VIFF 2006

The Vancouver International Film Festival wrapped up last week, and while we didn’t go bananas trying to see everything, we still managed to take in some good talkies.

Everything’s Gone Green was the only prize-winner that we caught. It’s Douglas Coupland’s first work specifically for the screen, and while full of familiar neighbourhoods, I took away little else. Perhaps it had a greater impact on long-time Vancouverites, but I expected more than stereotypes obvious to most Canadians (let alone those growing up in the Lower-Mainland). In the end, the answers Green attempts to provide are much less stimulating than the questions brought up by Garden State. Perhaps that’s more my fault, but from nearly the start, I couldn’t help but compare the two.

Much more fun was New Zealand entry No. 2: singing, dancing, drinking, laughing, and fighting in suburban Auckland. A fitting counterpoint to Once Were Warriors. (Though rather than telling you much about the film, this likely just demonstrates my lack of knowledge regarding Kiwi-cinema.)

The biggest celebrity we saw? Writer/director Bong Joon-Ho, who graciously stuck around to answer questions after the final screening of The Host. Rather than a treating it as a monusta-mooby, Bong suggested his latest work as an “emotional, Korean family drama.” I think it works great as both, and I especially recommend it those of you with past or present ties to Korea. Your next walk along the Hang Gang will be different on more than one level.

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