Marv Newland's Scratchy - Itching Us OnWednesday, October 11, 2017
Whenever the VIFF (Vancouver International Film Festival) comes around September and October I always consider a couple of ítems.
1. Because of some arcane and expensive process of having the films at the festival inspected by the Censor Board (or whatever it is called) there is always a demand for a membership card when you attend any screening of VIFF and the same seems to apply for screenings of the Pacific Cinematheque. What this means is that you never see children on the usually long lineups.
2. In times past the festival brought film luminaries. That no longer happens and that wonderful part of a film festival has transferred to the more famous Toronto Film Festival.
I have one partial solution to the long lines. I would gladly pay $10 to have a robot line up for me while I enjoy (or not) a pumpkin spice cappuccino.
|Below - Victoria and Marv|
Because of my advanced age of 75 I do not find the on-line ticket purchase an easy one nor the idea of lining up in the cold rain. So I mostly do not attend the festival.
On the other hand buying my ticket to Home & Garden on the phone was a pleasure. VIFF volunteers are all extremely pleasant.
But when I am sent a request to attend a screening of anything by Rocket Ship’s Marv Newland I comply with pleasure. Here is a man who unlike his friend Alex is not obsolete-redundant & retired. He is a man who does not let go of his talent to produce animated stuff that always challenges the viewer but always leaves you perhaps scratching your head but also with a smile of sheer pleasure. The man with the crooked smile (Newland) makes his friend Alex (also sports a crooked smile) smile, too.
So my friend Ian Bateson and I attended Monday October 9’s Home & Garden at the International Village. The program consisted 7 of what Newland calls “live action shorts” and his latest 3 minute animated film Scratchy (which did leave me scratching my head). At one point near the end there were these giant legs and I thought this was some sort of joke allusion to Newland’s famous Bambi Meets Godzilla. I was ready to see those feet stomp on little creatures. But that did not happen. Instead the large creature lowered a pair of colourful underwear.
I feel that I must thank Newland for the invitation as the 7 live action shorts made me depressed with their constant theme of alienation and relationship breakdown. But this depression cleansed my brain from all those film trailers on my appointment TV. They are about violence with perfect makeup and overdone special effects. I don’t want to see any of them or to get a constant “enjoy the show” suggestion by a banal young man telling me to play a game so I can win special pop-corn.
Those 7 films made me think that there is hope in the film arts. The big surprise for me was Bird directed by the film actor I know and with the wonderful presence of Amanda Michael Plummer.
It is neat to know that while Newland does not give up on what he does best Parker is experimenting with something new.
His Name is Willy directed by Liz Cairns taught me the meaning of a DIY funeral. Rosemary is prepared to get a permit from the city and when I die I can be buried under Rhododendron augustinii 'Marion Macdonell"