Thursday, July 29, 2010

Possible Worlds: Canadian Film Festival

Another world of possibilities is unfolding as the Canadian Film Festival once again takes up residence at Sydney's Dendy cinemas. Now in its fifth year, this plucky event is the only annual celebration of Canadian films outside Canada — and what a celebration! The genius of this festival is a program that eagerly mixes premiere screenings with parties, talks and welcome drinks. That's Canadian hospitality for you.

It remains to be seen if the festival can top last year's poll dancing romp, although the militant-ish Fight the Power party that kicks off after Saturday's screening of The Trotsky (fabulously described as Rushmore meets Ferris Bueller's Day Off) might just do the trick. Or there's the aptly named Vampire Ball — a night of djs and debauchery to coincide with the rock'n'roll vamp spoof Suck. There was also the chance to chat with beloved novelist Margaret Atwood about environmental documentary In the Wake of the Flood, but those tickets have already sold out.

So the best bet is to get in quick for the rest of the festival's wonderful line up. The event will open with the Australian premiere of Chloe, the sexy tale from one of Canada's premier auteurs Atom Egoyan (Ararat, The Sweet Hereafter), starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried as the titular escort hired to test a husband's fidelity. There's also the world premiere of Arctic Blast, an Australian-Canadian co-production from one of our Ozploitation legends Brian Trenchard-Smith (Turkey Shoot). Prepare for solar flares and disastrous thrills.

If documentaries are more your scene, then the programme includes the critically acclaimed Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould and another musical number, The Mighty Uke. Last Train Home is a captivating look at the largest human migration of workers returning to their families for Chinese New Year, while Invisible City takes to the streets of a Toronto's housing commission in an engrossing look at the lives of its young male residents.

Closing night honours go to Xavier Dolan’s provocative debut, I Killed My Mother, a gay coming-of-age story fueled by the feisty enthusiasm of its then 19-year-old director. Tickets for this, Chloe and family friendly doco Finding Farley are already selling fast, so don't miss out on this year's window into the various worlds of Canada.

Published on Concrete Playground

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