Saturday, September 29, 2012
viff | soul food options
Lots of nuns and priests and contemptible Evangelicals, but maybe not too much Soul Food among the Religion, Spirituality & Myth selections in this year's VIFF online program guide. I've flagged...
Virgin Tales - "Supplies Evangelical Christians with just enough rope with which to hang themselves..."
Apparition - "About nuns in a cloister convent. We explore this closed world, riven by manias and secrets... Less interested in questions of faith than in the issue of good governance."
Beyond The Hills - "Alina comes apart at the psychological seams, leaving the monastery’s authoritarian priest convinced that she’s possessed..."
Actually, the last of those may go beyond the obligatory Bad Priest angle: "What is remarkable about Beyond the Hills and the unexpected interrogations it awakens is the lingering sense of doubt it leaves you with. Not merely as to the virtues of organized religion - that would be too simple - but just as much the facile condemnation of it..." (Film Comment)
And while there's not a lot to go on, these two at least catch my curiosity...
Jesus Hospital - "about a woman torn between her comatose mother, her alienated family and her secretive religious beliefs."
Consuming Spirits - "Garrison Keillor-like radio broadcasts in the rundown community of Magguson... While these three central characters may be bound by tragedy, they also possess the capacity to grant one another absolution and release.... A transcendent closing chapter."
So far, though, none of the Soul Food buzz of many previous years - though the Vancouver premiere of Jason Goode's film Late is certainly cause for celebration among Soul Foodies. Other VIFFs have had two or three really exciting SF prospects - Son Of Man and The Mill & The Cross come to mind immediately - but nothing stands out so far in this year's line-up. That said, the most interesting films from a faith perspective often don't show up on the programmers' "Spirituality" list anyhow. A scan of Jewish Interest films may reveal more of interest, for example. But what's really needed is a film-by-film close reading of the full VIFF program. I'll let you know what I find. If you promise to return the favour.