Ever since Xavier Dolan’s Mommy won a special Jury Prize at Cannes and swept the Canadian Screen Awards, I’ve looked for a way to see it. And finally found it today at Canadian Film Day at VanCity Theatre. It’s their first feature this morning. What’s Mommy about? It’s the story of a deeply troubled and sometimes violent teen Steve (Antoine Olivier Pilon) and his relationships with his single Mom (Anne Dorval) and the part-time teacher (Suzanne Clement) who agrees to tutor him.
Screening: 10 a.m.
Songs She Wrote About People She Knows
Revenge songs left on voice mail. How does a movie about quiet office worker Carol (Arabella Bushnell) who calls people names and threatens to kill them in original songs not end up with Carol in jail? Somehow her torch-singer honesty triggers a release in the people she knows. Like her boss “Asshole Dave” (Brad Dryborough), who leaves his job to pursue his abandoned dream of rock stardom with exhausting pent-up zeal. Vancouver filmmaker Kris Elgstrand scripted it all, even the original — sometimes violent — songs.
Screening: 1 p.m.
The Valley Below
Writer/director Kyle Thomas chronicles one year in the life of a small Alberta town in the Badlands with a soundtrack featuring Dan Mangan, Rae Spoon and Eamon McGrath.
Screening 3 p.m.
Ben’s at Home
Ben’s At Home follows the newly single and turned-30 Ben (Dan Abramovici) as he copes with being dumped by his girlfriend by never leaving the house again.
Screening: 5:30 p.m.
Calgarian-turned-American-sitcom-writer Rob Cohen embarks on coast-to-coast road trip to dispell the myths his American friends have about Canada — like we live in igloos, our police ride horses and Canada’s population is 6,000 — with the help of famous Canadians Mike Myers, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Rick Mercer, Martin Short, Rush, the Barenaked Ladies, Malcolm Gladwell and Kim Campbell. Hilarious and full of true patriot love.
Screening: 7 p.m.
I’m realizing how quickly I can die. How quickly this could all be over. And it’s in this realization where everything becomes clear. It feels like happiness. It feels like remembering faces and words. It feels like water. It feels like electricity. It sounds like a humming fridge.
Violent swept the BC Spotlight Gala awards at the Vancouver International Film Festival last year. Violent is not about violence says director and We Are the City band drummer Andrew Huculiak. Rather it signifies a big, abrupt change like what happens to lead character Dagny (Dagny Backer Johnsen) in Norway, alluded to throughout the narrative. Haunting and beautiful.
Screeening: 9 p.m.
For tickets, click on VIFF.