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VIFF 2011, Day Three: A Quietening, Warming Day at the Festival

Granville Street at night, 30th annual Vancouver International Film Festival

Truth to tell, VanRamblings finds ourselves a bit tuckered, what with the five movie a day regimen, so we took it a little easier on ourselves on Saturday, arising a bit later than we usually do, enjoying a good breakfast at home, and thereafter meeting with the inimitable Showbiz Shayne in the languorous ticket line-up outside VIFF's 'home', the Empire Granville 7.

On the schedule, and screened, here are today's capsule film reviews:

  • Yle Vianello, in Corpo Celeste

    Corpo Celeste (Grade: A): In an exquisite performance, redolent with melancholy, Yle Vianello's Marta wrestles with the transition to womanhood she is experiencing, as well as her sense of aloneness in the world. Rarely heard, acknowledged or appreciated, and more often than not misunderstood, 13-year-old Marta comes to terms with the change in her life through her pending communion — affording her the prospect of ascending to paradise, and one day to marry, she is told. Of all this, of all that occurs in Marta's life, she is uncertain as to what the church tells her reflects her own beliefs, just as she is uncertain of her place in the world. A tremendously lovely and resonant film, with fully rounded, naturalistic supporting performances, as well as a notable sense of time, place, culture and the humanness of the community of which she is a part, Corpo Celeste is an authentic, quiet and beautifully observant film, daring in its religious exploration and Marta's burgeoning appreciation of her sexuality, as well as the corrupt nature of the political relations between the church and the right-wing Italian political machine. An example, perhaps, of a latter day, rough hewn, working class neo-Neapolitan style cinema that is also reminiscent of the gritty Hungarian family cinema of the 80s and early 90s, promising first-time director Alice Rohrwacher's Cannes' Fortnight selected, coming-of-age stunner moves to the top of the list of VanRamblings' Festival favourites. Screens one final time on: Monday, October 3rd, 1pm, at the Granville 7, Theatre 7, the largest Granville 7 venue.

A scene from Vadim Jendreyko's amazing documentary, The Singing City

  • The Singing City (Grade: A-): Offering a beguiling behind-the scenes insight into the tribulations and joy attendant in the technical and human dimension involved in the mounting and production of Richard Wagner's Parsifal by the Stuttgart Opera, The Singing City is one of the standouts at VIFF30, as director Vadim Jendreyko offers a penetrating documentary that is all at once vibrant, moving and tremendously engaging. A must-see. Fortunate for us, The Singing City screens three more times: Sunday, October 2nd, 10:15am, Gr 7 Th 5; Sunday, Oct 9th, 11am, Gr 7 Th 2; and Thursday, Oct 13th, 8:45pm, Gr7 Th 5.

  • Sleeping Sickness (Grade: B-): A rather slight film, more notable for its lush, travelogue style Cameroon setting than its confused and uninvolving story about financial corruption among NGO's who receive hundreds of millions in funding from world governments, and the fallout from a World Health organization investigation (the film doesn't go where you think it will, but then again, you're just not that invested in the outcome), VanRamblings is surprised that Ulrich Köhler's rather soporific film has garnered enough critics' and programmers recognition so as to be chosen to screen at the 49th annual New York Film Festival. Two remaining screenings at VIFF: Sunday, October 2nd, 5:30pm, Empire Granville 7 Th 6; Tuesday, October 4th, 6:20pm, Gr 7 Th 3.

  • The Prize (Grade: B+): A slice-of-life post modernist German tale revolving around the revisiting of life in East Germany post the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, Elke Hauck's slow - but moving and compelling - reflection of current 'East German' circumstance, provides languid drama as it tells it perceptive tale, but certainly involves. Screens one last time at VIFF, today: Sunday, October 2nd, 1:15pm, Gr 7 Th 2.

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Full VR daily coverage of the Vancouver Film Festival may be found here.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 2, 2011 8:31 AM in VIFF 2011


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