Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper,
Laura Dern, Dean Stockwell
Canadian director Lynne Stopkewich ("Kissed")
presents her favourite film. It's been ages since I've seen
it, and then it was on video tape, which is as satisfying as
a glass of water is to a drowning man. So I was delighted to
see the Festival was screening it as part of the
"Dialogs" series where a director or actor presents
some film they especially like.
She wore blue velvet,
Bluer than velvet was the night.
Software than satin was the light
From the stars.
Lynn talked about how she had stalked Lynch for three
years before meeting him on the set of "Mullholland
Falls", a project which she said never really came
together. She talked about Lynch's love of film as opposed to
video, the way he demands final cut on all his pictures (a
reaction to "Dune"); the way he does his own sound
editing, the way he casts by looking at still photos and bits
of demo reels, cold-calling the actors at dinnertime, asking
a few banal questions ("What are you having for
dinner?") and then offering them a job without the usual
audition process; about the thing on the wall in Jeffrey's
bedroom in "Blue Velvet"; and how she isn't nervous
about showing her films unless she knows there's a director
in the audience -- like when she knew Atom Egoyan would be
watching and how sick with nerves she was.
"The man on the fire engine who can't stop
waving. Kind of like the Queen" -- Lynn Stopkewich
The Goddess Of 1967
Australia/Hong Kong, 2000
Cast: Rose Byrne, Rikiya Kurokawa, Nicholas Hope, Elise
They showed one of the 25th anniversary shorts before the
film -- the one by Mike Jones with Mike, Andy, and Cathy
Jones, entitled "Congratulations." Mike and Cathy
were on CBC Radio's "This Morning" this morning
talking about the short which also opened the first gala on
Thursday night. They made it for just about no money -- none
of the Jones were paid -- which happily meant they didn't
need completion insurance. And that meant that no
insurance person could say what risks the actors could and
couldn't take. So when it came time to do a helicopter scene,
they actually got to get in and take a helicopter ride.
"The ride was better than getting paid," Cathy
To "The Goddess of 1967": The film starts with a
young Japanese man typing on his computer: "I want to
buy a Goddess". The Goddess is the pet name for those in
the know of the Citroen DS, a lovely looking car with a very
smooth ride. The man travels to Australia to buy one from a
couple with one for sale. But when he arrives, they couple
are dead, their blood splattered on the walls and ceiling of
their house, and their cousin -- a blind girl -- minding the
house. And the Goddess. She asks him to drive her into the
outback, and so begins a road movie.
The film has a saturated, contrasty look which lends it an
almost storybook feel. Fitting since this is a story which
itself contains stories within stories. The movie certainly
does not hurry and lets the tales unwind at their own
sometimes languorous pace. This s not a film for showing on
commercial television unless the ads were clumped together at
the middle or end. It's worth watching with patience and
I met Rosie at the film completely by chance. She loved
it, and thought the Japanese man was very agreeable.
"What's not to like about a Japanese man?" I asked.
La Verticale De L'Eté
Tran Anh Hung
Cast: Tran Nu Yen Khe, Nguyen Nhu Quynh, Le Khanh, Ngo Quang
Hai, Chu Hung
Synopsis: Video Clips: (Click
A new film from the maker of "The Scent Of Green
Papaya." This is an equally lush, beautifully
photographed film. It follows three sisters -- or was it four
-- through a year or their lives, starting and ending with
the annual memorial dinner for their deceased mother. It's
light on structure, and is episodic, but is lovely to look
at. I had trouble keeping track of who was who because my ear
for Vietnamese names is quite inexperienced, and I'm still
not very good at distinguishing Asian faces, let alone those
who are supposed to be sisters. Does your opinion of me
suffer from this admission? Do you hat me for wanting a
subtitled character gloss on-screen at all times? Or hats.
They could all wear different coloured hats until I become a
little more savvy.
Seeing this film and "The Goddess of 1967"
back-to-back was not a fortuitous choice of scheduling. Pick
one, see it, then go home and sit quietly for a little bit.
Have an orange, then go to bed.
Side note: I think Liv Ullmann was showing her film
"Faithless" in one of the adjacent theatres. When I
came out of "La Verticale De L'Eté," there were
security people and camera hounds everywhere, and the
alternate murmur and applause of a Q&A session could be
heard behind closed doors.