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Metro Vancouver and BC Chewers
#71
I'm going on a location scout to the old Watchmen backlot today. I'm gonna beat up some muggers!

So what else is there to do in this town besides hiking and looking at trees?
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#72
Some nice real ale drinking.

Rio hosts the manhattan film fest tonight and the friday night double bill tomorrow is 28 days later and 28 weeks later.

there's the last few days of bard on the beach.

Sunday is burlesque night at the biltmore on kingsway.

But then, that's just what I'm doing this weekend, there's the local wrestling promotion next weekend.

if in doubt, check the georgia straight, if you can't find something to do there then you're dead.

And of course the film festival starts next week - and I appear to be the only chewer who is excited about it.
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#73
OK, I'm going to the VIFF pretty much every day for the next 2 weeks - and i'll be giving potted reviews on here in case anyone else goes to later showings or better still goes to see something else and also posts on here.

Remember if any chewers want to get together before/after a show, the first pitcher is on me.

The first film i saw yesterday was "the jazz baroness" about british billionaire heiress Pannonica (nica) Rothschild who, during a trip to new york heard a record by the up-and-coming thelonious monk and fell in love with the music, she then abandoned her family (for a bit) and much to the horror of the dynasty started hanging around him and acting as a kind of platonic de facto manager. Also acting as a facilitator for much of the new york jazz scene helping out broke ass jazz druggies. At one stage she even took the rap for a drug bust and was sent to jail to keep thelonious out and playing jazz. The film was made by her great niece, another rothschild - allegedly "against" her family's wishes however a couple of them turn up as rich-as-fuck talking heads giving their views on this prodigal daughter. But the way that nica is painted as a whiter than white (literally, when one sees her with her associates), no drugs, no sex etc, in a scene that was rampant with both seems a little like editorialising. However many of the sequences work very well and the footage of Monk at the BBC that kind of forms the backbone of the film (i guess there's not much on film of him) is pretty impressive - jazz club mmmm nice... the rest of the talking heads are old, fucked, jazz heads. If you can imagine a cliche of an old jazz musician - then you've seen most of this film - even clint eastwood turns up with his $0.02. What works well is the montage which shows the very different backgrounds and growing up of monk and nica - abjectly broke as fuck carolinian and uber-wealthy jewish heiress - the contrast is about as stark as you can imagine. the later years when monk's health (esp. mental health) deteriorated and the toll of the drugs (a player but no bird). He remained faithfully married to his wife nelly? but couldn't live with her so he moved in with the dotty old baroness and her hundreds of cats until he died and then she died a few years later having her ashes sprinkled on the hudson 'round midnight.
A very cute film with GILF Helen Mirren doing the voice over as nica - and would make for a pretty decent theatrical film if the rothschilds allowed it. I'm not a jazz fan AT ALL but the jazz (which clearly makes up most of the soundtrack) flavours the film nicely especially the shots of 50s-60s new york.

the next film i saw was American Casino - a documentary on the sub-prime financial crisis - it worked pretty well but a good knowledge of the subject is required if you're to grasp exactly what these banks were doing as they don't spend time explaining it very well. They show pages and pages of numbers on a computer screen with only a cursory explanation of what they mean - i was fine to here, but then when they started talking about selling the CDO-squared and betting on people defaulting i got a bit lost (and I have an ECONOMICS degree!) however, i guess this is the point, these things are so baffling that people didn't know what was happening. the main thrust of the film is the way that banks "allegedly" targeted minority neighbourhoods with sub-prime loans, lying about the repayments and the incomes and then passing on the loans. The white talking heads seemed to be mostly whistle-blowers, journalists and people who saw the bubble bursting and got the fuck out early. the case studies are 3 nice, well educated, black people: a social studies teacher in maryland, a mental health nurse and a nice preacher-lady who all lost their houses and wound up homeless. All the stories were pretty similar but they didn't get overly maudlin - when one lady begins to cry they immediately stop filming - something that few documentary makers would do. The film then ends with a trip to california where whole new sub-divisions are left to rack and ruin - toxic swamp swimming pools and houses turned into Meth-labs they talk to an exterminator guy that tries to keep on top of the rat and mosquitos (etc). Naturally this is meant to make you think about the mess that much of america is in right now - and it does the job nicely, however it ran a little long maybe and could have used a little more clarity when explaining exactly how it these things got cooked up (some graphics would be nice). I've not seen the Michael Moore take on the subject but I would wager that it's more tasteless and theatrical than this very good piece of work.

