VIFF 2011 ends


The Vancouver International Film Festival closed Friday (October 14) with a gala screening of The Kid with a Bike. Like most pass holders, I skipped it. It cost extra. Gala screenings belong in film festivals like Toronto, Sundance, Venice and Cannes, which are attended by film stars and producers with thick wallets. In Toronto, they make deals; in Vancouver, we see films.

Many films. A standard pass costs $400 ($325 for students and seniors) and gives you entry to any film (except the gala screenings). From the day the media screenings begin shortly after Labour Day, to the day the festival proper begins until it ends in the  middle of October, you get the chance to see any film. Time forbids seeing all of the 350 films even though most of them are screened at least twice. Squeezing five films into a single day is exhausting for aging people like me, but some passholders do it, and manage to rack up more than 100 films. (I saw 71.)

Best films (according to me) were: The Sandman, The Singing City, The Jewel, Crime after Crime, Journey on the Wild Coast, Bombay Beach, Alan Bennett and the Habit of Art, Lost Bohemia, Michael, Life without Principle, How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

Worst films: Honey Pupu, Outside Satan, The Sword Identity.

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About aharmlessdrudge

Way back during the late Bronze age -- actually it was the 1950s -- all of us in high school had to take a vocational test to determine our interests and, supposedly, our future careers. I cannot remember the outcome, but I do recall one question that gave me pause. "If you were to win a Nobel prize, would it be in literature or in physics?" I hesitated over the question: although I enjoyed mathematics and science more than English class, I did have a couple of unfinished (and very bad) novels hidden away at home. I cannot remember what I chose back then, but the dilemma followed me to university, where I switched from mathematics to English and -- after a five-year stint in journalism -- back to mathematics. I recently retired as a professor of statistics. Retirement. What a good chance to revive my literary ambitions. I have finished a novel -- more about that in good time -- and a rubble of drafts of articles about mathematics and statistics is taking up space on my hard disk.
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