By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Half of the Otaku no Culture team is definitely getting excited for the Victoria Film Festival, running from Feb 7th to the 16th at various venues, for the huge variety of films offered. On my Friday night wish to hit list is The Congress, a sci-fi product that looks like it blends elements of Cool World, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Matrix together. When actress Robin Wright (The Princess Bride) plays herself as a starlet struggling to help her young son, she gives up her rights to be on film for a digitized version. Just what happens is a look into a not too distant future if Hollywood has their say. Il Futuro is a must since it features Rutger Hauer. It’s been a long time since I last saw him on-screen. I remember him best in Blade Runner, so what I’m after to see, based on my geeky interests, are consistent.
I would like to see the gala film, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, that night in hopes Colm Meany might be in town. He’s one of those underrated stars that I can truly appreciate and I like to meet him and say I really enjoyed all the work, like Law & Order the The Commitments, he has done outside of the Star Trek universe, but that’s unlikely. When considering this film played in European theatres last year and it’s not a world premiere, the chances for the stars to show up is very slim, but the director might be around.
I had the fortune to see this movie in advance, and it’s absolutely hilarious! Steve Coogan is brilliant playing this narcissistic media star. The way he bumbles around, thinking he can be a hero, is chuckle-worthy. This movie requires him to deal with Farrell (Meaney’s character) while he goes postal — he lost his job at a radio station they both work in. This movie is sort of like The Odd Couple with a huge dose of British style humour mixed in.
But as I said before, as a fan of Meany, he literally steals the show in this film. He’s the everyman that audiences will no doubt sympathize for. When the character he plays is gentil, only after giving the working class a voice to hear, this actor nails the pathos easily. Just his work in this film alone makes me want to buy this movie when it comes out on video.
But as for why Farrell remains friends for Partridge, that’s a mystery nobody can answer. And that’s part of this movie’s simple charm. People who cannot get tickets for the Friday night show can catch it again when it is featured on Feb 14th. The question of whether or not this film can be seen as a love story is ironic at best.
Just as equally desired to see is Cas & Dylan. I’m a huge fan of all of Richard Dreyfuss’ works, especially Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black looks mighty fine too, but the surprise here is that Jason Priestly is the director! As many folks will know, he’s best remembered for being in Beverly Hills, 90210. Yeah, I admit I watched a couple of episodes. This Vancouver born boy might put on an appearance, oh the choices!
I wish The Congress and Il Futuro can get added shows, but these niche products may be too surrealistically weird for a regular cinephile to enjoy.
Other films that are particularly interesting, that I did get to see in advance, are We are the Best, Good Vibrations and Cyber-Seniors. I highly recommend the last film, since there are not many films that are truly humanitarian in its effort to get a positive message out.
As for the rest, I’m intrigued in what Desert Fish has to offer. Can sea life swim in sand? Seriously, this film’s summary mentions it has fairy-tale elements and that’s enough to draw me in.
While I spend the week taking all variety of film genres in, I will not be forgetting the cinema horrors that will be coming my way too. I found that Karen Lam and Lauren Marsden’s The Pit interesting. Although this experimental short can be found online, it really must be seen with audiences so it can be talked about. This film tests what a camera and sound can do alone to invoke feelings of terror. Most of it works, because that is all it takes to make the most successful films (so I’m told in my interview with Mrs. Lam) creepy. This short is inspiring enough for me to go out with my camera, iPod and sound guy to go filming around Macaulay Point Park on a foggy night to see what I can get. After chatting with Guy Maddin for an upcoming article for me to write for Absolute Underground Magazine / Vivoscene, I have found myself truly appreciating the work these filmmakers put into their products more. In Maddin’s work, I have found the way he interprets dream imagery fascinating.
And at this year’s festival, I’m going to just nerd out when I get the opportunity to see all a lot of curios on the silver screen!