VIFF nabs the fes­ti­val hits

The Georgia Straight - - Movies -

> BY ADRIAN MACK

The Ge­or­gia Straight goes to press this week only hours be­fore the Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val an­nounces its gala clos­ing film for 2017. This ex­alted po­si­tion in the fes­ti­val’s 16-day sched­ule is im­pos­si­ble to pre­dict, and some­times puz­zling in ret­ro­spect. Ter­rence Mal­ick’s am­bi­tious (to say the least) IMAX doc Voy­age of Time brought VIFF to a close in 2016—on pa­per, a def­i­nite high-five to se­ri­ous fes­ti­val­heads but an un­der­whelm­ing per­former on its sub­se­quent gen­eral re­lease.

Still, does it mat­ter whether VIFF 2017 ends with a bang or a whim­per? Based on an over­all sched­ule re­vealed in a hand­ful of me­dia re­leases over the last few weeks, let’s wa­ger a strong no on that one. Our pulse is al­ready rac­ing over a series of spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tions, in­clud­ing the lat­est fea­tures from Michael Haneke (Happy End), Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos (The Killing of a Sa­cred Deer), Sally Pot­ter (The Party), and Raoul Peck (The Young Karl Marx), along with the big­gest sen­sa­tion at Cannes this year: Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’or win­ner, The Square.

Lofty names also ap­pear in the Spot­light on France series with the new­est from Agnès Varda (Faces, Places) and Ar­naud De­s­plechin (Is­mael’s Ghosts) bump­ing up against sen­sa­tions like Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute), a pe­riod piece about AIDS ac­tivism in ’90s Paris that also brought Cannes to its feet.

Speak­ing of Cannes, Claire’s Cam­era places Is­abelle Hup­pert and The Hand­maiden’s Kim Min-hee in­side that very fes­ti­val it­self, in a smartly self-re­flex­ive com­edy from Hong San­soo that comes to us via VIFF’S ev­er­im­pres­sive, Asia-fo­cused Gate­way stream (which in­cludes the au­di­ence­favourite Dragons & Tigers series). Genre fans will note that Hong Kong

Left to right: Ge­off Berner launches a new book and a new al­bum this week as part of the Ac­cor­dion Noir fes­ti­val; Mon­treal’s TOPS has a strong com­mit­ment to the art of pop song­writ­ing.

On the Love­cast, Dan and Jesse Ber­ing chat about your fa­ther’s pe­nis: sav­agelove­cast.com. Email: mail@sav­agelove.net. Fol­low Dan on Twit­ter @fakedansav­age. ITMFA.ORG.

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