s main protagonist no matter what he tries, CHARLIE CASANOVA is a powerful debut from Irishman Terry McMahon. While obviously conceived as an intellectual response to how the global financial crisis of 2008 affected Ireland politics CHARLIE CASANOVA speaks in a universal voice that should surprise and please all forms of film freakers.

CLOSING NIGHT: SEpt 1st 8pm, Revolt, 12 Elizabeth Street  Kensington Victoria 3031

(03) 9376 2115

DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL (2012)

Writer/producer/director: Chris Sun

Cast: Billi Baker, Michael Thomson, Allira Jaques, Christian Radford

Chris Sun, the bad boy filmmaker from Queensland’s “Sunny” Coast, is back with what amounts to his best work yet. Although far removed from the technical primitivism of his debut COME & GET ME (MUFF #12), DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL does continue Sun’s obsession with personal violence and completely upgrades it’s presentation with extra effort from his usual band of Buderim buddies along with a few new pals on both sides of the camera, and also most importantly, expert assistance from Australia’s pre-eminent make-up FX artist Steve Boyle (DAYBREAKERS, BAIT 3D).

DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL trots out the story of Derek, young parent to Georgia who we soon learn is about to turn six. Constantly shuttled between Derek & his ex: Stacey, Georgia seems impervious to the constant bickering of Derek & Stacey and definitely possessing the ability to survive & thrive despite her parents. A tragedy of the highest order ensues for Derek and six months later after an hour of character development we find Derek at a self-help meeting for people who have lost close family members to murder that has often occurred with extreme violence. When a pretty fellow group member affirms Derek’s question of whether revenge should be visited on perpetrators of such crimes something clicks in his own brain and the last hour is spent with Derek as he meticulously and torturously exacts his own vengeance on the (surprise) killer of DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL. At least Derek doesn’t fail to dispense more than a few funny one-liners amidst the grim and relentless proceedings. Sort of a TV movie of the week on steroids DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL is also like a feature-length version of the worst segment of Today Tonight featuring bogans behaving badly and putting them in your face in such a way that Imax & 3D couldn’t possibly replicate or enhance.

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