Friday, January 25, 2008

Festival Buzz - The Devil's Apple & Freshest of the Fresh

(phone ringing)

“Uh… Hello?”

“Ssseven dayssssss…”

“Oh crap.”

That’s right, fellow cinephiles, the Victoria Film Festival is going to be in full swing in seven days! Have you picked out your tickets yet? To make things easier, I’ve selected 10 films that are sure to please even the pickiest of palates. But, first...

We've Been Shot!

Victoria News
came by for a mid-week photo shoot—keep your eyes peeled for our cover! In the process of finding the ideal shot, we discovered that one of the construction guys next door can do handstands, and another produced the locally made World Premiere, The Egg Factory. What a diverse group!

Buzz Around Town

Everyone knows that the Victoria Film Festival hits the BIG screen from February 1 through 10th, but have you seen our festival advertised on smaller screens around town? Our ads have gone live, all over the city, on plasma screens at 5 recreation centres, the Gray Line bus terminal and the COHO ferry. We’re also being promoted on the 27 new screens at the Victoria airport!
Did you catch C-FAX at 3 PM today? Murray Langdon interviewed Hollywood Dreams director Henry Jaglom, and leading actress Tanna Frederick. At 3:30 PM, he followed it up by chatting with Russian supermodel, author, and actress Irina Pantaeva, of Siberian Dream. She’ll be flying in from NYC to attend both of her screenings. Make sure to tune into CBC Radio at 8:15 AM on Monday, January 28th for On the Island with Gregor Craigie, who will be interviewing Kathy Kay about the Festival.

10 FRESH Films

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox
– Sara Lamm

An offbeat, funny, and ultimately moving documentary about a socially-responsible company and the family that runs it. Dr. Emanuel Bronner was a mesmerizing and enigmatic character with a Yoda-like syntax whose mystifying messages belied a crafty, entrepreneurial mind. An impassioned speaker, he was a virulent anti-Communist and rallied against the fluoridation of drinking water. His activities didn’t go unnoticed by the FBI, either, mainly because he frequently called them with complaints and suggestions.

The Dead Sleep Easy
– Lee Demarbre (director will be at screenings)


When you’re south of the border, sometimes it is better to be dead than alive… From the team that brought you the cult hit Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, comes this surprisingly serious bright-light film noir with a Mexican twist. More surprising is some of the true-to-life casting, including Canadian-born wrestling superstar Vampiro, starring as The Champ, and world-renowned gangster-celebrity Dave Courtney. Talk about method acting!

– Chiara Bellini


Back in Sardinia, rumors still surround the fate of Giovanni Piras, and the stories about him in Argentina are even more grand and bizarre. Then, one Sunday in the 1950’s, his sister finds him again—on the cover of a magazine as Juan Domingo Peron, President of Argentina. It’s time to put the fables about him to rest forever. What happened to the poor emigrant? Who was the real man behind the legend?

Never Apologize
– Mike Kaplan


Never Apologize
is a unique hybrid of film, theatre and literature, that visits Lindsay Anderson and his famous colleagues: Alan Bates, Bette Davis, John Ford, John Gielgud, Lillian Gish, Richard Harris, Laurence Olivier, Alan Price, and Rachel Roberts. Drawing equally on his own recollections, and on Lindsay Anderson’s superbly-written materials, Malcolm McDowell conveys a sense of life with a man who was at once irascible and caring, deeply intelligent, and outrageously stubborn. Director Mike Kaplan pulls of a very surprising coup: a film that engages for every minute.

Let Others Suffer
– Todd Peters (director will be at screenings)


This remarkably adept mockumentary on the filmmaking process features a terrific ensemble cast that emulates the dynamics of many typical low-budget independent films; anyone who has been on such a film crew or set will recognize these characters very clearly. With a jaded commentator, who seems to rejoice in ripping the director’s film apart, Let Others Suffer offers a wonderful depiction of the near-impossibility of getting a low-budget indie made today.

The Milky Way
– Lina Chamie


The Milky Way
is an excellent Brazilian feature film that examines the inner struggle that love can create. Through Heitor’s thoughts and memories, we learn the history of a relationship that was seemingly doomed from the start. Julia, a young performance artist, lives and works in a world of other men, and her boyfriend Heitor’s jealousies soon take over every aspect of their lives.

– Ezra Krybus, Matthew Miller and Sascha Drews

This coming-of-age story is shot beautifully in remote, ragged Ontario, and the challenge of coping with a tragedy is heightened by the challenges wrought by the unforgiving environment. Stephie is sent camping with her big brother and three best friends to get past her traumatic fear of water. Through the experience, she becomes a strong young woman who flourishes under pressure and escapes the oppressive fear she has lived with for years.

– Brillante Mendoza

A tribute to the real potential of digital cinema, Slingshot is a slum epic on steroids. It weaves stories into a shocking tableau about the people living in the Philippines’ poorest and most crime-ridden districts. Starting from the film’s amazing nighttime raid, and climaxing with a candlelit vigil by those insulted by politicians’ empty words, the director investigates lives at every turn and blends their true fictions right into the streets of Manila.

The Class
– Ilmar Raag


The Class
is a refreshingly raw view of teenage reality that you just won’t be able to look away from. An awkward and unwanted outcast is neither friends nor enemies with a seemingly uncomplicated jock. The two are marked as friends in a dangerously petty circle of violence and rumors that is made even more frightening by the way it manages to sidestep the radar of even the most intelligent adults.

The Gates
– directed by Antonio Ferrera, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Matthew Prinzing


7,500 frames flowing with orange curtains were installed along the pathways of Central Park in 2005. The point was not to look at them, but to use them—to walk through and under them. Anyone ever involved in the arts knows the hoops you must jump through, whether it’s for funding or permission. The Gates reveals the 26-year odyssey that two men embarked on to bring a ceremonial and elegant feel to a city park.

Films for the Entire Family!

This year, we’re trying something new… We’ve had a bunch of short films rated, so that kids can see great films, too! We’ve put together a fabulous program of films for the young ones, as well as the young at heart. Get your tickets to Family Programming now, and bring the entire family to the Odeon on Sunday, February 10th, at 3:30 PM.

Another fun all-age film event to check out is FilmCAN. FilmCAN is an amazing opportunity for local high school students to create a short video from beginning to end, and have it screened at the Film Festival. Guided by various filmmaking mentors, the teams work through their ideas and then go on to create the World Premieres that you will get to see on the big screen. 2008 FilmCAN features shorts made by students from Reynolds, Vic High, St. Michael’s, Claremont, and Spectrum. So, come out, bring the kids, and support local and developing talent while inspiring the next generation!

Devil’s Apple, A Film

Conceived and created by local artist Mike Routliffe, this cutting-edge art exhibit features a film, a series of vignettes, and a series of printed and framed photo manipulations. Industry and information eras merge and we begin to understand that everything is composed of information that is constantly in flux. For details, flip to page 69 of the Program Guide, or go see it for yourself! Devil's Apple will run Monday to Friday, January 31st to February 6th, from 10 AM to 5 PM at the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria (Sussex Place G6-1001 Douglas St., between Fort and Broughton).

That’s it for this edition of Festival Buzz! Stay tuned for more. If you know any film lovers, make sure to spread the Buzz around!


Post a Comment

<< Home