information on all films and film schedule can be found at viff.org.
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#74
If you find another The Good The Bad and The Weird, or a Let The Right One In, let me know.
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#75
I didn't manage to get to as many films as I wanted to this weekend - social plans got in the way and the excess aprtying meant that i didn't manage to get as many on Sunday as I would have liked - indeed i kept falling asleep even though i was really enjoying one of the films. So on sunday I saw:

Will not stop there - A serbia / croatian co-production. yep, you read that right. I arrived at the cinema early and arbitrarily select this, the write up seemed positive but a bit vague on the details and the name seemed like a poor translation so i had a bit of a worry going in. Nevertheless - it began well with our likeable young protagonist (who looks like a cross between Ryan Reynolds and UK soccer player Michael Owen) tracking down a porn-starlet for reasons unknown, he enlists the help of her co-star a prodigiously membered gypsy who leads a secret double life as a family man and a stunt-cock - he also acts as narrator.
They go to belgrade and find the girl to be a drunken sex-slave owned by some gangster douche who offers to sell her to him, he agrees and starts rounding up money - including one funny sequence where he hassles a widow for money her recently deceased husband owed him - he also sells maps - the purpose of which is not expressly spelled out at first. this one of the charms of the films, it doesn't give away much information until it absolutely has to - making you guess and wonder about what is actually going on - a nice technique if done correctly (as here) - especially as 99% of the time your guesses are pretty close. He gets the money and brings her home - she assumes that he (whom she does not seem to know) is now her pimp, however he doesn't touch her, he just feeds her and looks after her, much to her bemusement. Gradually she sheds her old life, first the blonde wig, then the hooker garb / war paint and we see that she is a very beautiful but troubled girl. We learn that her husband was a big wheel in the army and that he had been killed which traumatised her deeply. He takes her to her old house and shows his plans to rebuild it and live there with her, however when he takes her into the village the locals spit at her until he valiantly pulls a gun and threatens the entire village to be nice or fucking die.
The two fall in love (normally i don't enjoy this kind of "love-story-set-against-something" but this felt very right and playful) much to the disdain of his friends, local ex-army thugs.
I don't want to spoil some stuff here - even though no-one reading this will see this film I don't want to ruin the way it naturally plays out - suffice to say it has a few good and organic twists and some excellent sub-plots - it doesn't dwell on the war but it provides a historical setting - nor does it get too heavy with messages or morality. Fundamentally this is a darkly funny love story that is engaging and satisfying with wonderful themes of redemption, forgiveness and responsibility. My only criticism is that the male lead is a little bland, he is handsome and quiet but can be a little drowned out by the other more cartoony characters in the film, however this too becomes logical and understandable as the film wears on.

I highly recommend this film. It is on again tuesday 6th at the ridge 9:15pm and Saturday 9:15pm at the granville 7.

information on all films and film schedule can be found at viff.org.
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#76
The next film was the imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Terry Gilliam's latest fantasy starring the wonderful Christopher Plummer in the lead - the funny-looking but hot lily cole as his daughter val, the diminutive verne troyer as his monkey butler/ sidekick and the devish tom waits as the devil. oh and some junkie who used to be in home and away. There has already been some hate on the site for this film, people seem ready to praise Death Ledger but quick to dismiss Terry Gilliam - this was bourne out as the auditorium filled to capacity very quickly (mostly with trendy girls and gays who screamed and cheered as his name appears on the credits). As a loyal Gilliam afficionado and aplogist(fuck you, I liked tideland) I will always turn out to see what he has come up with but I have to share the film with Ledger-lovers (I not keen on Mr. ledger's work and have yet to see his star turn in TDK), if Mr. ledger had not featured in this film (or been replaced with such attractive luminaries) i imagine the turnout would have been much smaller.

