6 p.m. — Queen of Versailles is a 100-minute American documentary. From SIFF:
Photographer/director Lauren Greenfield, known for her honest and thought-provoking examinations of youth culture, now turns her lens on a more grown-up affair—the pursuit of the American Dream. In Queen of Versailles, we meet billionaires Jackie and David at the apex of their success: having gotten incredibly rich incredibly fast, they’re building a 90,000-square-foot mansion modeled after the palace at Versailles. It’s planned to be the largest private residence in the country. Unfortunately, both construction and the dream come to a painful stop with the economic crisis that follows the real-estate bubble’s big pop. Through the unstinting gaze of Greenfield’s camera we witness the two-year denouement of their glittering, accessorized fantasia. And we’re forced to face uncomfortable national truths: how our country values material gain over self-knowledge, how we define success and worth through possessions and privilege, how depth and wholeness are last priorities. Greenfield’s skillful filmmaking takes the topic beyond hyperbole or sensationalized marginalism. It dispassionately distills the outrageous scale of one couple’s experience into an all too relevant and relatable question. What are we, as a national culture, choosing to become?
8:30 p.m. — Overheard 2 is a 121-minute movie filmed in Cantonese with English subtitles. From SIFF:
Mansun Wong is a respectable, successful stockbroker who’s built his sizable fortune managing the investments of a shady criminal syndicate. Wong’s surreptitious financial dealings have not escaped everyone’s notice: Joe, a rogue surveillance operative, has been steadily keeping tabs on his activities. However, after Wong is seriously injured in an explosive car chase, Joe’s carefully constructed covert network comes crashing down. The police, led by Inspector Jack Ho, discover surveillance bugs in the car wreckage, as well as Wong’s home and office, and instigate an intense manhunt. But even as Joe’s actions while eluding capture result in catastrophic collateral damage, Ho begins to suspect that Wong, with his connection to a mysterious financial conglomerate, might just be the larger villain after all. When the paths of these three men finally collide, the resulting crash threatens to destroy Hong Kong’s financial markets. As they proved with the Infernal Affairs trilogy, co-directors Felix Chong and Alan Mak are no strangers to the world of claustrophobic, paranoid thrillers; with Overheard 2, the pair concocts a delirious blend of The Boiler Room, The Conversation and Speed.