Archive for the ‘SuperU’ Tag

The VIFF lurches on…

What movie am I seeing? It’s the 3rd week of the Vancouver International Film Festival, but it feels like week 17 and counting. Last night, Keith Dallas, one of the stars of the upstart Control Alt Delete walked into the theatre and asked me: “Is this Control Alt Delete?” You get the picture. 

So, thank goodness for the bright spots (especially if you’re in Vancity looking outside today):

1. When Life Was GoodTerry Miles, director, spied heading into Neptoon Records on Saturday, breathed indie cred into the festival with his guided improvisational dramedy. You had to be at the October 2nd screening to find out what made star Casey Manderson slink off in embarrassment during the Q&A. Check out the vlogs on SuperU for behind the scenes coverage.

2. Control Alt Delete – Once all the stars were seated, writer & director Cameron Labine‘s debut really got smoking. His brother Tyler Labine is the lovesick Lewis, computer programmer by day, internet porn addict by night. Yup, the synopsis says it all, but there’s so much more. And, for me, having known Cam so long, it’s interesting – if not a little creepy – to see the repeating themes in his work. Check it out in theatres in the spring.

3. RR – My secret guilty pleasure is the purely experimental feature by James Benning. A 111-minute-long film composed of 40-odd static shots of trains. Oddly poetic and sometimes highly entertaining, the first half-hour was good, the second – when the guy beside me started snoring – was tough, but the last 30 minutes was a breeze. In full disclosure Mr. Benning: yes, I was the drunk woman lunging at you at the Gala in 2007; a coincidence that you didn’t attend the VIFF this year?


Remembrance of Film Fests past…

September, with its back-to-school vibe, always makes me nostalgic. Tonight, with the opening of the Toronto International Film Festival, I look back on great moments in my film fest history.

TIFF 1989: Canadian premiere of Atom Egoyan‘s “Speaking Parts“. Lights dim, movie starts, head credits roll, lights go up, flurry of activity from the back of the cinema, Egoyan seen scurrying out. The lab printed the wrong reel after the credits. Egoyan fetched another print from his downtown Toronto office and taxied back to the theatre. The show went on. (Note: The print of “Speaking Parts” also caught fire in Cannes that same year.)

VIFF 1994: Krzysztof Kieslowski premiered Three Colours Red and was a special guest of the VIFF. I think they also showed a few of his Decalogue films in a special presentation. That year I was a film school drop-out and volunteered at the Hospitality Suite.

TAOS 2002: Room, the short film I produced, directed by Cameron Labine, played at the Taos Talking Picture Festival. It was the first festival I travelled to and I met amazing people, including Chip Hourihan, producer of Frozen River. Have to say it was a thrill being at a party when Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon were in the next room.

FilmExchange 2006: My first feature, “Love and Other Dilemmas“, directed by Larry Di Stefano and written by Deb Peraya played this intimate Canadian festival. It felt like coming home because LAOD had been selected by the NSI’s Features First program. I discovered that Terry David Mulligan is a gracious host and wine connoisseur.

Check this space for an exclusive blog for SuperU from TIFF 08 by Marguerite PigottSuper Channel’s Creative Development Representative for the province of Ontario. In addition to her work for Super Channel, Marguerite is also an independent consultant focusing on script development and project marketability.

Workshops and Special Events… And I mean SPECIAL

Clare invited me (that’s me, Jenny!) on to the Superumakers blog to share my news about upcoming workshops and special events at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. With so much going on as far as screenings, wine drinking and general mingling, Super U‘s resident film socialite can only cover so much on her own so I’m happy to step in…

This Saturday is a big day so maybe best to skip the pleasantries of Friday night and get a good night’s sleep… you’re going to need it.

First thing on the agenda is Masterclass with Aerlyn Weissman: Oral History And Living Memory at 10 am. This is a full day workshop focused on teaching you the skills and understanding to develop your own screenplay. Tickets are $75 for the full day and can be purchased at the festival’s website posted above.

Next, I suggest you check out Creating Community Through Technology: A Panel Discussion at 5pm. Even better than the fact that it’s FREE to attend, is the topic that is going to be addressed: Is technology changing what it means to be queer? It’s a fascinating question that will surely generate some thought-provoking dialogue.

And if you have any energy after that… check out RAUNCHORAMA RESURRECTED! at 9pm at Tinseltown. This series of shorts was a favourite from past years at the festival and is not to be missed, the title says it all.

PS. This is not for the faint of heart.


1. Lewdness; vulgarity; obscenity.

2. Material or a performance that is sexually explicit or evocative

Sounds like the perfect Saturday night if you ask me.

High Times: Tommy Chong lights it up

Light up America, and Canada, too! Tommy Chong’s new book “Cheech and Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography” has just been released. Chong – musician, comedian, movie star, long-time marijuana activist – tells the story of how a Chinese-Irish Canadian musician (Chong) met a Mexican-American draft dodger (Cheech Marin) in Vancouver and together became one of the world’s top-selling comedy duos. Chong was signed to Motown records, but quit to become a comedian. “When I found out I was funny and could make a living doing comedy, I was the happiest guy in the world, ” Chong told Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio One’s Q, mainly because he didn’t have to lift the heavy amps and gear that came with his music career. Chong also said that going to jail, for marketing bongs emblazoned with his image, was like a spiritual retreat because he got to concentrate on himself: read, talk to people, exercise. Hmm, maybe not a role-model for the kiddies, but still an interesting man. His book is out now and, though famously split due to “creative differences” for over 20 years, Cheech and Chong will be reuniting for a Light Up America tour this fall. Vancouverites, bring your bong to the QE on December 5.

Want to find out what Tommy Chong thinks is funny? He was one of the jurors for SuperU‘s “It’s Hilarious” contest.  Check out “Car Dance Party Moscow“, “Panasony V4000 Pro” and “Whisper Mom“.

Queer is Here!

The 20th Anniversary Vancouver Queer Film Festival opened last night with this rousing cheer from the packed house: “Like a virgin / touched for the very first time…” We were honouring the amazing people who started up and have made this festival grow into the must-see, must-do event it is. And we were celebrating the Opening Gala Film, “Like a Virgin” from South Korean filmmakers Lee Hae-yeong and Lee Hae-jun about a boy dreaming about Madonna and wishing for his own sex change operation.

I started off the night with my colleague Dino (our superuvoyeur) in the sweatiest, thirstiest, most animated VIP reception anywhere. We talked to a few filmmakers, including Gwen Haworth (“She’s a Boy I Knew“) who will be one of the judges for our exciting new SuperU contest “Out There” for films by and about the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered communities. Then we stood in the corner and sweated some more, Dino gallantly tossing me a piece of bread – dinner!

Now, I don’t read movie synopses before the film, so I got all my info from Dino, who told me that the movie was about a boy who competes in a Madonna impersonation contest to win money for his sex change operation. Actually, It turned out that the movie was about a boy who trains and competes as a wrestler in order to win money for his sex change operation so that he can take part in a Madonna impersonation contest. (There’s a slight difference there, Dino.) While waiting for the lip-synching to begin, I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to the traditional Korean wrestling practice called SSireum

Look for Super U at a couple of upcoming screenings we’re sponsoring: The Coast is Queer (Monday Aug 18, 7 pm Tinseltown), Confessions of a Sorta Str8 Drag King (Saturday Aug 23, 7 pm Tinseltown). All the details are at the VQFF website

Gotta run, it’s Friday and it’s hot.