VIFF, Vacation & Good Vibrations

After moving stuff into my new apartment on October 2nd I went to my first film of the festival. Starting the Vancouver International Film Festival out with the impossibly boring Yumen was unpleasant and the short Lovers Are Artists (Part 2) that preceded it did not help the cause. We fared better the second evening with A Touch of Sin; a well-made and well-acted film with some solid twists. It did not move me much just the same. The documentary Liv and Ingmar had a contrived setup and flowery music but thankfully its talented and lovely subject Liv Ullman was a charming tour guide through her life with director Ingmar Bergman. And I did like the film clips that were included. I quite enjoyed Liv and Ingmar despite its flaws. Later that same night it was Bruno Dumont’s Camille Claudel 1915. A gorgeous film filled with bleakness and hopelessness exceptionally acted by Juliette Binoche. No complaints and that said no reason to re-watch it either. I was not feeling super enthusiastic about the choices made for the festival. I had yet to be wowed by anything and unfortunately Wolf Children the next film in the queue did not change that. I liked the story and the animation is quite nice, especially the environments. I even got teary eyed in the finale. Unfortunately I also found it too sentimental too often, I didn’t care for the sappy music and it felt long particularly through the middle. The highlight of the festival was 3x3D and the short Cochemare that preceded it. A trippy, sexual, extra sensory 3D trip taken by a female in a space station. The visuals were hypnotizing. Also in the category of hypnotizing is Peter Greenaway’s stunning visual history lesson Just in Time; the first short of the trilogy 3x3D. It is one of the most stunning uses of 3D film I have seen in a theatre (which is admittedly a pretty low number). Just in Time is an absolute visual extravaganza. Edgar Pêra’s Cinesapiens is another visceral pleaser; a wacky, wonderful and humorous short about people who watch movies. They usually save the best for last in anthologies but in the case of 3x3D, director Jean-Luc Godard’s entry The Three Disasters was my least favourite. Godard makes little use of the 3D technology and his is certainly the least visually appealing. Overall 3x3D was rather unique and special; it makes me sad I will never be able to experience this film the same way again. The next film was the alarmingly dull Halley. This was the stake to the film festival heart for me. I seen this with two friends and the three of us looked at each other afterwards in exasperation. Why in the hell did we sit through that? We could have been watching Doris Wishman films! Any enthusiasm I had for the festival had been sucked from my marrow. We bailed on The Oxbow Cure. It was not getting very good feedback and I had enough film disappointments. While the festival choices were a mixed bag with a couple huge letdowns the films watched afterwards were the absolute cat’s ass.


I had watched three Rainer Werner Fassbinder films just before the festival started; In a Year of 13 Moons, Whity and Chinese Roulette. I love all three but I was especially smitten with In a Year of 13 Moons. There was serious overindulgence in Doris Wishman with Bad Girls Go to Hell, Another Day, Another Man, Indecent Desires, The Sex Perils of Paulette, My Brother’s Wife and Too Much Too Often. I enjoyed them all in varying degrees but the real stand-outs were Another Day, Another Man, Bad Girls Go to Hell and the queen bitch of them all Indecent Desires. I freaking loved Indecent Desires.

Indecent Desires

Also watched during the holiday, Michael Findlay’s The Curse of her Flesh which has one of my most favourite finales of recent memory. I will definitely be checking out more Michael Findlay stuff. I watched a fourth Fassbinder flick; Querelle which was brilliant. I also took in the outstanding The Name of the Game is Kill as well as the solid little horror entry The Love Butcher; both of which I will be reviewing before the end of the month. Also thrown in the mix was the badly cut and censored pseudo XXX comedy musical Let My Puppets Come (I will be watching the uncut version in the immediate future). Finally I discovered a very entertaining video review show on YouTube called Unboxed, Watched and Reviewed along with the magazine Cinema Sewer both thanks to my friend David. Cinema Sewer harkens from my very city; Vancouver B.C. Author and artist Robin Bougie works at one of my favourite spots in the city Videomatica Sales.

Cinema Sewer


It was also my birthday while I was off and I got some spectacular gifts this year from my most awesome friends.

