11 June 2008 | kingtutthefirst
Funny, random, and technically very good (and clever)
I saw Still Orangutans at the Seattle International Film Festival, and was very very taken with it. This representation of a day in Porto Alegre, focussing on the interweaving stories of a small number of it's inhabitants, is in general extremely funny, with a sizable scattering of 'WTF?!'.
The movie is one single, 81 minute long, take (actually number 2 of 5 recorded), that ostensibly shows an entire day and night in the city. Clever use of lighting and choice of camera shots are used to move time forward, and generally transition between scenes without ever actually stopping the camera. This could have become tedious, or have felt affected, but in reality it was neither - instead proving seamless and interesting.
The characters are varied and whilst you never really get to 'know' any one character, each has interesting aspects in the few minutes you share with them.
I have to admit I was underwhelmed with the initial 'scene', however things very rapidly improved, with scenes regularly leading to the cinema rocking with laughter, amid interspersed thoughts of what-on-earth?! The subtitles are generally not a problem, although one scene with a girl and her girlfriend was problematic due to the unbelievably fast speed at which they talked - it is my feeling however that this was by design, not accident.
All told, I strongly recommend people to seeing this, especially if you're a fan of quirky humour. Tri-cool.