Strella + the end of the film fest!

22 08 2010

Well, it’s finally over: the end of the 22nd Vancouver Queer Film Festival.  It’s been 12 days of some very good films, more very bad films, and lots of meeting new people.  It seems every year I get more and more involved, talking with more people (something I’m not that great at doing) and enjoying myself more.

Congrats to Cal Garigan on winning the Gerry Brunet award.  I totally knew he would win.

And with that, here’s the last review for this year’s Queer Film Fest.

Strella

Synopsis: A modern queer re-telling of the Oedipus Rex tale set in Athens, where apparently everyone smokes and does drugs.

Super awesome things: A modern queer re-telling of the Oedipus Rex story!  There’s something different.  And it’s not just between a man and his father — it’s between a transexual and his father.  Oooh!  Room for lots of conflict here.  As well, Yannis Kokiasmenos gives a particularly good performance as the doomed father.

Not so super awesome things: The amateur-quality of the film as well as the hand-held camera movement really detract from the movie.  In fact, the shaky camera took me out of the story and made me pay attention more to the camera work than the plot, which is always a shame.  The first two thirds of the movie stick to the classical tale but once the reveal is over, the characters and plot lack direction, and then everyone just does stuff for a while.  Though I much prefer the hopeful ending to the original suicide-galor, when Strella walks on the sidewalk, away from her father and it’s slowly fading to black, I kept thinking, “And… cut!”  But then we get this extra scene where everyone’s happy and they seem to have made it work.  I have mixed feelings about this — I like it because if it were to cut with Strella walking away, it might be too ambiguous for people (do they ever talk/see each other again?) and this end scene answers that.  As well, it shows the characters as one a very unique family, which is cool.  On the other hand, do we really need it?  Would it have been more of a powerful ending if it had ended with Strella’s back as it faded out?

Good for watching: for those who argue incest does not equal insanity.

Overall: Apparently this was made without any funding from the government, which is really impressive for a feature.  Go indie filmmaking!

Grade:  B

With all the meh films I’ve seen this year, it’s definitely made me realize that maybe I’m not as bad a writer as I think I am.  The only issue is getting people together and making it for pretty much no money.  Anyhoo, I will definitely be back next year with a film (or more?), ready to take over the world.  Muahahaha!

A special shout-out to Amber Dawn — with all my thanking her, it seems like I’m eternally grateful or something — for organizing and including me in the festival and events.  She is one of the most awesome women I know, and it’s not just because she has an incredibly sexy speaking voice.  🙂

Well, farewell, and I’ll be seeing you all next year!


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