First of all, this pot of gold published in 1974; The Films of Boris Karloff

Boris Karloff

Than this very cool The Shining shirt

the shining shirt

And this beautiful graphic novel treasure; Madwoman of the Sacred Heart illustrated by Moebius and written by Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, Santa Sangre, The Holy Mountain, Fando and Lis)…


Madwoman of the Sacred Heart

The Film Festival was a disappointment and I didn’t have a refrigerator that worked for my first six days in my new place but I can not remember the last time I felt this relaxed and happy. I even did some touristy stuff; check out my Tumblr post of images taken at The Vancouver Maritime Museum; Tattoos & Scrimshaw “The Art of the Sailor” Exhibit. Oh yeah, and Goregirl’s Dungeon has a Tumblr page so be sure to visit every single day!

Diving Suit

11 Responses to “VIFF, Vacation & Good Vibrations”

  1. Sorry to hear The Wolf Children didn’t get you. I think years of watching Ghibli films have left me open to stories and emotions like that. I personally thought the soundtrack was magnificent. Have you listened to anything else Joe Hisaishi has composed?

    • Hey Jason- Yes, I wanted to love it, but alas. I think I should stick to the Perfect Blue and Wicked City sorta anime…more my speed. I am unfamiliar with Hisaishi to be honest. If I have heard other pieces of music I am unaware. Is there anything specific you would recommend?

    • I’ve always felt that Hosoda’s films were a little more on the sentimental and cloying side than Ghibli’s, actually. Ghibli films are frequently cute, but rarely cloying.

      Goregirl, I recall you mentioning a while back that you’ve never seen Akira before. I do think it’s an anime worth checking out, especially considering that it is, at its heart, a monster movie. There’s also some nice body horror moments in Akira that you might appreciate. Paprika is also worth a look, considering it’s directed by the late Satoshi Kon, who helmed Perfect Blue. But I find Paprika can be a little too self consciously clever for its own good at times, even though I liked it.

      • There are SO many anime and animated films I still need to see. I took the opportunity to see some Japanese animation on the big screen and while it didn’t move me much it certainly did not turn me off of seeing others. I will certainly check out Akira some day soon.

  2. conradw58 Says:

    Well,that sucks that the film festival did not live up to expectations! However,I’m delighted to read that you are more relaxed and happy than you’ve been in a long time! That is very important in this nutty life. I’m also happy to read of your Doris Wishman appreciation,as well as Michael Findlay. All of Findlay’s “Flesh” trilogy are worth watching. And a belated happy birthday! All your gifts look great,and that picture of you in the doorway of Tattoos and Scrimshaw is freaking awesome! I grew up an only child,and spent a lot of time alone with my movies and hobbies,but always wanted a sister just like you! A like minded sibling to share my obsessions! You are the coolest of the cool,Goregirl! 🙂

    • Grazie Conrad, you are too kind as always. To be honest I always wished I was an only child growing up. My sister and I never seen eye to eye on anything growing up. If I had a brother like you I am sure we would have driven our parents to drink. I have to get back into writing mode which is proving to be a challenge…I am still in holiday mode and want nothing more than to watch more and more and more movies…especially Something Weird stuff. A Smell of Honey is in the queue as well as The Brick Dollhouse and a couple of Olga films. I’ve seen Curse and Kiss (Kiss being my fave of the trio) but Take Me Naked has been my fave of the Findlays. I need to see more though…lots more! And I want to re-visit The Ultimate Degenerate also 🙂

      • conradw58 Says:

        hahahahaha As brother and sister,no doubt our parents would have been driven to the bottle,but just think of all the fun we would have had! 😉 I did have a great Mom who took me to see tons of monster movies and allowed me to watch Chiller Theater every Saturday night. I miss her. I enjoyed all the films you mentioned above and wish I were rich so I could buy thousands of DVD’s from Something Weird! I always dig out my Something Weird DVD’s for Halloween. I just watched Monsters Crash The Pajama Party and the double feature Doctor of Doom/Wrestling Women Vs the Aztec Mummy!

  3. Ah, CINEMA SEWER. Robin reprinted my first “Manos” article and again in the second volume of the book series so they’re okay in my book.

    • My friend David recently bought all four volumes of Cinema Sewer and when I asked him about your article he generously volunteered to scan it in for me so I am going to read your The Hand that time Forgot piece on the weekend.

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