A recent winner of the Camera d'Or prize at Cannes, Ilo Ilo quickly sold out its first screening at the 32nd Vancouver International Film Festival. This subtle yet detailed film about family life in Singapore shows the skilled editing and directorial abilities of Anthony Chen in his feature film debut.
This was an experience not to be forgotten. Hearing "you look tired" often, and forcing an "I feel great" before you've had your complimentary café au lait. Abandoning the hopes for any kind of balance, exercise, sleep or even one piece of fruit or vegetable. The countless 5 à 7's and glasses of rosé.
Terrance Malick's To The Wonder has just played the Venice Film Festival and is headed our way for the Toronto International Film Festival. It's not that I want to influence people not to see To The Wonder. It's just that time is precious. I watched Malick's The Tree of Life, and that's 140 minutes I'll never get back.
The post-Cannes depression has finally worn off and I am ready to report with enthusiasm about this Canadian actor's New York adventures. I know, I can hear you saying "Boo Hoo," but how would you like you to go from drinking free champagne and watching world-class movies back to sweeping muffin crumbs and spraying yourself with hot milk, when you hate milk? In Brooklyn, I work at a cafe.
Waiting at airport, I miss my trailer. This morning, I discovered a goat lives on the campground premise -- just when I thought it couldn't get better. Instead of befriending "la chevre," I swept the floors, scrubbed the dishes and said "Goodbye." Now, an eight-hour plane ride seems best spent reflecting on the last two surreal weeks.
My trailer was a celebrated destination during the storms by campground friends staying in tents. Unlike rainy and cold-to-the-bone camping days in Canada, I could take, and not just dream about, a hot shower. Slummin' it in Cannes means I put plastic bags around my heels to walk through muddied trails, but if it means I walk from that mud to the red carpet, that's all right with me.
I was up early to head down to the short film corner, where a special initiative called "Le Pitch" was being held. I made sure to engage the camera, speak from the heart and appeal to whoever was watching like I was a motivational speaker. After all, that's what I needed to do. Motivate them to pick my project.
Today's adventure started with some pretty intense thunderstorms, which I have to say, literally dampened my mood for a long stretch of the day, even after the sun had come out. But I wasn't going to let a silly little grey cloud get in my way, so I myself "stormed" out of my little villa and proceeded to walk down to the Palais to catch Brandon Cronenberg's first screening of Antiviral.
Now, two days into the festival, I notice the rhythm caused by the restless bodies in endless line-ups, the stomach churn of too much wine and not enough food. I open the bay windows, not to sun and sea, but to an empty beach, and the sound of rain. But it doesn't matter, I have a meeting with Coffin Joe, and an interested distributor.
The Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival has just begun and this year marks a significant shift in queer filmmaking: a movement away from the simple "coming out" story, and away from films that play up gay stereotypes because it really is no longer "fine" if we do it ourselves. Films with LGBT content are becoming just that: films with LGBT content, versus "gay movies."
Everyone who walks by my trailer looks calm and friendly and not like trailer park axe murderers. This is reassuring because unlike canoe trips, I cannot sleep with my axe and bear spray. Now it is time to take on the Festival. There is no full-length mirror, so let's just hope I look good and feel confident enough to meet that French producer. A bientôt.