Canadian Film Festival Review

20 Aug 2012 10:52 PM | Deleted user
(Written by new member and film buff, Steve Jaggi)


One week. Three great films. And a reminder that not matter how far and how long I travel - I'll always be Canadian.

Now entering my eleventh year of living abroad, when people ask me where I'm from I struggle to answer. My accent has settled into the decidedly "foreign, bot not anywhere in particular" category. My Canadian roots have taken a back seat to the pressures at work and the hunt for a oh-so elusive social life amongst the pressures of living in the 21st century.

When, in between conference calls and round tables, my phone vibrated and I read the email from the Canadian Australian Club inviting me to the Possible Worlds film festival I promptly ignored it and soon forgot all about the festival, and Canada. Strange then that over drinks a few days later a friend rather serendipitously showed me a trailer for Indie Gamer.
"Didn't you know", he asked, "it was a huge hit at Sundance!"

Forgetting for a moment my carefully cultivated urbane posturing my eyes bulged and my inner geek shouted: I have to see this! But where... and then I remembered the CAC email. Remember, if you will, that I was enjoying a (read: eight) social beverage(s) I jumped online and promptly bought tickets for Starbuck, Goon and Indie Gamer.

Starbuck was amazing. Easily one of the best films I've seen all year. Considering that I bought a ticket to this film assuming that it had something to do with Battlestar Galactica (which by the way I'm glad it didn't. That would be one messed up movie!) I wasn't prepared for such a moving, compassionate and human comedy. Ken Scott's taught script tells the story of David Wozniak, a loveable Quebec loser who, through a mishap at a spermbank he donated to when low on cash over a decade ago, finds out he's fathered 533 children.

Next up was Goon. Starring American Pie's Seann "Steve Stiffler" William Scott and also featuring Pie alumni Eugene Levy this Hockey comedy wears Canadian pride on its sleeve. I should mention that a majority of cinema patrols were sporting hockey jerseys. The brilliant Kim Coates, best known for the hit TV show Sons of Anarchy also features as the team coach, although sadly he was, in my humble opinion, under used.

Rounding up my Possible Worlds film extravaganza was indie gamer. There's a reason this film was a hit at Sundance. Take my advice and let your inner geek out for this one. Brilliant!

All told three brilliant Canadian films is one week. And you know what I realised? Living abroad for a decade has made me more, not less Canadian. These three films, completely diverse on the surface, share a humility and compassion for the trod-on. Australian cinema is known for championing the under-dog. At its heart, Canadian cinema illustrates a uniquely Canadian trait: regardless of what everyone else thinks (in Starbuck the entire world, in Goon Doug Glatt's parents) we do what we feel is morally right. No matter what the cost. And you know what I realised?

I am Canadian :)

See you next year at the Possible Worlds Canadian Film Festival in Sydney.

-Steve Jaggi
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