However, that said - I really enjoyed this film, the conceit (as usual for mr Gilliam) is a bit confused but very original however we are not patronized and Plummer is wonderful as the ancient Dr. Parnassus, if a little inconsistent, in some scenes he bumbles and mutters like an old man and in others he has a steel gaze and thespian clarity, however we can chalk that up to his drinking. The rest of the cast is wonderful, troyer as his passepartout is excellent, Lily Cole, a little dry at first and most assuredly funny-looking, reminding me of an old playstation advert.... However she brings alot of warmth and depth to the character, passing for a 16 year old virgin crushing on flashy death "Tony" Ledger (ledger sporting an accent that would make Dick Van dyke gag) and ignoring long-time friend, nice guy and confidante andrew garfield (an excellent turn here - i will be hunting out his other performances after this).

The story grinds along whimsically, tinged with that grimy texture that is a trademark of his autership, without very muchin the way of explanation - the big surprise here is the use of CGI - strange for an ex-animator - Gilliam has always shyed away from using very much CGI, preferring to punish his actors with real world verisimilitude, the animation employed for the fantasy sequences is bright and brash, but more than a lttle hollow as he takes baby steps into this new minefield - a few pythonisms creep in and more than once it hints at the heights a fully developed CGI Gilliam movie might achieve.
As tony begins to improve the fortunes of Dr. parnassus and charm the pants off val he simultaneously bugs the piss out of the rest of the cast and the audience with his sliminess. Much will be made of his transformations "through the looking glass" and it seemed to me that these sequences were elongated to make the most of the A-list talent suddenly landing in Gilliam's lap, each taking on a certain aspect of Tony's personality (none good) - Depp is his lasciviousness, Law is his avariciousness and Farrel is his brutish selfism each gets a decent run out but only Law really nails it. I can see why some reviewers found the last 20-30 minutes unravelling the film but i thought it worked quite well - the only real issue i had was that much of the exposition seemed to have hit the floor of the editing room (as if we had missed the first 30 minutes) to give more room to Tony's journey of self, which also had a rather uncertain result. I think a director's cut of this would really work much better. Hopefully TG can turn around this percieved slump and knock a couple of his next movies into the stratosphere as it seems unfair to keep such a brilliant filmmaker shackled to such tiny budgets for such bold visions. There seems to be (as usual) a real mish-mash of ideas, messages and metaphors - i rather liked the old hollywood v new hollywood allegory made by devin on this site but really it could be interpreted in any way you like.
Incidentally there are 3 sequences filmed here in the city of vancouver, one at the VPL on Homer, one at the marine building on hastings / burrard and one outside my office at Burrard and w. pender. Well worth seeing this film - at the theatre to support Gilliam or on DVD sometime.

There are no more showings of this film at the festival but it will probably recieve a brief theatrical run in the next few months - Christmas for the USA and Canada - earlier for everyone else.


information on all films and film schedule can be found at viff.org.
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#77
The third film I saw yesterday was The hunt for moby Dick, author Philip Hoare's documentary on Whales, whaling, melville and himself. It was made for the BBC's arena series of extrememly high-brow documentaries. I seem to remember that man on a wire was a part of this series too (as is The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector also showing at the VIFF). It was a passionate look at melville's life and how he brought a spotlight onto the Whaling goldrush of the early 19th Century - weaving in the narrative with scenes of the John Houston version, historical references, beautiful underwater footage of the beasties, scientific titbits, personal reflection, travelogues around cape cod and nantucket (as well as the UK). Clearly a labour of love it was tinged with sadness about how melville's career was killed by the critical panning of his masterpeice and how it wasn't until the middle of the 20th century that it became accepted as one of the greatest american novels of all time. A brisk 75 minutes one felt that Hoare could have happily expounded at length - which he did during a question and answer session afterwards with the Samuel Johnson award winner, he spoke about his time diving with the sperm whales (not a diver, he just jumped in and had a go), also about how the sperm whale is probably the most amazing animal in the world, and how hal whitehead had made some fascinating leaps of logic relating to them and their behaviour. He also spoke about the modern world's attitude to whaling and how he uncovered so much about melville that was not publicly known.

I also enjoyed this film, if you have an interest in whales and wish to see an effete englishman enthusing about them then this is for you - I will also be checking out the much lauded books that this film came from.

