Movies by the mar

It was a brief in-and-out job.

Thirty-six hours in Mar del Plata for the 24th international film festival doesn’t give a huge amount of scope for cinema going. Still I did what I could, using someone else’s expenses.

Sunday night and day two meant a quick jaunt off the main drag San Martin into the steepest cinema I’ve ever stepped up into, and a light-hearted North American comedy. True Adolescents is a coming-of-age story about the 34-year-old singer of a rock band, on what he considers to be the verge of the big time, and his 14-year-old cousin.

Forced to live with his aunt after burning all other bridges, Sam is convinced into taking Oliver and his best friend Jake on a road trip. Ill equipped, unprepared, the teenagers show Sam the “rock star” how to pull girls, while Sam desperately tries to ascertain pull some kind of rank.

Classic horror stories round the beach campfire result in Sam donning a scary mask to frighten the wimpish Jake, but as he lurches into the boys’ tent to find them… kissing each other.

Silly and light-hearted, Sam (Mark Duplass) is boorish and uncouth but ends up the lovable hero of the day. Just. Which means True Adolescents is just about worth it for the inevitable giggles.

I’ve never dabbled much in South Korean cinema but Castaway on the Moon (or The Adventures of Mr. Kim to give it its Korean real title) tickled my, umm, tickle buds. Lee Hae-Joon’s love story kicks off with a failed suicide attempt, and Kim ends up on a desert island in the middle of the river opposite his city.

His survival instinct kicks in, but little does he know he’s being watched by an otaku girl who hasn’t left her home for three years, who obsessively snaps photos of him and pastes them to her wall. She then takes the step of sending him messages in bottles, which he receives and a one-sided relationship begins.

This film sold 14% of all ticket sales in its first weekend at South Korean cinemas, and it should have sold more. Jae-yeong Jeong as Kim is quirky, expressive and hilarious in his isolation, especially when he reprimands himself for his failed suicide. The photography hones in on his every thought, and the anger when he receives a fried bean rice delivery from his admirer throws into obliteration everything he is working towards to stay on his island. Until the council comes to clean it up.

More attractive than Tom Hanks in Castaway, Jae-yeong Jeon is the modern-day castaway, and this romantic comedy is unconventional and captiviating.

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