The Curtain Rises
Find cineophile heaven at the 29th annual Vancouver International Film Festival. The opening gala, held last night, featured Barney’s Version, a film based on one of Mordecai Richler’s most adored novels starring Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Minnie Driver. The closing gala, on October 15,th features the Illusionist, an animated French film about a magician who brings his magic to an orphan girl he encounters on a trip to Edinburgh.
In between, there are 359 films from 80 countries. Most of these are films that would not be shown at your local multiplex theatre. They are pictures without a heavyweight distributor. By showing at the festival, the producers hope to create a buzz and catch the attention of a larger studio.
One smaller film that looks intriguing is The Desert of Forbidden Art, playing October 9, 10 and 14. This film is the remarkable story of Igor Savitsky, who garnered a collection of suppressed Russian avant-garde art on the edge of a desert in Uzbekistan. He dedicated his life to seek out works by artists who had ignored Stalin’s artistic mandate of happy peasants and heroic workers. Many of the artists whose work Savitsky saved, were eventually sent to prison or executed.
The festival’s schedule is at www.viff.org.
Viewers must be 18 years or older and buy a $2 membership card.
The fun begins today, so enjoy the weekend at the movies.