Two films from the Vancouver International Film Festival. Shown at the media previews; the festival starts September 26. For a schedule, go here.
Kiss the Water (UK/USA; 80 min; Director — Eric Steel. Although the cinematography is brilliant and the editing remarkably sharp, the surprising thing about this film is that the central character does not put in an appearance until five minutes before the end. And then only for about 10 seconds. That person would be the late Megan Boyd, who lived her life in a remote village in northern Scotland constructing — believe it or not — fishing flies. Director Steel does a competent job stitching together scenes of salmon-rich rivers, interviews with Boyd’s friends, close-ups of the flies under construction, and animation. It is to his credit that he kept me hooked for more than an hour.
Ali (Spain, 85 minutes; Director, Paco R. Banos. ) Teenage Ali (short for Alicia) is an fatherless, annoying, chain-smoking, petty thief who adds sullenness to her accomplishments when her mother brings home a lover. The plot from there on in is predictable. I am puzzled as to why Banos chose such a banal story to film for his directorial debut. But it’s enjoyable enough if you have nothing else to see.