Sunday, July 31, 2011

Second Wave d'Italia and Last Picture Show de Dolly

Quick dispatch to tell you that the second batch of Italy pics (and commentary) are up here!

And, a reminder that the subtitled version of the film will be shown for one last-ish time in all its 35mm glory on the big screen here in Montreal tomorrow, Monday August 1st (coincidentally, also my dad's 70th birthday!). More info here.

One way or another, see you at the pictures!

And a very happy birthday, Dad! xoxo

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Primo Giorno

As I mention in the meatier post below, here then, is the first entry in the photo journal of my Giffoni Experience...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Are You "Experience"'d?

As I sit here awake at a ridiculously early hour on my first morning back from Italy, I'm filled with so many memories, impressions, opinions and desires, but only one real dread: having to face my first North American "espresso".

I was up for 23 hours yesterday travelling and have now slept a scant 5 back in my own bed in Montreal so I'm desperately craving a coffee to smooth out the jagged edges of my jet lag but oh god, I am loathe to do anything to corrupt or contaminate this still intense, sensory memory of the dark, hot, rich ambrosia I shamelessly binged on overseas!

Right. I know. Overkill. But can I just tell you that there is NO COMPARISON between theirs and ours? And I'm not just talking about the flavour or the texture or the intensity of the actual drink. Or about the majestic, offhanded elegance of their whole ubiquitous ritual. I'm talking about the buzz.

As in, there is none.

Well, at least none of that jangly new-world kind anyway. And even though I regularly exceeded my usual maximum intake of two per day while I was away, I never not once EVER experienced that raunchy, acid-stomach after-burn from any Italian coffee - espresso, macchiato, cappuccino or otherwise - that passed my grateful lips at all times of day and night.

It's like the difference between the pure stuff. And the stuff that's been cut with something.

Or, like the difference between a festival that exists for the pure celebration of films and their audiences. And the other kind.

"The Giffoni Experience", as it's officially called, is exactly that. 100%. Panoramic. Technicolor. 3-D. Experience. It's a full-hearted, richly textured carnival of (for, by and about) kids - and the many kinds of cinema they respond to.

And for those of us ex-kids who were lucky enough to be invited in, it's also a regular, written-down reminder that a festival of film can (and should) be a whole, living, breathing, 360 degree, multi-levelled, cultural and interpersonal EXPERIENCE!

As it was for me and so many of the people I met there. So in the coming days, I'll post photos, faces and some stories that go with them. I'm not reporting in "real time" I know. It's already all happened and behind me. So yeah, I'll be sharing it in slight retrospect and I realize that makes me a dinosaur in this, the "instantaneous information age", but so be it. I've always been someone who likes to eat slowly, savour the meal, then respond and recount (also, internet access was sporadic there and a bit of a pain in my lazy butt).

So, with the exception of any "breaking news", which you know I'd tell you as soon as I possibly could, I figure if I introduce you to some people, tell you some stories and show you some pictures after having been as present in the moment as possible, it will feel as instantaneous as it needs to for you - and as fully-lived as it needs to for me.

Meantime, it's not even 9 am here and I'm feeling all heavy with fatigue and "black bliss" withdrawal... so ... do you think it's the actual espresso machines over there that make all the difference?... or the beans? ... or the way they're ground? ... or the water?

...or the whole unbeatable, unrepeatable experience...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Is That Your Final Answer?

Had a great (late) interview with Tyler, Logan and Scott last night - otherwise known as the Reel to Reel crew on CFCR Radio, Saskatoon...

While I struggled on my end to put together complete sentences at 11:30 pm (way past my bedtime!), on their end those boys were alert, alive and eerily well-informed about me, the film, and my every move before, during and after its upcoming run in their fair city!

So in case you haven't been able to do the same exhaustive research that the Reel to Reel guys have, I'll lay some of it out for you here:

The film (partially inspired by my childhood spent in the backseat of our family car, crossing the prairie between Calgary and Saskatoon) opens tonight at the Broadway Theatre right there in Saskabush (as we fondly called it)! Yet another "homecoming" of sorts for a film that has its roots spread practically right across this country (with apologies to the Maritimes and Northern Territories).

And then directly on the heels of this, our final Canadian stop on what's been a great first run for our little film, it's on to international screens - starting with (sigh) Italia...! I just found out that I'll be staying in Salerno right on the Amalfi Coast, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea and commuting by shuttle every day to the Giffoni Film Festival. There, I'll be able to take in all the screenings and networking opportunities provided by the likes of such an internationally reputable festival as this.

But while I get all my promotional materials together and brush up on my (non-existent) Italian, I'm also studying a little of the history and geography of the area - hoping to take in a some of the local flavour and "spirit" while I'm there.

Beyond that - well, there's the DVD coming out very soon (just gave final comments on the art work and text!) as well as a one-night-only screening at our very own Théâtre Outremont here on August 1st. Then later that month, the film will have the privilege of screening at the inaugural edition of The Eastern Townships Film Festival!! After that, it's back to Europe for for the Lucas Film Festival in Frankfurt. And then... who knows...?

Meantime, I'll sign off by putting to you the same final question the Reel to Reel boys put to me last night:
What upcoming film are you most looking forward to in 2011?


My brain seized up on that question on the radio at midnight. But this morning(!) I woke up with at least two that I'm salivating to see when things calm down a little:

"The Tree of Life"


"Cowboys and Aliens"

I like a nice balanced diet.