Archive for the ‘VIFF’ 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?

Fierce Light – World Premiere at VIFF

 

The Vancouver International Film Festival is hosting the world premiere of Velcrow Ripper‘s latest opus Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action. It’s the 2nd in the trilogy of spiritually motivated, earth worshipping, cinematographically rich documentaries which started with Scared Sacred. While Scared Sacred took us to the “Ground Zeroes” of the world to find if there is still hope in the places of the world’s darkest disasters, Fierce Light unites us with those engaged in compassionate activism around the planet. I always ask Canadian Images programmer Terry McEvoy: “which film in this year’s VIFF will change my life?” This year it’s Fierce Light.

Fierce Light – Wednesday October 1, 7 pm, Empire Granville 7.

or catch it soon on Super Channel.

An Open Letter to Don McKellar

Dear Don McKellar – 

When I saw you last night at the Vancouver International Film Festival Opening Gala you gave me the hairy eyeball as you walked by. I realized then that I owe you an apology. I may never get to deliver it in person, so I’m posting it here for everyone to read.

Don, I really admire your work. I first saw you in Roadkill, and I still have the Elvis postcard that Bruce sent me to say thanks to the Ontario Arts Council. I followed you through 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould, Last Night and, now, Blindness. I saw every episode of Twitch City.

Don, we have friends in common through film work and from the old activist network in Toronto. I used to live in Kathedral A and you had a connection with Kathedral B, right?

Don, let me say that I don’t really know why it all happened that way. You were giving a speech at UBC, where I went to film school. My old classmate was organizing it and, because she didn’t have a car, asked me to do her a favour. At the time, I had a really crappy car. My friend knew this. So why she asked me to pick you up at your hotel didn’t make sense to me; why didn’t she just rent a car? It was a really rainy day in November. My car had recently developed a leak in the windshield and when you sat in the passenger seat, on the way to the event, some rain leaked in and dripped on you. And for that, I’m truly sorry.

Don, let me finish by saying that I have a really nice car now. Best of luck with your future endeavours. 

Sincerely, Clare.

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.

Don’t you know who I am?

The dreaded six-word phrase uttered by would-be celebs from airports to restaurants worldwide. Now that we’re heading into festival and market season in Canada – Toronto, Atlantic, Ottawa Animation, Vancouver are all in September – it’s time to tell the world who you are by updating your bio for the delegate book.

Robert Wong, Director of the Provincial Tax Credit program for the film and television industry in BC, used to submit fake bios. He included record of his participation in the Extreme Shredding finals of the Tax Credit Games in which he lost both hands and had them replaced with flamethrowers. Bob was the hit of Strategic Partners!

In my fake life, when I am unable to find work in my chosen field as muse to Clive Owen, or find my career as pharmacist to Anna Nicole Smith abruptly ended, I decide to take a day job. So, here I am at Super U! In my spare time I enjoy green tea, macrame, visiting my friends in rehab and planning for my next police car chase to be broadcast live in prime time.