Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Visions program


Last year, a selection in the TIFF Visions program - a program highlighting films that utilize experimental or innovative techniques to aid in storytelling - became an overnight sensation after its initial screening. The film was TEN CANOES. It told the story of how an aborigine tribe, while building canoes, taught another tribe member the virtues and dangers of lust, jealousy, pride and revenge through elaborate ancestral stories. It was beautifully shot, utilized native environments, an all-Aboriginal cast, and was filmed in both black and white as well as color. It was the first feature in an Australian Aboriginal language and celebrated the power of the spoken word.

After the screening, the public quickly raved about its powerful imagery and its ability to resonate across cultures and generations. But then word got out that the print was not complete and was not intended to be seen as is. What could have been missing?

Subtitles.

It lacked a translated soundtrack, but the film left an impact through its strong visual and narrative techniques, and was clearly at home in the Visions program. What can we expect from the program this year? The director of TEN CANOES, Rolf de Heer, is back again this year with DR PLONK, a black and white silent comedy set in 1907, about a scientist determined to prove the world will end in 2008, and creates a time machine in order to gather the proof. It appears lightning will not strike twice as there will be no audio to translate.

The festival also announced an additional 12 films to the program this week. All of which will be eligible for the Artistic Innovation Award, now in it’s second year. Click here to read descriptions of each new title at TIFF web site.

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