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VIFF 2010, Day One: iPhone 4 vs The Festival

2010, October 1st, Vancouver International Film Festival
The Man Who Will Come, Hilda Hidalgo's Of Love and Other Demons, and SIFF winner, Reverse

Ordinarily, we'd post upon arriving home from a day of filmgoing at the Vancouver International Film Festival, but Thursday, September 30th turned out to be such a strange day, and the films we managed to get to so underwhelming that we're simply going to wait til Friday, Day 2 of VIFF, to have our socks blown off, as the inimitable Mr. 'Showbiz' Shayne and Mr. Know-It-All (aka VanRamblings) take in screenings of ...

  • The Man Who Will Come, a dense historical drama that earned the Silver Grand Jury prize at the Rome fest, as well as the Audience Award (12:15 pm, Gr7, Th7).

  • Reverse, a darkly comic story about three women, set in both the present and in 1950s Warsaw. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the recent Seattle International Film Festival. (6:45 pm, Gr7, Th2), and

  • Of Love and Other Demons, about which Andrew Barker wrote in his Variety review: "In her startlingly assured debut ... Costa Rican writer-director Hilda Hidalgo has seemingly unlocked the key to translating the cerebral sensuality of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's writing into film, providing one of the few screen adaptations worthy of the Colombian novelist's source material." (9:15 pm, Gr7, Th4)

As it happens, we were unthrilled with what we saw on Thursday, not terrible films, but not great and memorable films either — consisting of Sodankylä Forever - The Century of Cinema - an engaging, if somewhat pedestrian, film which limns the first film experience, through interviews with prominent European and North American filmmakers; Revolución, a stylistically inert and deadly dull film that attempts unsuccessfully to address the hypocrisy involved in celebrating the upcoming centenary of the Mexican revolution; Vespa, a not entirely unworthy Hungarian film (ostensibly about a boy looking for his Dad) but a terminally disconnected character-driven drama; and Russian Lessons, a relentessly graphic documentary that relates the bittersweet story of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war in the context of the two countries' post-Soviet history.

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As to the iPhone 4, although we'd ordered the phone weeks ago, and waited and waited for it to arrive (hopefully in time for the beginning of the Vancouver Film Festival) by happenstance - just after we'd picked up our tickets for the day - we received a call from the Surrey outlet of our Kitsilano cellular dealer advising us to drive out immediately to secure our new phone, or risk having to wait several more weeks. So there we were attempting to enjoy the first day of the Festival and life was intruding, demanding that we leave downtown Vancouver for the wilds of the valley.

And, of course, time was of the essence. September 30th represented the last day for Apple's "we'll give you a free $40 case because of the apparent call problems" programme, and the last day of Telus' "we'll throw in an extra 5GB of data - on top of the 1GB on the $65 package - plus we'll throw in an extra 100 minutes of prime time calling, and try to beat the pants off of Rogers if you sign up today" competitive cellular package. Did we really have any choice but to rush out to the wilds of Surrey to pick up our iPhone 4?

Ah well.

Hopefully, the acquisition of the iPhone 4 will result in some decent pictures and hi-def video of the 29th annual Vancouver International Film Festival.

Just yesterday we received a message from our friend Corinne, in Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia (where we spent part of our summer), wherein Corinne wrote that she hoped that VanRamblings might "access the relaxation you acquired here in Annapolis Royal". On Thursday, the first day of the Festival, driving out to Surrey and setting up our new phone, not so much.

Still, Friday beckons, films await, and we'll immerse ourselves in cinema.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 1, 2010 2:26 AM in VIFF 2010


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