Day 8 - The Little Death, The Immortalists and Wild Tales #LFF

Day 8 brings us an excruciatingly funny look at people's odd sex lives, two very contrasting scientists searching for the secret of eternal life and half a dozen short stories about people behaving very badly indeed.... 

The Little Death, which is of course, slang for an orgasm, loosely ties together five couples' stories as they battle with their relationships and sexual desires. That the main thing tying these stories together (apart from the sex theme) is a new neighbour required by federal law to introduce himself.... which he does by means of Golliwog biscuits, gives you some ides of the territory this movie is prepared to find itself, well, frankly balls deep in.

I'll admit this right from the off, whatever the issues with this movie, it's one of the funniest things I've seen for some while. It has a brilliantly casual way of dealing with some very intimate and very off sexual practices and that really makes the humour shine through. Of the various tales (I won't spoil them by giving too much detail), my favourite was the story of an interpreter valiently attempting to interpret for a young man phoning a sex chat line (via a video link intermediary). It's joyously charming and actually pretty touching, despite the nagging feeling that both participants are just too hot to find themselves in this predicament. My least favourite was probably the wife turned on by her husband's tears which outstays its welcome slightly (not that it isn't still hilarious).

Add to this the supremely creepy neighbour and his box of highly dubious biscuits and The Little Death is an absolute riot. 

The thing about getting old, my nan used to say (actually, still does say), is that the alternative is much worse. Well, two men beg to differ. The Immortalists is a documentary about Bill and Aubrey. You can probably guess from the names which is which in the picture above and which is English and which is American. That's as far as the predictability in this fascinating movie goes.

Bill is a long distance runner (and I'm not kidding here, we're not talking marathons, we're talking 138 mile runs. In the Himalayas) and lab biologist. He believes that by stopping the enzyme that causes ageing and kickstarting another enzyme that makes cancer cells immortal, he can stop and then reverse ageing. Aubrey is an English eccentric, who drinks a lot and has a wife and two girlfriends (wife in her 60's, girlfriends in 20's and 40's). He believes that by clearing out all the accumulated rubbish from cells, he can also stop ageing. A variety of very clever people think both of these notions are nuts.

What first time filmmakers David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg's documentary does so well, is that it presents these guys, allows for some brief reposts and then leaves you to decide whether you think they are crazy or not. It also leaves you pondering the less scientific and more moral issues revolving around the question. The directors clearly struck on documentary gold when they discovered two such contrasting characters dealing with the same issue and they've done a great job of bringing them to the screen. I'd like them to now pick this up and run with it, it would be great to hear the fors and againsts from a moral perspective as well.

Our second movie of the day that involves short stories, Wild Tales is a series of six tales, related only in the fact that they all show presumably reasonable people doing some very extreme things. Beginning with a group of people on an aeroplane gradually realising they all knew the same composer (I won't spoil it with more detail) and working through extended road rage, revenge on a loan shark, civil disobedience of the most extreme kind, corruption of the law and finally a groom's infidelity revealed at his wedding.

It's a wonderfully scattershot approach and the film makes no apologies for this. From the very first story it's very clear to see that nothing is going to be held back here. Shot through with a brilliantly vicious sense of humour that at one point sees two scorched corpses apparently embracing, you'll be appalled even as you are creasing up in laughter.

I'm not sure if Wild Tales has a massive amount to say about the daily pressure people find themselves under in contemporary Argentinian life but I'm not sure I was too worried about that. The movie is consistently hilarious and may just leave you wondering why people don't crack more often.....

Si