Apartment living theme of three films
REVIEW: Most Christchurch people probably have not experienced it, but apartment life is very different from suburban living.
Cramped conditions, paper-thin walls and dodgy amenities can all cause particular stresses, not to mention the walk required in a large, multi- storey complex when the lifts are out.
Three films screening today highlight the comic potential and pitfalls of apartment life.
From France comes The Women on the Sixth Floor (10.45am), a breezy 1960s-set upstairs- downstairs comedy about an uptight middle-class couple whose Spanish maid lives above them in their Paris apartment building.
"Light on bite but heavy on laughs," wrote Variety magazine.
Shut Up Little Man (8pm) is an Australian- created documentary that explores the viral cult phenomenon created by Eddie Guerriero and Mitch Deprey when they started recording the mad rantings and arguments of their alcoholic next-door neighbours in San Francisco in the late 1980s.
Initially recorded by the pair to mount a complaint, audio cassettes of the truly "odd couple" - Raymond, a homophobe, and Peter, a flaming queen - made their way around the world and also into other media with comic books, audio mash-ups and stage plays all taking inspiration from the tapes.
A Separation (6.30pm) is an Iranian drama about what happens when a secular middle-class family is accused of a crime by an impoverished religious one.
Nader (Peyman Moaadi) hires Razieh (Sareh Bayet) to look after his Alzheimer's-ridden father, but when he returns home to find her absent, his father tied up and some money missing, he accuses her of stealing and shoves her out the door of his upper-floor apartment building.
The next instant she is being picked up off the stairs and rushed to hospital, with her pregnancy in danger of coming to a premature end.
"A complex moral dilemma that pitches religion against economics, one that brilliantly, and with creeping tension, encapsulates the tussles and fissures in Iranian society," wrote The Guardian's Jason Solomons.
Check back here each day during the festival for The Press pick of the day and other highlights of the programme. More information is available on The Press Entertainment pages or at nzff.co.nz. James Croot's Film Festival blog, North by Northwest Nirvana, can be found at press.co.nz.
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