Friday, September 21, 2012

CIFF kicks-off with tons of speeches...oh yes, and a film

The Calgary International Film Festival kicked off last night with the Opening Gala screening of Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children.

The movie was...interesting. This is honestly the word that came to mind before I remembered that Mehta told the audience before the film started not to talk to her after the film if they were going to tell her it was 'interesting'.

I don't mean it in a "um...yeah, it was...interesting." I mean it in a, "I have no other way to describe my thoughts on the movie, interesting."

It wasn't fantastic. It wasn't mind blowing. It wasn't was interesting. I was intrigued, but not captivated enough to not look at my watch every five minutes for the last hour of the 2.5 hour movie.

The length of the movie was one of its downfalls, but the biggest for this screening was the 45 minutes of speeches that preceded the start of the film. A CIFF representative, sponsors, politicians rounded off by the producer and director of the film. Besides Mayor Nenshi's speech (which kicked ass, as usual) you were watching a painful circle jerk, ending with Mehta talking about the film...unfortunately for her, by that point I wasn't listening to anyone. I, along with everyone in the theatre, was thinking, "Start the show already!!"

The lights went down and the screen lit up. It was time! Then you see a man, sitting in a room, talking to the camera (with no sound for the first 10 seconds, might I add) and you's another friggin' speech! Never ending.

I think I may have had a much different opinion of Mehta's Children if I had watched it in the comfort of my own home, but as a whole, I found it quite lack luster. It was a story of multiple generations of a family in India and some kids with weird powers who were all born near midnight on the same day. If I explained it to a point that you would have the faintest idea what was going on, this post would be as long as the speeches and the movie combined.

Let's just say - it was a weird semi-mind f-ck that ended with booze and food. You can't go wrong with booze and food. Yum...and it was good.

So there you have it, the start of the 2012 Calgary International Film Festival. Lucky for you...they don't do speeches at the non-gala screenings. So get your butt in a seat and watch some films.


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