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I'm Here (2010)
Sweet, sad, fixated, inflatable
Retro robots in the future, same as here and now, but robots stomp about. A quiet, lonesome, librarian robot fixates on a sleeker fem-bot with some questionable robot friends, enters into a one-sided relationship, gives too much, the end. It's the kind of film that doesn't matter, it's slight, it's light, it's quite simple. But give it the half hour it asks, invest a bit of time and let it flow past you, and it's a sweet slice of everyday life. The ups and downs and all the angles of relationships. Filmed in a washed-out sunny California vibe, it's not a technical effort, but it does have an extended pop video feel. Subtle animation give life to the robots, and for all the lack of reality, the characters are believable, and sympathetic.
Tragically bad. Inept in almost every way possible.
This was shown as part of the 59th Edinburgh International Festival, though for reasons best left to the powers that be. A lot seems to have been made of the fact that it's the first Thai language film, made with Thai actors & crew, but directed by a westerner. Needn't have bothered to be honest, as this film is dull, dull, dull. Why hint at something, why shroud an idea in mystery, why subtly invoke a feeling, when you can hammer the point home with terrible voice overs, obvious shots and over the top scenes> Nothing is left to the imagination as time and time again director Spurrier clumsily churns out endless clichés. No hinting, no guessing, it's all up on screen, no need to use our imaginations. Wonder when the 'scary' bit is coming? No you wont, 'cause the soundtrack will get more and more intimidating, rising to a crescendo of ominously. Hell, I'm making up words to describe how bad this is. Wonder whether the conjured demon is real or imaginary? Why tax yourself - it's really is a snake, and yes it's really is biting his crotch, and there's blood splattering everywhere. it's a strange, uneasy film for several reasons. It's supposed to be a horror film, but it's not scary - the jolts are signposted & obvious. It might be a scathing attack on the seedier side of Thailand, yet the director has a sleazy, lubricious style when it comes to showing barely pubescent teens. Maybe it was casting himself as the virginity-taking westerner that planted the seeds of doubt in my head. Or maybe the whole thing was just pants. Uninspired, insipid, repetitive, hackneyed - all candidates for best description, but dull seems most appropriate and honest. It's all been seen before, probably better, often with more thought, rarely with less imagination or flare. Sorry. Thumbs down on every count. Truly dire.