VIFF 2011: envoi
For years I’ve listened to people rave about the Vancouver International Film Festival. Several Seattle-based film critic friends swear by it, attending every year; and I understand it’s the absolute personal favorite festival of a certain stellar pair of film scholars who catch a lot of these around the globe. Somehow, I’ve never quite made it there, except for what may have been a VIFF event a couple of decades back, when Jeanne Moreau and Lillian Gish were onstage to introduce the younger screen legend’s film portrait of her elder colleague. But this autumn we finally got it together, secured accreditation, and booked a pleasant, not-too-costly motel room within a few minutes walk of festival HQ and most of the venues.
Of course, even this year circumstances conspired to shortchange me a bit. What had been planned as a sojourn of a week or so at the fest’s beginning got reduced to five days in midfest for Kathleen Murphy and two-days-and-one-day for me (with an interruption to drive back to Seattle for a postfilm talk about Fritz Lang’s Ministry of Fear in the Seattle Art Museum film noir series). I ended up seeing only six films—eight if we separate Dreileben into its three feature-length parts. It was a bummer to learn that the tickets to Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre had “been gone for weeks,” and a delay at the border made me late for an intended midday show of something else. Still, I’m more than satisfied.