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VIFF 2010, Day 3: Saturday Night at the Film Festival

Day Three of the 29th annual Vancouver International Film Festival, and the Fest held two movies in store ...

Cold Fish (Grade: B-): A wacky, phantasmagorical and generally sort of wigged out take on a gruesome and bloody murder spree that occurred in Japan earlier in the decade, Japanese writer-director Sono Shion introduces us to a typically unhappy Japanese family, a recently remarried father, his none-too-happy bride and his even unhappier teenage daughter. Enter the owner of a local tropical fish store who employs the business as a front for underworld crime, not the least of which revolves around his delight in 'making people invisible', an avocation consisting mainly of cutting his victims into pieces and disposing of them. Want some sushi? Grisly, sexy, brash and ultimately pointless, Cold Fish is just about as dark as they come (we're referring to the comedic elements in the film), and apart from the bloodbaths splattering the screen during the film's overlong 144-minute running time there's some actual cinematic inventiveness at work in the film. (No more screenings planned, which may not be such a bad thing)

Made In Degenham

Made in Degenham (Grade: B): The break-out hit of the year in Great Britain, this tale of female empowerment revolves around the inspiring leadership of reluctant union activist Rita O'Grady (Sally Hawkins), who in 1968 led 187 of her co-workers in a struggle to achieve equal pay for work of equal value against the Ford Motor company. Now, we'd be misleading you if we didn't admit that we were teary-eyed during much of the latter portion of the film. Still, even given the inspiring story the film tells there's something ultimately dishonest and manipulative about the approach that director Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls) has taken with the subject matter, resulting in a somewhat pedestrian, if audience-pleasing, film. Made in Degenham will return in regular theatrical run (after all, it's a Paramount movie) but if you want to see it sooner rather than later there's another VIFF screening next Saturday, Oct. 9th @ 1:15pm, at the Granville 7, Th 7.

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Now, as it happens we're planning a blow-out Sunday of 5 Fest screenings, beginning with Down Terrace (recommended to us by Jason Whyte), followed by A Somewhat Gentle Man, the buzz doc Inside Job and either Catherine Breillat's The Sleeping Beauty or The Tree for the early evening show, and one of Cell 211, Stolen Dreams or My Joy for our 'last show'.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 3, 2010 2:26 AM in VIFF 2010


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