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Eve of the Reel


The program is called Attack of the 50ft Reels. I was press ganged by AFCOOP's Walter Forsyth (well, to tell the truth, I went pretty willingly) into this, and now it's Friday night, I'm desperately trying to come up with a compelling script. A couple of talented actor friends of mine have agreed to be my performers, but I need to have something for them to perform.

Today was the workshop portion, where 14 multi-disciplinary creative types gathered high atop the Delta Hotel in a luxurious meeting room to discuss the vagaries of Super-8 filmmaking. We were schooled by a Super-8 wizard named Norwood Cheek, of North Carolina (via LA). His enthusiasm for the rapidly antiquating technology is infectious---he encouraged us to “embrace imperfection.” Oh, I can guarantee I'm going to rolling around on the floor with imperfection, making sweet love to it.

Here's the deal: we all get a camera and a 50 ft. reel of film, we have a day to shoot our movie, which we do not edit, so we have to shoot in sequence. No sound on the camera, so we have to work on our soundtrack separately. On Friday the 3-minute films are screened, for the first time for everybody, our images and sound married. So, I shoot my little movie tomorrow morning with my actors. I guess it makes a strange sense that I'd be making a movie the same week as I'm watching so many. Tonight it just feels like some special madness. I'm out of my depth and about to be revealed as a charlatan.

I did manage to get to a movie, too. Everything's Gone Green, a comedy about being moral in a corrupt world, directed by Paul Fox and written by culture pirate, author and artist Douglas Coupland. Again, this is one that I can't say much about because of the review restrictions, but I will say I was really surprised by it, and might go again when it opens in theatres or comes to DVD. One thing I really liked about it is it's an unabashed valentine to Vancouver. Of course, it's a literate, charming Canadian film, which means it has a snowball's chance of opening here. We can but hope.

Also on this evening was A Stone's Throw, directed by Camilia Frieberg. I managed to see a screener of it last week. This is the south shore-shot drama about an eco-warrior who returns home to his family, and unintentionally inspires his nephew to carry on his work, investigating the local paint factory. The film uses locations in and around Mahone Bay to give it strong and lyrical sense of place. This one has a much better chance of getting a theatrical release because of the local cachet. It might even make it into the Oxford, like The River King did last year.

I had a conversation this afternoon with a friend whose opinion I value: we talked about Away from Her, which I saw last night and found so touching. Interestingly, he didn't share my sans-reservations take on the film, and made a good argument on a few key points. Still, I'm sticking to my guns….

I took a brief break from the movie world to go and see Metric at the Forum. I figured I wouldn't run into anyone I know at the all-ages event, until I bumped into the ubiquitous Ms Wennberg again, who I think is stalking me (just kidding, Megan). The band played a brief but fun set, giving the upfront fanatics much to pump their fists to. Metric have that too-cool stylish urban nihilism going on, and maybe it's because of the festival, but I kept imagining the industrial-town junkie movies their songs could soundtrack. Echoes of Blondie and certain new wave acts, Ms. Haines borrowed a few lines from Neil Young in the midst of their “Dead Disco” encore, which is about as deep as they got, but the pounding electro-rock shoved all the thoughts out of my head for an hour and 20 minutes, which I so needed. Fucking loved it.

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