Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fugitive Pieces

Reading coverage of the Toronto Film Festival, I'm reminded of the odd thing about festivals - the disconnect between the serious stuff on stage and the buffoonery in the beer tent. I get whiplash at the Edmonton Folk Fest going from listening to the angry young folkster singing anguished songs at Stage 6 to the beer tent discussions of friends' avoiding ex-girlfriends.

This year TIFF opened with Fugitive Pieces, a film directed by Jeremy Podeswa, based on the much-acclaimed novel by Anne Michaels. A poetic, meditative novel about the Holocaust and the psychological damage it leaves in Jakob Beer, a young survivor, is the basis for a film described in The Toronto Star as "painterly"and "drained of drama". But I'm sure the post-film party was a blast! Actually, the Globe and Mail had a piece about the party here, and a snippit below:

Woman No. 1:
"It was a fabulous movie. I cried and cried and cried. Because of the hardships that he went through during the war. I didn't bring Kleenex. I forgot. My makeup was running down my face."
Man No. 1:
If we were allowed into the higher-end parties, we wouldn't be here, obviously. This is just another party. People expect to see famous people, but the most famous person I saw here was from MuchMusic.
Man No. 2:
Well, I saw the guy from Danger Bay.
Man No. 1:
The women here are really hot. I'd give this party a 10 out of 10 for hot women.
Man No. 2, trying to pick up a woman:
"Has anyone told you you look like Lindsay Lohan? You really do."
Woman's reaction:
"I don't think I've ever heard a worse pick-up line. She's apparently in rehab for the third time this year, she has two DUI's."

I really do hope Fugitive Pieces is a success. Perhaps our Friends of the Library will include it as a choice for their TIFF film series in the spring. But it sounds like a classic non-American film, in that it focuses on aspects other than narrative - the STORY. Say what you will about American films but what they share is the strong narrative drive that pulls you through from start to finish. And coincidentally the guru of story in film, the iconic Robert McKee, is in Edmonton Friday to Sunday teaching his famous "Story Seminar" at NAIT. What a coup for NAIT! The Journal's Todd Babiak talks about attending in his blog here.

There are a number of other films based on novels debuting at TIFF:Any others you've heard rumours of? Let me know...


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