Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Last night at the Montreal Film Festival, saw Cruel but Necessary, a wickedly funny -- and hellishly penetrating -- film directed by Saul Rubinek and scripted by Wendel Meldrum. Obviously done on an ultra-low budget, this film is edgy cinema verite at it's best. A neurotic but quirkily charming housewife (acted by Meldrum) discovers her husband's infidelity when he inadvertantly records a cellphone conversation with his lover on a family vacation video. This unleashes an undiscovered film-making talent, as she obsessively -- and clandestinely -- films her family's breakdown. The film is deliberately messy, as we witness her first amateurish attempts at dissolves, double images, etc., and much of it is shot from inside her handbag. This has to be one of the best films I've seen about voyeurism and its redemptive qualities when transmuted into art. It's only too bad that, like most independent productions, this one will be marginalized by limited distribution -- festivals, late night television fare, etc. Catch it if you can.

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