A final showing is Sun, Oct 11th 4:20pm, Hopefully Philip Hoare will be on hand again to talk about it.

information on all films and film schedule can be found at viff.org.
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#78
On monday night I saw in search of Beethoven, Phil Grabsky's follow up to "in search of Mozart" which traces the life of Beethoven peppered with standard historical photos and many many many live performances, it was quite reasonable as many of the talking heads, virtuoso weirdos to a man were' charmingly foreign / amusing. However all the shots were in extreme HD Close up and these ugly, elderly men with bad teeth and effusive ear hair were rendered with such disturbing clarity i found it distracting, especially as I was sat at the front due to being late.

The film delighted in the performances (over 50 the director informed us) - some of which are fantastic, but have no doubt this is heavy on the music, the bits that are known about beethoven are here but as much of it is based on his correspondence and hearsay but they do link the music to the life quite well. There's not much more to say - except that it is a little long, but i sympathise that you have to play chunks of all the major works and more. If you want to see a simple documentary about beethoven watch this instead.
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#79
I enjoyed Tetro this afternoon for my first 2009 VIFF screening, stumbling my way into the third row only to be assaulted by Gallo's absurd facial features and some very beautiful digital cinematography. Kudos to Coppola for getting back on the horse and delivering a tale spawned from a personal place, what would we get if Lucas followed suit and delved such depths?

Very excited for tomorrow, the Park theatre is screening A Serious Man one week before opening in town. With free bagels.
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#80
I might see that tomorrow...
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#81
sweet, i love the park cinema, they have their funky 10am sunday screenings for films that don't open for another few weeks. I also live 2 blocks away from it.

Glad you liked Tetro, it sounded pretty good but i haven't managed to catch it - I'm not sure about coppola's new "direction", i wasn't keen on "Youth without youth" -

I came down sick last week so i missed a couple of days (my wife used my pass) and so I have a bit of a back catalogue of films to review, I will have to be briefer than usual.

Annoyingly that meant i missed facing Ali - and therefore the opportunity to meet "the overrated one" cassius clay. I also missed precious, but i'm hoping that'll get a decent cinematic release sometime.

What I did see was:

Rembrandt's J'accuse - Peter Greenaway does onscreen narration for 90 minutes as he takes us on a journey into "the night watch" the classic painting by rembrandt and spells out 31 mysteries that the painting suggests and also illustrates the whodunnit murder story at the heart of it.

The documentary is intercut with short period vignettes featuring (amongst others, martin freeman as rembrandt) giving some historical texture to the proceedings. I thouroughly enjoyed this film, it allowed us to see far more than was actually presented in the painting and also allowed Greenaway to make something that whilst personal was not as indulgent as many of his works. My only criticism was that the documentary section was too brief and the vignettes hinted at a very good period feature that we hadn't seen - consequently the whole thing played out as a kind of special feature doc on a second disc of the feature dvd.

On saturday I caught the much hyped Kamui - "the best ninja movie of all time" cry the reviews - well I'm not a fan of the martial art epic or any film that uses wire fighting as a replacement for plot and characters - I'm also not a fan of Anime and it's ilk - I tend to stay away from the dragons and tigers section of the festival having been burned by some truly terrible korean films last year but i thought i'd give it a try. It began inauspiciously with a faux anime origin sequence that had more in common with a bad computer game intro and then immediately dived into lots of wire fighting and leaping around in trees - my worst fears realized. but then suddenly the film swerves and quickly becomes a rich character piece - as we learn more about that period in history (true or not It doesn't matter) and the lead's journey of self - we see his journey and whilst there is more than enough sword play and rouching-tiger-isms for the casual ninja-violence fan (I expect) the warmth and humanity of the film cuts much deeper. The film does suffer slightly from those sudden plot leaps that is a trademark of oriental and poor western storytelling but you roll with them and put it down to insufficient subtitles. Naturally the fugitive ninja's lot is not a happy one but the melodrama keeps pace with the action and the richly developed cast creates a good backdrop to the inevitable orgy of death and katana based limb amputation. If you like this sort of thing this is right up your street, but if you love this sort of thing, give it a miss because there's not enough hacking for violence lovers and not enough heart for drama fans.

An additional screening has been added Thu, Oct 15th 1:45pm Empire Granville.


