Day 4: September 12


10:00 am

Le Bleu Des Villes

Stéphane Brizé
France, 1999
Cast: Florence Vignon, Mathilde Seigner, Antoine Chappey, Philippe Duquesne
Synopsis:

Director Stéphane Brizé was there to thank us for coming on a Sunday morning to see his film. Really, he seemed quite pleased.

It's about Solange (Vignon), a meter maid in a small French city. The Film is French. That's about all you need to know.

Q: Who wrote the meter maid song?
A: I did. I wrote it on paper, and it was very funny. But when we went to shoot it, I wanted it straight. To hear them [the choir] sing it -- it was a surprise.

We filmed in a medium sized city in central France. Often I was not very close to Florence -- maybe 200m away with a telephoto lens. And people would drive by her (in her meter maid uniform), stop and shout "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!" and then drive on. No one likes [meter maids].

Q: What was it like cowriting the film with the person who was going to play the lead?
A: [Severe paraphrasing] It didn't start that way. We worked on it for four months, but I didn't want to tell her "let's write the film for you." After four months, I asked her if she wanted to -- if she would enjoy playing Solange.

Q: Can you talk about your next project?
A: No. It's still just ideas in my head. I'm very happy to talk about my films once they're done, but not at the beginning. Sorry. You can say that he doesn't have any idea what he's doing.

1:00 p.m.

A Girl Is A Girl

Reginald Harkema
Canada, 1999
Cast: Andrew McIntyre, Paige Morrison, Laurie Baranyay, Aeryn Twidle, Jo-Ann McDonald
Synopsis:

Nicely photographed -- very good looking, but without a story -- or a succession of girlfriends posing as a story, there just wasn't enough to hold my interest. I think the entire crew and cast were there, but I had to duck out to get to "Malli" on time, so there's no Q&A record.

Sunny joined me for this screening, and voiced much the same opinion. As far as you know.

3:00 p.m.

Malli

Santosh Sivan
India, 1999
Cast: Swtha, Vanitha
Synopsis:

An Indian film about a young girl called Malli and the adventures she has. Lushly filmed, with an overly repetitive score. Scott said he nodded off about 10 times. When I tried to fill in what he had missed, I couldn't because there wasn't a lot of plot to miss. Probably a good film for kids where discussion amongst the audience wouldn't hurt anything.

I remember originally picking this film based on the strength of Sivan's previous film "The Terrorist" which I saw last year.

6:00 p.m.

Kill By Inches

Diane Doniol-Valcroze, Arthur Flam
USA, 1999
Cast: Emmanuel Salinger, Myriam Cyr, Marcus Powell, Christopher Zach
Synopsis:

Kay Armatage introduced the film by saying that it was unlike anything else at the festival. Probably true. Well photographed. overly repetitive score. Elements of Kafka, Poe, Hitchcock, German expressionist cinema. But so what? If there was a point, I missed it. The film makers expressed their love of Aesop's fables, but I remember them always having a message -- some moral to share with the reader. Here, I didn't think there was anything to receive.

The production and sound design were remarkably good. An intriguing mix of turn-of-the-century industrialism with faintly modern (or "classic") fashion.

It's about a tailor in a society where tailoring is taken very seriously. It's licensed; there are exam boards. And measuring clients is done by eye. OK, so there's the premise. But I don't think they really did much with it. Yes, they visualized it well, but it seemed more of an exercise than an act of passion.

10:00 p.m.

Just Watch Me: Trudeau And The 70's Generation

Catherine Annau
Canada, 1999
Synopsis:

I met John Tutt in the line up (he owns the Princes Cinema, my favourite rep theatre in the whole wide world). He had just come from "The Girl Of Your Dreams" which he said was good, but wondered why it had been made. I've got a ticket for it a couple of days from now.

This movie looked to me as if it was made for television. I mean it would suit something like "The Passionate Eye" on CBC Newsworld perfectly. the director and some of the film interviewees were there to tumultuous applause both before and after the film. I was surprised, really, that a Toronto crowd would give such a big hand before the film. In any case, Annau looked very happy and very nice in your basic black dress. She's a babe.

The documentary is about the affect Trudeau's bilingualism policies had on a group of people's private lives. So it's a lot of interview footage of 5 or 6 people, all cut together. About how Anglo Canada thought of Quebec (they drink lots, drink late, and have a lot of great sex). It's all pretty light, but where I think the film wins is in the similarities it exposes between attitudes to Quebec, Canada, bilingualism, and multiculturalism from all over the country (BC, Nunavut, Toronto, Montréal).

We never hear Trudeau speak, though the interviewees are often intercut with footage of him. All we can do is watch him.

The Q&A was way too interesting to reproduce here. Some objective points:

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