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
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