Mistaken for Strangers

Mistaken for Strangers is an odd, yet interesting, documentary that is still settling in my mind. Lead singer of successful indie band The National, Matt Berninger, asks his somewhat aimless younger brother, Tom, to tour with the band as a roadie. Tom does, but takes his camera with him and documents what unexpectedly turns out to be a film about him and his struggles living in the shadow of a successful sibling. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, but one thing is for sure; this is certainly not a film about The National. Either Tom is not a particularly skilful film maker, or he is cleverly pulling the wool over my (and arguably his brother’s) eyes. The whole film just seems a little too simplistic and obvious. Yet somehow I get the nagging feeling that there is something bigger afoot going on here. I sense something a tad more intentional than Tom is leading on. He might have the last laugh …we shall see.

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Tonight I see Computer Chess. Will report back tomorrow.

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Mud

Film two on my Film Fest list was Jeff Nichols’ Mud. This has been a while coming but finally I saw this last Saturday with Seema. We both saw Nichols’ previous film, Take Shelter, a few months back and loved it. Mud has a similar tone and pace to Take Shelter although its subject matter is quite different. I won’t go into the plot as you can pretty much gather this from trailer below. Suffice to say that this is an excellent film that had me engrossed from start to finish. Superbly shot, timed, with authentic attention given to its characters. Worth also mentioning the excellent acting by the two main protagonists Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Mud (Matthew McConaughey). Perhaps the slightly over explained and contrived ending was the only let-down … I would’ve preferred more mystery. But this is a minor quibble in what was a suberb film. I cant wait to see what Nichols comes up with next.

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Tonight’s NZIFF film is Mistaken for Strangers. Will report on this tomorrow hopefully.