FFF2016 Day 1 – The Lobster – Opening Film

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FFF President Henry Maldonado Opens the 25th Annual Festival

FFF President Henry Maldonado Opens the 25th Annual Festival

The 25th annual Florida Film Festival kicked off to another packed opening night featuring a hilariously dark animated short and the Jury Prize Award winning film at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Lobster by Greek director and co-author Yorgos Lanthimos. The evening began with FFF president Henry Maldonado accepting a proclamation from Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs extolling the FFF for its contributions to the community.

Escargore

"We Don't Belong Here..."

“We Don’t Belong Here…”

True story. During a vacation to Europe, Mrs. LanceAround and I were eating at a very posh restaurant in a quaint ancient village in Sweden. Her first course was a fresh salad. When she poked her fork in the salad, a huge old slug slowly lifted his head. The slug regarded Mrs. LanceAround. Mrs. LanceAround regarded the slug. Then, she grabbed my hand and made a hasty retreat out of the restaurant. After all, vegetarians simply don’t order escargo–and those who do at least expect them to be dead!

In this black comedy animated short, it’s a group of five snails who pop out of a fresh head of lettuce in a kitchen. Tragedy ensues. This macabre short is not for the squeamish among us. But it certainly had the audience laughing.

The Lobster
In the hilarious 1982 comedy, Tootsie, Bill Murray plays a playwright. During a party scene he says, “I don’t like it when people come up to me after my plays and say, ‘I really dug your message, man.’ Or, ‘I really dug your play, man, I cried.’ You know. I like it when people come up to me the next day, or a week later, and they say, ‘I saw your play…What happened?!'”

As Unique a Film as You'll Ever See

A Very Unique Film

Co-authors Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos must have been inspired by Murray’s character when they penned The Lobster. The deadpan plodding methodical pace creates a memorable surrealistic romp into a dystopian world where single people are shipped to a hotel and given 45 days to find a partner or be turned into an animal of their choice.

The protagonist, David, along with his brother who was turned into a dog after failing to find a mate a few years ago, checks into the hotel. He declares that, should he fail, he’d like to become a lobster as they live for over a hundred years and maintain the ability to be sexually active. Along the way he encounters a heartless woman, a man with a lisp, a man with a limp, several escaped “loners,” and various other characters all of whom appear incapable of maintaining healthy relationships.

The methodical slow pace and emotional deadpan of this dramedy creates a consistent world which some members of the audience seemed to relish while others, such as Mrs. LanceAround and I who are inclined towards a more logical mindset, had difficulty embracing. Certainly the older couple who exited the theatre in front of us expressed similar concerns. They were having a conversation which made it clear they had difficulty “understanding” this movie. Our creative and artistic NumberTwoSon, on the other hand, had the opposite reaction. He loved the film. He compared it Charlie Kaufman’s work, but thought Kaufman was better able to create a more convincing world despite the surrealistic nature of his communities.

Exceptional performances along with solid production values help this atypical film create a world that allegorically demonstrates the sometimes confounding and superficial nature of human attempts at courtship.

The Theatre was Packed

The Theatre was Packed

Although festival film tickets are a real bargain at only $11a movie ($9 for matinee or student tickets), the opening night film was a bit pricey at $25–or $110 for the movie and  Opening Night Party at the Enzian. Nonetheless, the FFF faithful packed the house as disappointed volunteers and press were told there was no room in the theatre for them to attend.

Be sure to make time in your schedule to attend several films during this year’s festival. And when you do, look me up so I can include your opinion on LanceAroundOrlando.

Thanks for joining the conversation.

 

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