MIFF review: Tea with Madame Clos + White Night Wedding

10 Aug

White Night Wedding

White Night Wedding

Its all over now, but Mike Childs fires this final salvo at MIFF with two fine reviews of some fine films.

Australian filmmaker Jane Oehr got lucky when she happened upon the nonagenarian Madame Clos in the sleepy French town of Lauzerte. Over a period of several years, many cups of tea, she visited and filmed the sprightly, delightful Clos as the world passed by her (literal) window on the world. From her vantage point in the centre of the village, the elderly Madame never skipped a beat as she handed out Vichy mints to many generations of schoolchildren, passed the time with neighbours like the grumpy accordion player next door, or her loyal housekeeper Madame Griffoull. With remarkable clarity, Clos looks back on a fulfilling life and shares her hopes and dreams about the past, and the future as she looks forward to her 100th birthday. TEA WITH MADAME CLOS is a heart-warming slice of life which left many in the MIFF audience in tears. [Sooks. Nah, actually sounds pretty nice -Ed].

WHITE NIGHT WEDDING is one of Iceland’s highest grossing home-grown films, and the mix of comedy and drama travels quite well to other parts of the world. Taking place across one of that country’s long white nights where sleep is difficult and eccentricities and drink come out to play, a planned wedding between a recently widowed college professor and his former pupil may, or may not, take place the next day. Residents on the picturesque but remote island, where cars are banned but golf buggies and tractors abound, speculate on the impending nuptials, while rivalries and romances escalate and recede. Director Baltasar Kormakur calls his updating of Chekhov’s Ivanov a ‘dramedy’, but I did overhear one audience member describing the film as “the funniest Icelandic comedy I’ve ever seen!” And not having seen that many I’m happy to agree!

MIKE CHILDS

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2 Responses to “MIFF review: Tea with Madame Clos + White Night Wedding”

  1. John Humphrey October 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    We would like to play WHITE NIGHT WEDDING at our next Film Festival (Nov 13/14). Is there a local distributor for this title? Would appreciate contact information.
    Thanks,
    John Humphrey

    • Mike October 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

      Hi John

      Best bet is to try the MIFF website archive. Had a quick look but the trail ran dry. Hope it’s not too late and you have better luck!

      Mike

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