By sunday i felt up to seeing more than one film so I managed to catch as many as i could - the first being The exploding girl starring Zoe kazan (grand-daughter of name- naming Elia and daughter of nicholas) in a film where virtually nothing happens. The girl returns to a city (new york we imagine) from college for the summer - she has epilepsy and a boyf away in another state whom we know will be cheating on her. She is boring and bland, her loser bff is a wiry college twat who is also back from "school" and is crashing on her mum's couch. They go to parties, nothing happens they hang out they play cards, nothing happens, he tells her he likes her, she doesn't know what to do, he kisses another girl, she get dumped by absentee boyf, they sort of hook up. That's it, the whole thing reeks of a piss-poor student film made for $8 the performances are so wet and limp it just irritated me that i had bothered at all. It had the emotional depth of an episode of gossip girl and absolutely no point whatsoever. Avoid.

The film after this was, of course, in complete contrast - the new rijksmuseum was a documentary looking at the dutch national museum and their attempts to renovate away from the current "labyrinthe" into having a clear, organised collection. Ther main thrust of this reno is the changing of the passage - a large arched tunnel through the middle of the building used by cyclists and walkers alike to cut through to south Amsterdam - the new plans change the way this tunnel works - moving the pedestrians to the middle and having the cyclists move to the sides - a system which then allows them to put in staircases in the middle to access the courtyards either side. Local cyclist pressure groups (yes folks cyclist pressure groups) fight this and the local government capitulates to their strength (despite this seemly sensible compromise) forcing the much put upon architects to re-evaluate their plans. Each time their plans are drawn and agreed by Ronald de louw (the dynamic museum honcho) and the board etc, they are quickly shot down by one of the governmental bodies or a ministry - forcing everyone to go back to the drawing board - each time adding a year on to the renovation date. It is a modern tale as old as time - and who doesn't live in a city with a similar story. Every agency bemoans the delays but every agency in someway causes the delays so the museum sits empty and rotting as each stage is wrangled over again and again. The initial enthusiasm wanes and people start leaving the project and a plethora of new faces turn up each with their own agenda - I found it a great piece of work - it balanced the futility of this kind of circular procedure and the way costs and dates escalate quickly, balanced with the passion of the people involved and one of the finest collections of art in the world all locked away in storage until the renos are complete. Perhaps they tried to tell too much story (an interlude about buying some japanese statues seemed extraneous) making it seem like a series about the renos had been squashed into a single feature but nevertheless it painted a wondferful view of this quintessentially dutch cultural icon.

The third film on sunday was "canary" which had piqued my interest - the main thread of this film was a kind of "what if a corporation organised your organ replacement but then could re-possess it if you fell behind on your payments / failed to obey their care instructions." an interesting idea, lost in sea of bullshit. This is by far the worst film I've seen this year, it alternated aritrarily between scenes of a marketing company talking marketing bullshit in the "fishbowl" about how to sell people on organ replacement or an office full of chirruping idiots all talking at the same time while the camera dwells on a creepy woman who then seems to stalk perfectly normal people all over the world, before (we imagine) gassing them and re-posessing their organs. It's a mess, nothing is explained properly, interesting aspects (the moral and metaphysical quandaries) are glossed over or ignored, basic film-making techniques are thrown away with such casual regard that I'm baffled by what a scene is trying to accomplish - characters are introduced, briefly developed then ignored for the rest of the film, the film goes nowhere, absolutely nowhere - i wanted to walk out sooooooo badly and when it finished there was no applause - the only film i've been to at this festival with no applause - all i could hear as we all charged for the door was a lot of people apologising for dragging others to see this half-baked abortion of a film.

I wanted to see more films but after 2 shit showers like the exploding girl and canary I wanted nothing more than to go home.
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#82
The Park Theatre is showing A Serious Man this weekend. Horray!
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#83
Quote:

Originally Posted by mr_adam
View Post
What I did see was:

Rembrandt's J'accuse - Peter Greenaway does onscreen narration for 90 minutes as he takes us on a journey into "the night watch" the classic painting by rembrandt and spells out 31 mysteries that the painting suggests and also illustrates the whodunnit murder story at the heart of it.

