It’s Only The End of The World CIFF2016 info: //IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD tells the heartbreaking story of Louis, a writer who must confront his past near the end of his life. Twelve years after leaving his hometown, Louis receives an invitation from his family to return home for a meal – but he brings with him news of his terminal diagnosis and impending death.
Directed by Canadian festival darling Xavier Dolan, IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD features a star-studded cast of French acting talent like Marion Cottiard (LA VIE EN ROSE), Vincent Cassel (LE HAINE), Léa Seydoux (SPECTRE), Nathalie Baye, and Gaspard Ulliel. The film was named the Grand Prize of the Jury winner at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival while Dolan received a Palme d’Or nomination.//
Burn Your Maps info from CIFF 2016: //Director Jordan Roberts in attendance at the screening on September 23! (K Note: I very much looking forward to watch the film and the CIFF2016 Q&A.)
Eight-year-old Wes (Jacob Tremblay, ROOM) has always felt a little bit out of place. After a family tragedy, Wes comes to realize that he’s not truly a young American boy – he’s supposed to be a Mongolian goat herder, and was born in the wrong place. Enlisting the help of an Indian filmmaker and a crowdfunding campaign, they set off to the steppes of Asia with Wes’ family in tow. Against all odds, trekking across the other side of the world might be just what they need in order to be close together again.
Co-written and directed by Jordan Roberts (BIG HERO 6) and starring Vera Farmiga (BATES MOTEL, SOURCE CODE) and Martin Csokas (NOAH), BURN YOUR MAPS is an comedy-drama filmed in Alberta that highlights the indomitable spirit of humanity, hope and finding your place in a big, crazy world.//
In Jeff’s live action and animated documentary One Big Hapa Family, he insightfully and in a fun way explores “why almost 100% of all Japanese-Canadians are marrying interracially, the highest out of any other ethnicity in Canada, and how their mixed children perceive their unique multiracial identities.” Jeff explored the subject with insightful interviews and observations.
Jeff has also blended animation nicely into his documentary so the film can also reach the younger audiences and students easier. If you have a chance, I highly recommend you check out the film. Look out for the film as it will be coming to your local OMNI TV channel in 2011.
The following animated frames are examples of Jeff skillfully using animation to tell the story in a more fun and informative manner. Sushi may now be loved by many North Americans, but the first frame illustrates the younger Jeff having the unfortunate experience of his home-made sushi being unloved and rejected by his fellow classmates. The worst thing was even his teacher didn’t even break the ice by trying one piece!
This is a drama/romantic comedy with a twist. Here is the CIFF film synopsis (with emphasis added),
“ME, TOO is the story of Daniel (Pablo Pineda), the first European with Down syndrome to graduate university. Raised in a highly academic home environment, the 34-year-old Daniel is constantly caught between two worlds, without quite fitting in on either side. He is more intellectual than the average person with Down syndrome, but not “normal” enough to fit in with much of “normal” society. Because of his loneliness, his relationships are the most important part of his life. When Daniel starts a new job, he soon forms a close friendship with one of his co-workers, Laura (Lola Dueñas). The friendship advances quickly into something more all consuming, and soon Daniel falls in love.
The intimate journey of Daniel, Laura and their friends and family captures the intense emotions each of them experiences. ME, TOO is a fascinating and emotional first feature film written and directed by the team of Álvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro.”
I am going to sit back and enjoy the beauty of this documentary film, a film that the husband and wife filmmaking team spent 10 years in making.
Here is the film’s synopsis from CIFF (emphasis added),
“An unsentimental elegy to the American West, SWEETGRASS follows the last modern-day cowboys to lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana’s Absaroka Beartooth Mountains for summer pasture. This astonishingly beautiful yet unsparing film reveals a world in which nature and culture, animals and humans, vulnerability and violence are all intimately meshed. The colourful characters and beautiful mountain scenery will at once feel familiar to Albertans who are acquainted with “Big Sky Country” and the lives of “real” cowboys—individuals who are distinctly a breed apart from the ones usually seen on the big screen at a multiplex. The husband and wife team of Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor spent 10 years filming the 150-mile trek into the mountains; of the nine films composed from hundreds of hours of footage shot, SWEETGRASS is the only one intended for theatrical exhibition.“
“When comedians get huge laughs from an audience, it’s referred to as having “killed it;” when a comedian tanks, they “die” on stage. When Canadian comedian Carla Zilbersmith is diagnosed with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gerhig’s Disease), she kills it while dying. Academy Award-winning Canadian filmmaker John Zaritsky (JUST ANOTHER MISSING KID) aims his lens directly into the abyss of death again, as he did in THE SUICIDE TOURIST, only this time it isn’t about the right to die—it’s about dying right. Films from her final tours abroad are intercut with interviews, confessionals and skits that form a portrait of a brave woman prepared to drink deep from the cup of life, savour every moment and, when the curtain falls, leave them laughing.”
Here is the film’s trailer. Warning: Coarse Language & Mature Subject Matter
*** Spoiler alert. *** Please skip the following if you want to watch the film without knowing how things turn out.
A good documentary will touch us and sometimes change how we see the world and live our lives. I look forward to watching this film even though I expect the audio quality of the film might not be the best at places.
P.S. I really appreciate Jeff openly sharing his creative work-in-progress here. It reminds me of my 2008 interview with painter Christine Cheung where she chatted with me about her abstract painting and let me interviewed her and filmed her painting.
In the interview Jeff and I chatted about what inspired him to make the documentary, why he thinks may explain the stats of 95% of Japanese-Canadian marries inter=racially or Japanese of non-Japanese decent (South Asian is 13%), why can we learn from this difference. Jeff and I also talk about the animation techniques he used, what inspired him to draw some of the scenes in his over 1.4 million views “Yellow Sticky Notes“, his recommended animation book “The Illusion of Life“, and other animation/filmmaking ideas. Enjoy.
Jeff‘s award winning “Yellow Sticky Notes“, viewed close to 1.5 million times, is a very charming animation short film and I love it. So I am very excited and looking forward to watching One Big Hapa Family on Sunday.
Here is my interview with the filmmakers May Charters & Mark Hug.
Here is the film synopsis from CIFF,
LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS TIME is romantic Canadiana, centering around two former childhood friends – Todd, a small town could-have-been, and Allison, an overly nostalgic children’s book illustrator – who are reunited at their ten-year high school reunion and embark on a childish yet romantic adventure recapturing the life they use to live.
The film’s characters eventually spiral into delinquent behavior, where scorching campfire antics, teenage bush parties, and childhood memories only delay their impending return to adulthood. Directors Mark Hug and May Charters build a story that shows what occurs when we try and revisit the folly of youth, and the results of trying to hold on to the past.