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VIFF 2009: Sunday, Day 4, A Rather Low Key Day

2009 VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Night and Fog (Grade: A): Still. Based on the actual 2004 Tin Shui Wai murder-suicide involving a mainland immigrant, her Hong Kong husband, and their two children, Ann Hui's dark, muted and harrowing tragedy unfolds in flashback, from movie's outset tracking how Lee Sum (Simon Yam) came to murder his wife Ling (Zhang Jingchu) and their twin 6-year-old daughters. Given the film's arresting subject matter, it is Zhang Jingchu's utterly still portrayal of Ling that will endure for audiences long after the film has ended. Screens twice more, on Monday, Oct. 5th @ 6:20 pm, Gran 7, Th 4, and Monday, Oct. 12th @ 4:00 pm, Ridge Theatre.


Night and Fog

Next up on the 'still' theme, this absolute gem from Sweden ...

The Girl (Grade: A): More than an idyll, director Fridrik Edfeldt's The Girl explores the summer days of 10-year- old Anna (Blanca Engström), left (unknowingly) alone to care for herself amidst the uncertainty of all that may unfold as the days and weeks pass. That tragedy, or near tragedy, awaits seems inevitable. Still, there's a hot air balloon ride, catching frogs in the creek with her friend Ola, and the knowledge that by movies' end, despite all, Anna has survived, quiet, alone and with uncommon bravery. One of this year's must-see films, The Girl screens twice more: Wed, Oct. 7th @ 1 pm, Gran7, Th 6, and Thu, Oct. 8th @ 7:15 pm, Gran7, Th 6.

Ran into neighbour, Festival programmer, Guide editor, chief projectionist and all-around 'go to' guy, Jack Vermee, meditating outside the Granville 7 — looking none-the-worse for wear, given his almost fatal car accident last year — as he was preparing to introduce Kill Daddy Goodnight director-screenwriter Michael Glawogger, before the 9:15 screening in Theatre 3 ...

Kill Daddy Goodnight (Grade: C): This is what one sardonically refers to as a "kitchen sink drama", as in the filmmaker has thrown everything and the kitchen sink into a potboiler mess of a film, bereft of engaging characters, and in this instance with a plot that remains incoherent throughout, as it delves none-too-deeply into a Nazi massacre and pending parricidal genocide, among myriad other 'themes'. Kill Daddy Goodnight screens at noon today, Gran7, Th 3, and Thurs., Oct 8th @ 12:15 pm, Gran7, Th 6.



Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 5, 2009 1:55 AM in VIFF 2009

   

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