Meet the Showstoppers: FIVE FABULOUS FEMALES in charge.
This is the first time I’ve attended a creator talk as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). What was so special about this one is that it was with a panel of five fabulous female powerhouses (names below) responsible for creating and producing some of the current top rated TV shows.
Tim Goodman, chief TV critic from the Hollywood Reporter was asking the questions and it was very inspiring to hear what everyone had to say about the challenges and responsibilities, good and bad, of being a showrunner. From manipulating scripts and mapping out plot lines to what they look for when staffing a writers room, they provided an insider’s peek into the dynamics of working in this competitive industry.
They also talked about what they’re currently watching and what excites them. And they were funny.
Fantasy never goes out of Fashion. Obsession is Optional.
I saw two more films – part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). One movie is a satire which takes place during WWII. The other is present day. They are both completely different however there is a common denominator which turns out to be that both of the main characters in each film have created their own fantasy. Both are psychologically damaged. It’s an interesting character study of obsessed individuals.
Who You Think I Am (CELLE QUE VOUS CROYEZ)
This film is in French with subtitles. It was the Canadian Premiere. I wanted to see it because the theme is very current involving online dating…sort of. But it’s not what you think exactly. It shows the extremes of getting carried away with the romantic fantasy.
Claire Millaud (Binoche) is a 50+ year old woman who creates a fake profile on social media to spy on Ludo, her lover. She becomes Clara, a beautiful woman half her age explaining to her therapist that Clara is really her niece. She is just using photos of her niece.
A friend of Ludo’s named Alex sees her profile and is instantly captivated. Claire as Clara ends up falling for Alex. She gets trapped in the fantasy and takes it way too far. This is a more relatable film only in the sense that you can kind of understand how something like this can happen. Claire is divorced. Her husband has left her for another woman. She is not sure about her current relationship status. Someone new, younger and attractive is paying close attention and the illusory gets intertwined with the reality to the extent that she almost forgets who she really is and cannot stop herself from keeping up the deception. I found it intriguing at how dangerously misleading many dating profiles can be and what can occur as a result of. It’s apparent that people tell white lies however this is far more precarious. Yes…quite the captivating story. Binoche of course is excellent, as usual.
Unfortunately I was not crazy about this film. Apparently it did well recently at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It certainly has its moments but overall it was not for me.
*Taika Waititi (the New Zealand director who also stars at Jojo’s imaginary friend, the one and only Hitler) described Jojo Rabbit as an “anti-fuckface satire.” Based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens, it’s about a young member of the Hitler Youth named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) who learns that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl named Elsa (poignantly played by New Zealand actress Thomasin McKenzie) in their home. Last summer Waititi tweeted “What better way to insult Hitler than having him portrayed by a Polynesian Jew?” Surely!
My favourite moments were the interactions between Jojo and Elsa where Jojo has a change of heart and realizes with astonished surprise that jews have feelings just like regular people. Of course the message comes through about revelation and redemption, however in most parts it was just too silly for me and I personally think it missed the mark. On the humour that is! Other people seemed to love it though.
The movie also stars Rebel Wilson as a proud Nazi child instructor and Sam Rockwell as a gun shooting Nazi.
“A big part of the humour is in identifying with the tragic elements of the film. The New Zealand sense of humour is very dark. Our films are usually very dark and it’s always someone being killed. Usually a child.” – Taika Waititi
*Hunt for the Wilderpeople was one of his previous films
The film fest is on until October 11th. For information on more films and/or to buy tickets please visit:
The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF ) is in full swing until October 11th. I just saw two amazing Special Presentations.
starring Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan & Brie Larsen
This is a true and thought provoking story about young Harvard graduate lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history making battle for justice in Alabama working with death row inmates at a time where the legal system was hell bent on not following the truth. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillan (Jamie Foxx) with a disturbing no mercy glance at how corrupt and unfair the people in power were at keeping an innocent man behind bars for a murder he did not commit. Powerful performances in this discriminating story of people and prejudice. Intense.
starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe
This is an Incredible film set in the 1950’s written, produced and directed by Edward Norton who is also the main star. With outstanding performances from the whole cast and twists and turns at every corner, it is surely a worthy Oscar contender.
Lionel Essrog (Norton) is a private detective with an annoying infliction to his character. Although his mind is quick and his memory impeccable, he suffers from tourette syndrome which makes him twitch and say inappropriate things and act obsessively so he’s always apologizing for his behavior. At times it is quite funny and Norton carries this off in a superbly endearing manner. Lionel sets out to solve the crime of who murdered his boss and best friend P.I. Frank Minna (played by Bruce Willis) who pulled him out of an orphanage at six years of age. While trying hard to solve the mystery he deals with thugs and corruption at almost every turn.
The trail leads to Moses Randolph (Alec Baldwin), a ruthless construction magnate with deep ties to the mayor’s office and a suspicious prowler (Willem Dafoe) who seems to know everything about him. He follows a beautiful girl from Harlem (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) whose fight against Randolph’s “slum-clearing” operations have targeted her and he must find out the reason why.