The documentary is intercut with short period vignettes featuring (amongst others, martin freeman as rembrandt) giving some historical texture to the proceedings. I thouroughly enjoyed this film, it allowed us to see far more than was actually presented in the painting and also allowed Greenaway to make something that whilst personal was not as indulgent as many of his works. My only criticism was that the documentary section was too brief and the vignettes hinted at a very good period feature that we hadn't seen - consequently the whole thing played out as a kind of special feature doc on a second disc of the feature dvd.

That sounds awesome! I had the pleasure of seeing Night watch on a class trip in grade 12. It was immense, and one of my favorites(and this was after a tour of the Vatican where it's non stop masterpieces every 3 feet on a 5 hour tour).
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#84
Anyone else going to the special screening of Nosferatu, scored by the VSO, on Halloween night at the Orpheum?
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#85
I'm opting out of that for a double feature of Nightmare Before Christmas in Disney Digital 3D followed by an evening at the Pacific Cinematheque for their late screening of Suspiria.

Sure to be spooky good fun.
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#86
J7ust to let you know that the Vancity is doing VAMPRYE (sic) WEEKEND this weekend and kicking it off with CHUD favourite:

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

Friday afternoon and saturday evening.

Do yourself a favour and catch this on the big screen, also they are doing a seven film pass for $35. If you can't be bothered with halloween and the inevitable debacle of granville street, you owe it to yourself to go to these shows.
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#87
Anyone else planning on attending SPARK FX this year? They always happen to bring some excellent classics to the big screen. I was fortunate enough to see Forbidden Planet, Alien, the Abyss, Terminator 2 and City of Lost Children last year. To say nothing of the Star Wars Trilogy which sold out.

They've got eight films lined up for this year, which is four less but still worth seeing in a classy joint like the VIFC.

DAY 1 - WEDNESDAY - JANUARY 27, 2010
9:00 pm"The Fifth Element (1997)"

DAY 2 - THURSDAY - JANUARY 28, 2010
7:15 pm"E.T. (1982)"
9:30 pm"The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)"

DAY 3 - FRIDAY - JANUARY 29, 2010
7:15 pm"Jaws (1975)"
9:30 pm"King Kong (2005)"

DAY 5 - SUNDAY - JANUARY 31, 2010
2:30 pm"The Wizard of Oz (1939)"
7:00 pm"Sin City (2005)"
9:20 pm"Watchmen (2009)"
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#88
I bought my tix for JAWS! Can't frickin' wait. I finally get to see my favorite film as it was meant to be seen.
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#89
Lucky bastards. Come on, Toronto! Get your shit together. I want to watch Jaws, too.
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#90
Toronto gets a digital film festival. No Jaws but plenty of gems being shown in HD/2K.
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#91
I love it when they play classics at VIFC. I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark there a couple of years back. Felt like I was 10 again.
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#92
The DOXA has started up again, I went to the terra madre opening night, the film was ok. The first 2 reels were about the conference in Italy and the different sharing of farming technique (which was the most impressive), then there was a section in svalbad (way north of norway) where samples of all the seeds in the world were being saved for the future (i'm not sure why that place wsas chosen - although it amused me to see African dignitaries freezing their balls off).
Then it lurched back to italy where a farm formerly owned by a recluse who only ate what he farmed was posited as a type of paradise, despite the fact it looked like an abandoned farm a bunch of farming experts argued with organic types about how inefficient it was for one person to live and farm on so many hectares when he was only growing food for himself. Apparently the only thing he needed from the outside world was matches - the farm itself backed onto a motorway.
then it lurched again to a montage of an italian man planting seeds, digging soil and harvesting the shit he had grown in some quiet, over long pointless paean to farming the old-fashioned way.

I thought on the whole it had started well but had slipped significantly failing to stay focussed on the issue (it's a documentary film festival) and felt like 3 separate tv shows jammed together.

However the party afterwards at the harrison gallery was much better, good food (of course) and some R&B beer at the bar. A good time - unfortunately my mate and I got a bit too well oiled and thought that going to Pub 340 would be a good idea.

