82 minutes, B&W
Principal Cast: Shane Barach, Rose Mailutha, Lara Miklasevics, Chris Knott, Jefferson Koegel, Erika Remillard
|Film number 15. A helpful
festival volunteer advised me to get out of line and go
for a coffee. There were about 100 tickets up for grabs
an hour before the start. So I retired to a Starbucks and
write the last couple of pages. Saw Piers Handling
(Festival director) walk by outside the big glass
windows. No time to knock him down or make it look
accidental. Come to think of it, I haven't see him
introduce anything yet. Good man; more forward three
"Snow" is the first black & white film I've seen at this festival which is unusual for me. It takes place in Minneapolis in the dead of winter. Two people meet and spend the day together. There is a wistful quality about the story. People do what they do, but only sometimes say what they mean, and opportunities are lost because of it.
There was a scene in the Jerusalem Restaurant that tipped me off as to where the film was set. (I ate there about 7 years ago. it was March or February, and it was brutally cold. That memory coupled with the air conditioning in the theatre reinforced the idea of snow.)
Some Q&A with the director:
Q: Was this a short
film that you expanded into a feature?
Q: Was shooting in
snow a problem?
Q: Were the actors
Q: Was the music from
the time they were reminiscing about, or was it
Q: When did you film?
|I'm writing this under
the uncovered walkway in the pseudo-park on Cumberland
Ave between Belaire and Avenue Road. I an eyeing the
pigeons who frequently fly over me with grave suspicion.
Perhaps it's time to get a move on.
(Later) Am in the relative comfort of the Manulife Centre. It's air conditioned and has the comforting smell of coffee and baked goods. I just ran into John and Wendy Tutt who run the Princess cinema back home (Waterloo). We quickly compare notes, no doubt to our mutual bafflement. With 300 films, who can you have even a nodding acquaintance with more than about 100 -- of which you're seeing between 30 and 50? In any case, they were lukewarm on "The Man With Rain In His Shoes" and the new Isabelle Huppert film. They punted the "Eve-olve" shorts in favor of a Yugoslavian film whose name eluded all of us, which which they seemed vaguely dissatisfied. En route to a 2 o'clock, they dashed off and I ate a banana.
Obviously, all the action is here in the Manulife Centre this year. Having 8 screens here can't hurt, and it is in the geographic mid-point between the Uptown and Cumberland theatres. Flipping back pages in my log book, I see I was doing exactly what I am doing now on 10 Sept 97. Sitting on the same bench. With the same fatigue. I am so sleepy.
85 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Julia Sweeney, Quentin Tarantino
|Sometimes I think I could listen to monologues all day. Sweeney's is good, but perhaps a bit choppier than Spalding Gray's tend to be. But still engaging. And filled with CanCon: A reference to the CBC playing on NPR in the dead of night. Mention of Phil Hartman. Yes, I did laugh out loud when Sweeney told the story of being "Pat" for a day, her own acknowledgement of just how lame it all was. Would I see it again? Yup. I'll probably have more to say about this later. [Turns out I didn't.]|
|What to understand what 350 means? Go sit at the front of a movie theatre. Turn around, and look at every face you see, and try to put a name to every one. Just make up something for each, something appropriate. Each person has a name, a history, plans, loves. Keep going -- you probably stopped early. It's exhausting. That's how many is 350.|
United Kingdom, 1998
89 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Douglas Henshall, Lena Headey, Penélope Cruz, Gustavo Salmerón, Mark Strong, Eusebio Lázaro, Neil Stuke, Charlotte Coleman, Elizabeth McGovern
|I was absolutely captivated by this movie.
Not once did I think of the people around me, or how
fatigued I was, or nothin'. In part, my interest was in
seeing someone deal with the end of a relationship,
something I've done myself seemingly recently. So when
"Vic"'s girlfriend moves out after admitting to
having an affair, the feelings I felt were in part from
Henshall's performance, and part my own life.
There is at least a passing similarity to "Sliding Doors," but "The Man With Rain In His Shoes" has elements of Spanish surrealism that "Sliding Doors" didn't have. I think I prefer this film in part for its fantasy element, but also because it handles the realism very well too. Even in a fantasy, bad things still happen.
Douglas Henshall, María Ripoll, and Juan Gordon (producer) were there to accept (metaphorical) bouquets and a few questions:
Q: The colours are
very vibrant. Was this to reflect the hyper-reality?
Q: I recognize
Penélope Cruz. Where do I recognize her from?
Q: Did you ever
consider an alternate ending?
Q: Congratulations on
winning Best Screenplay at the Montréal Film Festival.
United Kingdom, 1998
108 minutes, Colour
Principal Cast: Amanda Boyd, Richard Coxon, Mark Holland, John Osborn, Ann Taylor, Andrew Greenan, John Daszak
|Say something nice. The soprano looked very nice. her voice was only piercing in a couple of spots. It was a very good video blow-up, not very contrasty at all. It started only 15 minutes late. I had to sit though only an hour of it before I gave myself permission to go. The sat was reasonably comfortable.|
|Previous Day||Table of Contents||Next Day|