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VIFF 2011, Day 9: Catching Up With VIFF Coverage Elsewhere

VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, click on header for today's VIFF films

As we do each year just past the midway point of the Vancouver Film Festival, in today's VanRamblings' VIFF post we'll take a look at what others are saying, and have written, about the 30th annual VIFF.

Of course, we'll take a glancing blow at a few films, offering comment on a selection of VIFF offerings. VanRamblings has tried our best to dampen our oft-present curmudgeonly quality in, thus far, recording pretty much only positive commentary in our capsule reviews. Hopefully, we won't stray too far from our mandate to remain positive in today's VIFF posting.

First up, below, two films we could easily have done without seeing, and not have affected the quality of our existence on this Earth. Note should be made, as we have written previously, that what we are about to write in today's post constitutes our personal opinion on the various films under consideration, and in no way should be viewed as the definitive opinion of the worth, or lack thereof, of these VIFF film offerings.

A scene from Andrea Molaioli's The Jewel (Il gioiellino)A scene from Andrea Molaioli's The Jewel (Il gioiellino)

VanRamblings was decidedly unthrilled with Roadie, the latest from director Michael Cuesta (L.I.E.), a subpar exploration of the life of a recently fired roadie for Blue Oyster Cult. For all of its downbeat rhythms and evocations of life in Queens, New York, Roadie fails to convince, move, provide insight to, or otherwise succeed at whatever it set out to do. We were also not enamoured of Cannes Fortnight Best Director Mohammad Rasoulof's latest, Goodbye, an experience not dissimilar to watching paint dry. Yaawwwnnn.

Thought The Jewel (Grade: B+) was an absolute delight, though, Andrea Molaioli's well-filmed, superbly acted and gorgeously shot tale of corporate financial intrigue and pending economic collapse. Christopher Munch's Letters From the Big Man (Grade: B+) offers contemplative insight into the natural world, as told through the experience of Sarah (Lily Rabe), a National Forest Service scientist. Employing the search for / discovery of a Sasquatch in the Oregon forest, Munch's Sundance-produced film successfully explores the notions of serenity and meaning. Letters screens twice this next week: Wednesday, October 12th, 9:30pm, Empire Granville 7, Theatre 3, and Friday, October 14, 2:50pm, Granville 7, Theatre 1.

VanRamblings' favourite Asian film this year is Ishii Yuya's Mistuko Delivers (Grade: B+), a gentle-natured, propulsively involving and deeply beautiful comedy cum farce, as well as a warmly engaging tale about a pure force of nature. We also believe that two of the Indian films — No One Killed Jessica and 7 Sins Forgiven — are among the stronger offerings at VIFF 2011. Jan Hrebejk's Innocence (Grade: B+) was also first rate, a superb Czech character study about deception, the fluidity of the concept of innocence, penance, and the torment of our existence on Earth. Honey Pupu, the theme of which is "In the beginning nothing, and in the end nothing" pretty much sums up this utterly pointless exercise in anomie, set amidst the hipster/punk set in Taipei, replete with badly titled translation, and nothing approaching indelible performances. Miss Bala and Footnote also disappointed, although VanRamblings would seem to be in the minority opinion regarding these latter two films, which have won raves elsewhere.

Important note: Due to popular demand, in the latest VIFF Programme Update, a number of must-see films have been added to the schedule. Of particular interest to you is Paddy's Considine's blisteringly tough, kitchen sink dramatic début Tyrannosaur, which will now screen for a final time Wednesday, October 12th, 8pm, in the Granville 7, Theatre 6. Given that the notoriously impecunious distributor Strand Releasing has picked up the rights to Tyrannosaur, and given that they've got a woeful history in terms of booking their films into Canadian theatres, if you're looking to see one of the most powerfully acted & directed movies of the year, with an Academy Award nominatable performance by Olivia Colman (not to mention, Peter Mullan's superb, aggressively insinuating performance), you'd better place Wednesday's screening of Tyrannosaur on your movie viewing schedule.

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VIFF coverage from others

Covering VIFF: Risako Urakabe, J.B. Shayne, Peter Chattaway and Jason Whyte Covering VIFF 2011: Risako Urakabe, J.B. Shayne, Peter Chattaway and Jason Whyte

EFilmcritic's Jason Whyte must be the hardest work journalist at VIFF 2011, having recorded interviews with director Alex Perry (The Color Wheel), People of a Feather director Joel Heath, and a number of other producers, directors and actors invited to VIFF30 to present their films.

The Vancouver Observer has pulled out all the stops with its coverage, assigning Wendy Dallian, Volkmar Richter, Pamela Grcic and Parisa Azadi to cover VIFF 2011. The Georgia Straight also publishes extensive coverage of the VIFF, assigning Ken Eisner, Craig Takeuchi, Mark Harris, Janet Smith, Stephen Thomson, Adrian Mack, Michelle da Silva and Gregory Adams, among others, to write about what's going on at VIFF 2011.

GuySpy reviews Wish Me Away, one of VanRamblings' VIFF favourites. Schema Magazine's Sean Axmaker has written about VIFF films here and here. There's also quite in-depth VIFF coverage by a harmless drudge, with a great many reviews of VIFF films. A whack of Globe and Mail VIFF reviews may be found here, while The Vancouver Sun probably has the most extensive VIFF coverage, including 7 videos (one in which Festival Director Alan Franey 'recommends' a few VIFF films), which may be found here.

On a closing note for today's post: be sure to return to VanRamblings tomorrow for our Sunday post, Worshipping at the Church of Cinema.

In the interim, as Friday evening closes out, we leave you with the atmospheric music of Zola Jesus, reflecting the rhythms of the film festival.

Zola Jesus - Night .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

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

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 8, 2011 12:08 PM in VIFF 2011


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