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Day Five: A Death Defying Adventure


As of this morning, VanRamblings has added 21 more reviews to our thrived and became an institution over the years, including reviews for Four Shades of Brown, Look at Me, Kontroll and Marseille, as well as supplementary reviews for Flower and Snake and Schizo. Twelve reviews by The Georgia Straight’s Janet Smith are now available in the Festival Review Guide, as well.

VanRamblings Survives the Slings and Arrows of Poor Fortune ...


Each year there’s a theme that develops within our west coast Film Festival. Of course, Vancouver’s Film Festival — perhaps more than any other Festival on the continent — remains an event dedicated to the Cinema of Despair ... and how could it not, when screening films about war and pestilence, worker abuse, hatred and misunderstanding, intolerance and social injustice, and real history rather than Hollywood history. Thus, despair has become the raison d’être of the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Each year, too, personal themes develop for Film Festival aficionados. Every year at the Festival, those previously unattached meet someone and become a couple, many going on to marry. One falls in love with film and, by extension, with the aficionadas one sees at virtually every screening.

One falls in love and remembers that relationship always, or recalls the chill of the night air while ambling through the rain-slicked streets late at night following the final screening of the day. Women go into labour while screenings are in progress, there’s more than one incidence of men having heart attacks and the ambulance driver entering the theatre to take the woebegotten Film Festival attendee to St. Paul’s Hospital nearby.

As for me, back in 1992 I experienced a sudden and unexpected attack of kidney stones (at a screening of Benny’s Video at the Pacific Cinémathèque ... fortunately, I’d seen Michael Haneke’s picture in the preview week, so didn’t miss out on the film, really) and was rushed to the UBC Hospital. Other years at the Festival have been dedicated to my children, who were in attendance at many of the films I love to this day. I have fallen in love many times, over the years, with women I’ve met at the Festival, and went on to have successful relationships.

This year, though, a new (personal) theme has developed. Late Sunday morning, not having gained entrance to Or (My Treasure) — it was sold out by 10 a.m. — I opted for a Pacific Cinémathèque screening of 10 on Ten instead. Readying my vehicle to pull into a parking spot almost directly across the street from Cinémathèque, I put on my turn signal, slowed down and began to pull into the metered parking spot, and was ... rear ended by a late model SUV, my trusty olde Volvo totaled in the process, and your intrepid reporter traumatized and a little the worse for wear.

As I sit hear aching in every fibre of my being, I am sorry to have to report that VanRamblings attended no Film Festival screenings on Sunday, but rather made it home to our cozy abode on the west side of Vancouver and spent most of the rest of the day in bed ... recovering (it’s going slowly).

As a consequence of this unfortunate turn of events, VanRamblings’ film attendance in the final 11 days of the 23rd annual Vancouver International Film Festival will, in all likelihood, be much reduced. We are, though, hoping to catch a 6:45 p.m. screening of The World at the Vogue, and we had intended on catching the 9:45 p.m. screening of Dead Man‘s Shoes, at the same theatre. At this point, however, one screening is looking possible, two screenings improbable. We’ll see how the day develops ...

So, back to bed with me it is. Another report, of a sort, tomorrow.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at September 27, 2004 12:00 AM in VIFF 2004


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