Saturday and Sunday I had plans so i had to miss those films but Tuesday i've got a couple more to go to - full reports on here.
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#93
Last night i dodged the inevitable Hockey blow-out by seeing 2 films at the vancity theatre -
The first: Cameroon: coming out of Nkuta was a French film examining the unique way homosexuality exists within Cameroonian culture, made illegal in 1972 (punishable by 5 years in jail) the story picks up with a local Human rights activist who is trying to help the boys (some as young as 16) get out of jail where they suffer from frequent rapes and sexual abuse from the guards. Pointing out that the "law" was made unconstitutional when cameroon adapted their constitution in the 1990s it is still enforced (unevenly) mainly in the capital Yaoundé (neighbouring town Douala seems slightly more tolerant) where the government, army, police and militia are based (who require a stream of boys to incarcerate and molest).
There seems to be a peculiarly unique culture in so far as homosexuality is often about power (eg. the prison rapes - but there's much more) the subtitles and the french film maker in attendance failed to explain it fully but my understanding is that: as in the western cultures a woman may have sex with a man to get a promotion (also a man with a female boss) they may also engage in homosexual acts to get a promotion (even if niether is "gay"Wink, now apply this logic to all walks of life, not just within a work sphere.

Of course all this is under the heavy blanket of religious, cultural taboos and intolerance and of course ignorance and violence as well as general on-going African troubles.

The film is well shot - the director has a day job as a camera woman for TV in france but the subtitles struggle to capture what is going on and often nuances are lost in the ham-fisted translation. However it does paint an interesting picture of life in modern, post-colonial Africa.


The second film of the night was: Pax Americana and the weaponisation of space. A straight up, balls to the wall scare-doc with just enough evidence to validate their conspiracies.
It began with a solid background in the space race especially Werner von Braun's involvment with NASA after WW2, it touched on the Arms race and how the US has quite clearly stated that it intends to dominate the whole of space and limit other nation's use, so far it has stuck to the treaty that has forbidden WMD in space but has gone to fucking town putting other "defense" systems up there. There's lots of talking heads, from some jarhead air force kid to Martin Sheen and (inevitably and reliably) Noam Chomsky as well as some ex-political types who seem to love talking about secret shit. The film tries to be fairly even handed but even so it clearly points to the USA as self-appointed sheriffs of the world and the fact that China (for one) wants to do something about that. It also gave lots of background on the UN treaties that the US refuse to sign, the ludicrous amount of money spent on this "missile defense" and the defense budget in general (50% of all US tax money goes to the military) and the way this vanishes into the pockets of mysterious defense contractors for very few results in a very sketchy industry that doesn't need to exist.
It finishes, strangely, on a bit of an environmental note - pointing out the tons of orbiting debris, and if satellites continue to get destroyed the debris will increase, damaginging and destroying other satellites. This would then affect all the legitimate satellites which we use every day. It would also create a field of debris that could not be passed by space-ship (it would be shredded) cutting us off from the rest of space.

On the whole i enjoyed it, but then I like these great-satan scare-conspiracy docs; It's also getting picked up for a limited theatrical run (also at the Vancity in early June).
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#94
Anyone else in Vancouver going to the Kurosawa centennial hosted by the Pacific Cinematheque all summer long? All 30 features will be exhibited between June and August starting with Rashomon and Stray Dog on the 17th. Info here

They'll be taking a break from it during Canada Day week to feature the restored Metropolis on a double bill with The Red Shoes. An amazing lineup.
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#95
VIFF rears it's head again - has anyone got any plans for going? I'm in Kelowna with work for most of the first week but i'm rocking the shit out the second.

any buzz?
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#96
I’m not getting a pass this year as work takes me up to Kelowna for a chunk of the festival and other stuff (y’know, life) gets in the way too, but here’s a list of what I like along with my usual flippant synopsis gleaned from the guide. Of course all info is available at http://www.viff.org
My list gets vague as the festival finishes as there’s often additional screenings and changes, plus there are other chances to catch things that might have been missed…

Thursday September 30th
4:15The Arrivals – Documentary - French authorities deal with Asylum Seekers.
6:15Lucky – Documentary – Winning the Lottery can suck.
9:15Russian Lessons – Documentary – Georgians get invaded by dick Russians.

Friday October 1st
7pm12 Angry Lebanese – Documentary – Islamic convicts production of 12 angry men.
9:30Monsters – Drama – Space Aliens fuck Mexico.

