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VIFF2006: A Day in the Life, The Weekend Edition


The second week of the 25th annual Vancouver International Film Festival got off to a rousing start, with five more films taken in by Showbiz Shayne and Mr. Know-It-All. Having taken a brief break, we're hard back at it ...

First up: Dito Montiel's film adaptation of his best-selling autobiography ...

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (U.S.): A workshop production of the Sundance Institute (always a good sign), A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is just the kind of film you want to see at the Vancouver Film Festival: no Canadian distributor in place (so, if you don't see it at the Festival, you're not likely to see it on a big screen at all), well-reviewed pretty much wherever it's played south of the border, a vibrant, slice-of-life, coming-of-age saga that jumps off the screen with a raw power and intensity that is all but missing from the usual Hollywood fare. With outstanding performances throughout (most notably from Shia LaBeouf, who plays the young Dito), this brash, affecting, sometimes violent, and entirely engaging pic screens today at 4:15 p.m. and again Monday, at 8 p.m. Absolutely one to include on your Festival viewing schedule.

Candy (Australia): A wrenching, bittersweet tale of love, life and addiction, Candy grabs you from the moment the lights dim in the theatre, director Neil Armfield's evocative depiction of the central characters' headlong, drug-fuelled spiral into hell on earth allowing us to bear shuddering witness to the self-destruction of heroin addiction and the devastation felt by all those who come in contact with Dan and Candy. With superb performances by Heath Ledger and newcomer Abbie Cornish at the film's centre, Candy has already screened for the last time at this year's Festival. Maybe it'll come back to Vancouver's Cinemark art-house, Tinseltown Cinema.

The Lives of Others (Germany): Sold out at it's 4 p.m. Friday screening (Mr. Shayne bought a ticket from someone whose companion did not turn up, while a Festival staff member thankfully offered VanRamblings her ticket ... otherwise, neither one of us would have seen this superb film).

One of the "buzz" films coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival, and a picture that is sure to be up for a Best Foreign Film nomination come Oscar time, this superbly cast drama centres on a loyal Stasi officer and a writer he spies in the period prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Dark and challenging, yet warmly human, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck offers a cold appraisal of what life was really like under communism in east Germany, circa 1984. The Lives of Others is set to screen one more time, Monday night at 9:30 p.m. at the Granville 7.

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont: Another sold-out screening in the "VISA Screening Room," the 1000-seat Granville 7 Cinema 7, Dan Ireland's superbly rendered film (about which we've written previously) received a resounding round of applause at film's end, there not being a dry eye in the house. With no Canadian distributor in place, those who caught a screening of "Mrs. Palfrey" on Friday afternoon are among the (self-chosen) few who will ever be afforded the opportunity to see Mr. Ireland's entirely lovely and transporting film (altho' there is one remaining screening Sunday, Oct. 8, 11 a.m., G7 C4). Accomplished, engaging and superbly wrought. star.jpgstar.jpgstar.jpgstar.jpgstar.jpg

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And, finally for this posting: a video introduction to Johann Bruno Shayne (aka Captain Midnight, Raoul Casablanca, the Reverend Rock, Showbiz Shayne), and his take on our annual Vancouver International Film Festival (just a tad enigmatic, of course ... what else would you expect?).

As produced, filmed and presented by VanRamblings' webmaster, the award-winning Vancouver-based filmmaking auteur, "Kino" Klassen ...

VanRamblings may take a bit of a break from regular posting over the course of the weekend, as we attend VIFF films, participate in Canadian Thanksgiving at the home of friends on Sunday afternoon, and attend to some work-related projects, among other endeavours.

See you back here on Monday, for the one, the only 25th annual Vancouver International Film Festival "Videomatica Test," among a myriad of cinephilic features VanRamblings will present for your enjoyment and edification.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 6, 2006 12:05 PM in VIFF 2006


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