Thursday, August 28, 2008

VIFF: Sneak previews

Exciting! The latest of the VIFF press releases came out today, and they've started listing films. And there's a tantalizing little slideshow of some of the films they'll be screening at the films page.

Some disagreement on the VIFF website about when the free Sneak Preview Guide will become available at Rogers Video stores and online. The "Dates" page says Sep 3, the home page says Aug 30. In either case, the complete program, including the festival schedule, film descriptions and photos, goes online at www.viff.org Sep 6, with the comprehensive 200-page Program Catalogue available around town September 13. The festival itself is Sep 25 - Oct 10.

A few early whiffs of Soul Food wafting from the kitchen...

BIRDSONG – Albert Serra (Spain)
Albert Serra ( Honor de cavalleria VIFF 06) returns with this gorgeously shot re-telling of the Three Kings biblical odyssey. Serra's penchant for stunning vistas and his profound love of, and respect for, the awesome aspects of the natural world are paramount as he follows his three wise men over mountains and through deserts on their journey to Jesus. Note: we will also be presenting Waiting for Sancho — Mark Peranson's documentary about the making of Birdsong — at this year's VIFF.

THE ETERNITY MAN – Julien Temple (Australia)
When the word 'eternity' (written in white chalk and in beautifully flowing copperplate script) began showing up on buildings, sidewalks and bridges in Sydney, Australia, the mystery of its origins enthralled the entire city. Sisyphusean obsession, divine mystery, and the power of a single word combine to mesmeric effect in director Julian Temple (Absolute Beginners ) stunning film.

And another whose description doesn't suggest any particular spiritual emphasis, but comes from the director of DIVIDED WE FALL, ("In a war-torn village, one couple makes the ultimate sacrifice to save another"), in which a childless Christian couple hide a Jewish neighbour during WWII.
I AM GOOD – Jan Hrebejk (Czech Republic) International Premiere
Director Jan Hrebejk's new film is something of a departure from his previous work. In the early 90s, a motley collection of friends take on an organized crime ring when one of their pals is suckered in a card game. A light-hearted comedy that combines action, intrigue and a loving tip of the hat to the Newman/Redford classic The Sting.

And finally, with no write-up, just a photograph...

ADORATION (2008, Canada, Atom Egoyan)
Winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Cannes (for movies that celebrate spiritual values). The story of a high school boy whose composition assignment about terrorism stirs family trauma when taken for fact on the internet.
ARARAT, BEN X

1 comment:

Darrel said...

Another that should be on your list:
CAPTAIN ABU RAED – Amin Matalqa (Jordan / USA) Canadian Premiere

The handsome winner of the Audience Award in the World Cinema competition at Sundance, this first-ever independent film from Jordan makes fantastic use of the city of Amman as a backdrop for a winning tale about a wise old airport janitor mistaken for a jet-setting pilot by the kids in his neighbourhood...

I saw this on at Newport Beach FF and got an interview with the director. It's the first export film from Jordan in decades. (I guess that will pretty much make it a shoe in for Jordan's submission for Oscar consideration.)