Saturday October 2nd

10:454th Revolution – Documentary – weird and novel methods of world energy production.
1pmCity of Life – Drama – Diverse inhabitants of Dubai collide.
2:50Armadillo – Documentary - Danish Soldiers do bad things in Afghanistan.
6:45Made in Dagenham – Drama/Comedy – 60’s UK chicks want equal pay.
Or
7pmLeave them laughing – Comedy/Documentary – Canadienne Comedienne dies slowly.
9:30The Infidel - Drama/Comedy – UK Muslim discovers he’s an adopted Jew.


Sunday October 3rd

10:45Feathered Cocaine - Documentary - Illegal trade in Birds of Prey.
Or
11amDown Terrace – Drama/Comedy – Down-market Brighton Gangsters.
1pmDavid wants to fly - Documentary – The big con of Transcendental Meditation.
4pmThe Eye 3-D - Documentary – 3-D science doc about a Chilean deep space telescope.
9pmMy Joy – Drama/Documentary - Russia is fucked up.


Thursday October 7th

9:45Guido Superstar – comedy – some guido gets mixed up with the mob (hilarious consequences).

Friday October 8th

4:15Cell 211 – Drama - Spanish Prison Riots
6:45Inside Job - Documentary – Banking Crisis etc.
9:30Gallants – Drama/Comedy - Old Kung-fu veterans can still go when they need to.

Saturday October 9th

1pm Carlos – Drama/Documentary – 5+ hour story of the Jackal. Seriously. Let’s do this.

Sunday October 10th

10:30Another Year – Drama - Mike Leigh’s improvised kitchen sink drama #408B
12:40Windfall - Documentary - Wind farms, bullshit? Or not?
2:30Ride Rise Roar – Concert – Crazy David Byrne’s Crazy Concert.
Or
3:45SCORE: a hockey musical – Musical – errr, it’s a hockey musical.


Monday October 11th

1:30Cold Weather – Drama - Portland drop-out turns detective.
3:45Wagner and me - Documentary - Stephen Fry gets Wagernian.
6:15Mammalian & Cry Rock - Documentary – Double bill of Canadian wilderness and first nation woes.
9:30Acquired Trait – Short Films – how our circumstances change us.
Or
8:30Autobiography of Ceausescu - Documentary - Using propaganda films we see how he saw himself.


Tuesday October 12th

4pmLA Zombie – Drama? – Gay Torture Porn Zombie Flick. Yep.
Or
4:20Garbo the Spy - Documentary - Nazi double agent causes trouble for all.
Or
4:15Uncle Bounmee - Documentary - weird dying Thai farmer sees ghosts and recalls past lives.

Wednesday October 13th

6pmWhen the devil knocks - Documentary – Multiple Personalities Case Study
9:45LA Zombie – Drama – see Tuesday October 12th .
Or
9:15Mood Swing – Short Films – happiness and depression
Or
9pmHarragas – Documentary – Algerians smuggle themselves into Spain.
Or
9:15Armadillo – see Saturday October 2nd

Well, that’s about it, if anything leaps out at you give me a message, especially if you can help me solve my multiple movie quandaries.

Adam
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#97
Did anyone who went to VIFF catch Uncle Brian? A friend of mine made the flick, and it's been getting some great reviews.
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#98
no i didn't catch it, it wasn't even on my radar - sorry.
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#99

So did any of you Van folks get to the Alien / Aliens double bill last weekend?

if so, i have a nice fresh loaf of FUCK YOU for you. right here. just so you know, i'm pointing at my crotch

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i wish I had! you are correct to be serving bitch pie to all of us that didn't!

The digital filmfest looked good, i really wanted to go to the LOTR ED HD marathon on Saturday but i wasn't going on my own. $5 a film is sweet.

FYI the kings speech is now entering it's 8th week at the park cinema, I wish it would fuck off. I want to see something else.

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Yeah, the ALIEN/ALIENS double feature was amazing. Despite having seen the original at least half-a-dozen times the theatre-quality sound had me jumping out of my seat for almost every single scare. As great as that flick is at home, it was meant for theatre-viewing. ALIENS was also a blast, though didn't hit as hard as Scott's film. Was going to stay for PREDATOR as well, but had to get up early Saturday for a school project.

Also checked out BACK TO THE FUTURE mid-week, which was an equally magical experience.

I see RAIDERS is playing at the Granville 7 on the 25th. I'm gonna be there with Belloqs on.

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