[Editor’s Note: Our coverage of the Vancouver International Film Festival is cross-posted at Parallax View.]
Apologies for the tardiness of my third dispatch. I had to duck out of festival mode and jump back into the home video mode of my day job for a couple of days. Now I’m back at the festival and back on the fest blog beat, catching up with notes of films I saw earlier in the week.
Belated update: the DCP issues at Granville 7 that I mentioned earlier this week have been resolved and the screenings are back in all their 4K glory. Ann Hui’s A Simple Life looked fine and my return visit with the South Korean war drama The Front Line looked even better (more on those later).
Is it churlish to say that I miss the inventive promos that used to play in front of each screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival? Every year they would roll out a collection of three or four comic pieces spoofing movie conventions, film culture and, my favorite, the unique community of obsessives, eccentrics and cinephiliacs that populate film festival culture. My favorite because even as I immediately recognized the “type” being simultaneously celebrated and satirized, I also recognized a little of myself.
But I can hardly complain. In place of the usual compendium of festival IDs, sponsor plugs and other promo pieces, VIFF presents a single short piece that identifies the festival, the organization and the sponsors and gets all the preliminaries out of the way in under a minute. That’s not just efficiency, it’s a gift to us festival junkies working our way through multiple screenings every day. So while I do miss those perfectly pitched promo skits of years past, I thank you, VIFF, for your 30th Anniversary gift to us all.
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson have their first festival reports up at their indispensable blog, including notes on a couple of experimental documentaries, contemplations on film structure and “Reasons for Cinephile Optimism.” Fellow Seattlite Jim Emerson is posting his dispatches at his Scanners blog.
And now, some film notes: