TIFF Part I: Short Cuts & i am a good person / i am a bad person

The last warmth of the late summer sunshine is being neglected as TIFF touched down in the last Thursday.  Toronto has once again become Cinephile city for the 36th year as the soon to be vitamin D deprived citizens descend across the cinema screens.   Without a strategy of prior planning I decided a buckshot approach of taking in a multitude of minis with the Short Cuts programming as well as a premiere for the first week.

I’m a big fan of getting meta with photos so it seemed appropriate to indulge with a feature first in “i am a good person / i am a bad person“.  Going to a film festival screening to watch a film about the film festival circuit ticked that box perfectly.  Fictional film maker Ruby White played by real life Torontonian director Ingrid Veninger takes her film Headshots to Europe with daughter Sara acting as assistant for the journey (again the actual offspring actress, Hallie Switzer – maternal meta-ness!  Are you keeping up?).   There’s almost a Freaky Friday switch in mother- daughter attitudes with Ruby the demanding outgoing childish diva that wants her own way with nights out having fun as Sara takes responsibility being in Europe while working out how to deal with a potential unplanned pregnancy.  After a dismal turn out for the screening in the UK followed by an alcohol fueled night out in Bradford, Sara decides to take control and deviate from their festival trail, heading to Paris while Ruby continues to Berlin.  As she sinks in to the mattress of a lone German hostel bunkbed in a Ruby is finally able to reflect on her situation & relationship with her family.  Delightfully strange & intimate moments are woven in to the story as the two female leads address pivotal moments in the landscape of their lives away from home.  Where does the acting stop & life begin for Ruby as she dons false glasses while presenting herself to the public & an artificial head wound while on the street promoting her film to the public.  Caught off guard by a stray question in a bar, is she a good person or a bad person? leads to a street performance where she wears that statement on her front & back.  The personal quirks of this character are hilarious to witness, while the parallel Parisian story arc is full of beauty and sadness.  Much more that the opening act which has been talked about i am a good person / i am a bad person is much more than life imitating art with a unique film making process that begs the question which family member will star next?

i am a good person / i am a bad person screens again to the  public at the  TIFF Bell Lightbox Tues. Sept. 13th @ 12:30PM and for a final time at the same venue, Sat. Sept. 17th @ 8:45PM.   Tweet Ingrid Veninger @punkfilmsnow & like the film’s page on FB www.facebook.com/punkfilms2011

For a chance to win the previous films from pUNK Films enter the contest below

[Read more…]

Summer of Love in Modra

It seems the fighter jets scared the last of the sunshine out of the sky over the  long weekend as September arrived.  A different kind of orange glow will soon be illuminating the city in the form of Toronto International Film Festvial.  Strangely enough at least three movies from the festival have screened over the past few weeks.  Treating it’s volunteers like stars, those donating their time were treated to a taste of French Canadian super sperm in Starbuck, Brad Pitt’s Money Ball dropped to an advance audience as well as cancer comedy 50/50.  This will be my third year at the festival as it turns thirty-six.  I’m constantly surprised as TIFF continues to to grow & evolve with the public involvement adding such an unique attribute to an A-list film market.  I stopped by to check out the remnants of the sleepy line for tickets at the festival box office on Saturday where people camped out overnight to secure a seat at the must see gala events.  It’s not quite what the long weekend was designed for but a handy day addition to repay a dozing debt to the sandman.

I thought I’d flash back to 2010 with a look at Ingrid Veninger’s Modra from the festival last year before we are thrust forward in to TIFF ’11 where we will meet her new offering - i am a good person / i am a bad person. Modra really sums up what summer should be about,  exploring yourself & somewhere, tasting a new landscape & glimpsing love for that first time.  Lina (Hallie Switzer) leaves Toronto behind for a vacation to visit extended family in the titular Slovakian town.  In a reverse Juliet action she ends a relationship from a window sill balcony before heading away with a spontaneous replacement found in Leco (Alexander Gammal).  Your friends at home aren’t necessarily your friends away as their hosts assume they are boy & girlfriend to one another as they experience the fresh emotions of being seventeen, mimicked by the beauty & confusion found in the streets of Europe.  Real life relatives appear in the film as a natural warmth is brought to the screen with Veninger directing her daughter & extended family.  Most powerfully touching are the scenes visiting an Aunt so advanced in years but acutely wise & accurate in perceiving circumstances of the heart.   It made me miss my friends, laughing & traveling from city to city.  Be brave go somewhere with someone who wants to take a chance.

I’m all set to go on another more grown up journey with i am a good person / i am a bad person, taking place in Toronto, Berlin, Bradford & Paris.  With a buzz growing  the world premiere is on our doorstep in TIFF at the AMC Yonge Dundas Square Sat. Sept. 10th 7:15PM, followed by a second & third chance at TIFF Bell Lightbox Tues. Sept. 13th (12:30PM )&  Sat. Sept. 17th (8:45PM)

Seeing how today is the start of TIFF we’ve added a contest to make the day even more exciting, enter below!

[Read more…]