Sunday, October 14, 2012

VIFF 2012 - over and out

And to be honest, I saw a lot of solid films, but few I would really push anyone to see.  My best day of the fest was last Friday - the last day as it happens.  A couple of films really stayed with me - one, like a bad dream, the other quite the opposite.

The bad dream?  Virgin Tales, a great Swiss documentary following the Wilsons, an Evangelical Christian family headed by Randy, field director for the Family Research Council (shudder) and founder of the father/daughter Purity Ball (double shudder).  A fascinating glimpse into a world that I find, quite honestly, terrifying.  Listening to the 20 year old daughter wait for her perfect man to miraculously appear while dismissing utility of higher education and embracing teaching young women how to modestly drink from water fountains made my head hurt.  The director handles it all with a considered, delicate hand.  Well worth a watch.

And making my head hurt for a very different reason? How to Grow a Band, which follows the insanely talented Chris Thile as he embarks on his new project, the Punch Brothers - and their first tour, which revolves around Thile's 40 minute string quartet written for bluegrass instruments. Try to sell THAT to an audience thinking they are in for a typical night of traditional bluegrass. Typical bluegrass this isn't, by any means; nor is Thile your average musician- footage of him playing a mandolin like a pro before he was anywhere near puberty left me shaking my head. I'm not a huge bluegrass fan by any means, but I love me a band that really stretches the borders like these guys do.
Here is a clip from the second movement of the 40 minute work
And just for fun, a cover of Radiohead's Kid A.

Debating whether to go see their show at the Chan Centre in November - the only thing holding me back is that I need to travel on work the next day. We shall see... And in other news, my weekend highlight was a rip roaring games night with good pals - and a happy birthday celebration for the talented, lovely Avril. Fun, fun, fun time :)

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