VIFF 2007 — movie-going schedule

This year’s edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival kicks off in an hour or so, so it’s about time I posted the first draft of my movie-going schedule. As with the schedules I posted in 2006 and 2005, this list is highly flexible and will be revised continually often over the next two weeks, as I juggle family and work obligations and the Thanksgiving holiday and so on. Any films that I do not end up seeing will be deleted from this list. Any articles I write shall be linked to from here. And as I blog the films that I see, I shall link to those posts from the titles listed here.

ARTICLES

‘Christian ‘niche marketing’ an Almighty flop?,’ BC Christian News, Sep 2007 — my monthly film column highlights The Monastery: Mr. Vig and the Nun, In Memory of Myself and One Hundred Nails.

‘VIFF films explore cults, homosexuality and forgiveness,’ BC Christian News, Oct 2007 — my monthly film column highlights Secret Sunshine, Join Us and For the Bible Tells Me So.

4 Months unflinching, Real Girl an endearing parable,’ BC Christian News, Nov 2007 — my monthly film column includes a review of a festival screening of 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days.

SCHEDULE — LAST UPDATED NOV 4, 12:54PM.

FILMS I SAW IN ADVANCE:

Atonement (dir. Joe Wright; UK, 123 min.)

THU SEP 27
Busy with work.

FRI SEP 28
10:00 — GR7 — My Kid Could Paint That (dir. Amir Bar-Lev; USA, 81 min.)

SAT SEP 29
18:20 — GR4 — You, the Living (dir. Roy Andersson; Sweden, 92 min.)
21:30 — GR7 — The Savages (dir. Tamara Jenkins; USA, 113 min.)

SUN SEP 30
Church, busy with work.

MON OCT 1
10:00 — GR7 — Persepolis (dir. Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud; France/Iran, 95 min.)
12:15 — GR6 — Shattered (dir. Mike Barker; Canada/UK, 91 min.)

TUE OCT 2
16:00 — GR7 — Redacted (dir. Brian de Palma; USA, 90 min.)
19:30 — GR1 — Jellyfish (dir. Etgar Keret, Shira Geffen; France/Israel, 78 min.)
21:15 — GR7 — Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (dir. Sidney Lumet; USA, 123 min.)

WED OCT 3
Press screenings, busy with work.

THU OCT 4
Busy with work.

FRI OCT 5
Press screenings, busy with work.

SAT OCT 6
Thanksgiving with family. Watched Elijah (dir. Paul Unwin; Canada, 88 min.) at home.

SUN OCT 7
Thanksgiving with wife’s family.

MON OCT 8
19:00 — GR7 — 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (dir. Cristian Mungiu; Romania, 113 min.)
21:30 — GR2 — Operation Filmmaker (dir. Nina Davenport; USA, 95 min.)

TUE OCT 9
Busy with work.

WED OCT 10
Press screenings, busy with work.

THU OCT 11
Busy with work.

FRI OCT 12
Busy with work.

Review: Shake Hands with the Devil (dir. Roger Spottiswoode, 2007)

AT LEAST one new movie about the Rwandan genocide has been produced each year for the past four years, ever since Terry George directed Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo to their richly deserved Oscar nominations for Hotel Rwanda — and to the casual viewer, it might seem like all these films are beginning to blur together.

All of these films — including Shooting Dogs (released in the United States as Beyond the Gates), A Sunday in Kigali and the newest film, Shake Hands with the Devil — have depicted the shock and horror felt by whites and blacks alike when Hutu extremists began killing Tutsis by the tens of thousands in April 1994.

[Read more...]

Movie to explore “missing years” of Jesus

We’ve had plenty of films about the adult life of Jesus when he was in his 30s, and a fair number about his infancy, and even a few that brought to life apocryphal legends about his childhood. But what about his adolescence and early adulthood? Variety reports:

Indie financers have signed director Drew Heriot to make his feature debut on “The Aquarian Gospel,” a story of Jesus Christ’s “missing years” from ages 13 to 30.

William Keenan (“Poor Things”) is producing with Thaddeus Carlson co-exec producing the $12 million-$15 million project with plans to use a high-definition format in the vein of “300″ with shooting on U.S. soundstages.

Heriot directed self-help documentary “The Secret,” which sold more than 2 million DVD copies. John F. Sullivan and Keenan wrote the script, inspired by two books — “The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ” (1908) by evangelical preacher Levi Dowling and “The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ” (1898) by Russian anthropologist Nicholas Notovich.

Story chronicles Jesus’ journeys from Israel through India, Tibet, Persia, Greece and Egypt as he encounters people of all creeds, classes and faiths.

Producers plan on using actors from the Middle East, India, the Far East, Europe and America along with modern-day spiritual leaders in cameo roles, portraying prominent historical and religious figures that Jesus encountered.

But will it have a cyborg chariot race?

IGN.com recently spoke to James Middleton, executive producer of the Terminator spin-off series The Sarah Connor Chronicles, about his plans for the feature film Terminator 4:

It will follow the events of T3 and be post-apocalyptic. It’s not known whether Nick Stahl and Claire Danes will return, but John Connor and Kate are in the script. The movie will feature a new hero as the main character. Middleton likened the story to how “Ben-Hur was influenced by Jesus Christ, but it was his story. Much in that way, this character will be influenced by John Connor.”

So will we only see the back of John Connor’s head this time, then? The character did have a certain messianic mystique in the first film, precisely because we never saw him, but the sequels have made him all too familiar, even frail and vulnerable, now.

“Another year, another Rwanda movie.”

I actually considered beginning my own review of Shake Hands with the Devil that way, but I decided against it, out of a sense that it might seem too disrespectful to those who endured the awful real-life events depicted in this film. I see, however, that Scott Foundas begins his review for Variety that way. Ah well. The film opens this Friday, so my own review will be up in a few days.

Canadian box-office stats — September 23

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.

Mr. Bean’s Holiday — CDN $6,420,000 — N.AM $30,751,000 — 20.9%
Eastern Promises — CDN $901,888 — N.AM $6,549,000 — 13.8%
Sydney White — CDN $698,749 — N.AM $5,323,000 — 13.1%
Superbad — CDN $13,430,000 — N.AM $116,171,000 — 11.6%

Mr. Woodcock — CDN $1,660,000 — N.AM $15,700,000 — 10.6%
The Bourne Ultimatum — CDN $22,260,000 — N.AM $220,160,000 — 10.1%

Resident Evil: Extinction — CDN $1,860,000 — N.AM $24,000,000 — 7.8%
3:10 to Yuma — CDN $2,850,000 — N.AM $37,911,000 — 7.5%
Good Luck Chuck — CDN $1,040,000 — N.AM $14,000,000 — 7.4%
The Brave One — CDN $1,840,000 — N.AM $25,115,000 — 7.3%

A couple of discrepancies: Mr. Bean’s Holiday was #10 on the Canadian chart (it was #15 in North America as a whole), while Dragon Wars was #10 on the North American chart.


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