Like most VIFF pass holders, I am fading: micro-naps lose me seconds-wide gaps in even the best films; my back aches; lack of sleep makes me light-headed. In spite of that, I wake at 5 a.m. every day. These two films bring my total up to 67. That’s pretty mediocre, really. Some fans have logged more than 100 films.
Wish Me Away. USA, 96 min.
Chely (pronounced “Shelley”) Wright, a top Nashville country singer, struggles with her decision to come out as gay. Her main fears are what her mother will think and the reaction of her Jesus-addicted fans. Both fears are justified. Her mother retreats, her career tanks and she gets death threats from followers of the Prince of Peace. As her counsellor puts it “there are none so quite as mean as those who are mean for Jesus.” Happily, not all Christians are so vindictive. Both her father and her sister support her.
El Bulli, Cooking in Progress. Spain, 108 min.
Before it closed earlier this year, El Bulli restaurant, located on the remote coast of Catalonia, earned a reputation for its 35-course, four-hour dinners, featuring fresh in-season local foods served in almost microscopic portions. We follow owner Ferran Adria as he invents and tastes new dishes and his populous staff scurries about in the kitchen. What the sandwich-munching VIFF audience never learned is the price of dinner at El Bulli.