March Madness & the cinematic soul mate


Film Festival recap time! No time like the present am I right my friends? Why, yes, thank you for noticing, it is April, and the film festival closed March…11th. Seriously though. What happened to the other half of March? Is this what everyone means by March Madness? Talk about a time warp. It’s like I came home that Saturday night, kicked off my shoes, took a jump to the left, step to the right, and then suddenly it’s April Fools Day. What is this, a joke?

Now that I look back, I really should have taken better notes in order to appropriately capture the immediate responses to the films and events. As per usual it’s a whirlwind of wine, films, cheese and conversation. And so, I present my disjointed, disordered recollection of events.

KFF red carpet

Perhaps for you, the thrill of those ten days are long gone. Just dim memories of dark theatres. Or maybe you found a film or two or ten that was like a finding long-time friend or a cinematic soul mate.  Running the gamut of emotion. Feeling all the feels. Welcome to my happy place. Losing yourself in a story and finding your way back by  the film’s end. Witnessing stories unfold, watching characters develop. Love blossoming, bonds breaking. Reunions and departures. Sacrifices and losses. Successes and victories; all the things that lift us up and tear us down. Some films were based on true stories, and while others were works of fiction, the tales still tend to hold a mirror up to our faces. What a privilege to be a part of that shared experience;  to grateful and ashamed for the human condition in it’s entirety. All that empathy, community, catharsis and buttery popcorn…what else in life does anyone need? 


Over ten days, I caught 15 movies. I ugly cried four times, napped three times, abandoned one movie (ahem, Toni Erdmann) and–more times than I could count–laughed until nearly crying and vice versa. I lost sleep, danced, drank wine. I wore sequins, high heels and red lipstick. Each night I’d nestle in my standard seat with my Frida Kahlo bag filled with blankets, tissues, and other goodies and necessities. Each night I’d feel like all was well with the world.  


My dear friend and Events co-chair Tanya and I spent a little  quality time at Hotel 540’s Blue. We enjoyed a lot of Privato Pinot Noir, (doing our part for the Flavors & Flicks initiative). We had a glorious brunch and a multitude of mimosas on a snowy Sunday.  Champagne buzzed and hollandaise high, we watched Window Horses, a trippy little cartoon about a young Canadian poet who travels to Iran to perform at a poetry festival.

KFF mimosa

That same day, before I, Daniel Blake, we wandered over to PDK café for lattes and donuts with Kirsten Carthew, the filmmaker of The Sun at Midnight. 


Quick note: congratulations to I, Daniel Blake—for being the first movie of the #KFF2017 lineup to make me ugly cry. It was a real face contorting, heart breaking kind of film.  Following that film, we strolled over to the Noble Pig for ciders and comfort food.


Though KFF 2017 was drama heavy, there were moments of levity; The Space Between was incredibly heartfelt and good-humored, as was The Grand Unified Theory.

Nothing made me squirm in my seat more than Mean Dreams.  In fact, the Mean Dreams/Land of Mine double feature was a rather intense evening all in all. The Brewing Discussion at Red Collar was cozy, and I was laughing hysterically with my friend Sam on the way back to the Paramount. Suddenly it was young men dismantling landmines in a post-World War II landscape. Within the first few minutes the Commander head-butts someone in the face, which really takes the edge off the hilarity from the walk over.

KFF laugh

After that double feature, the most emotionally impactful evening was Angry Indian Goddesses and Maudie. That was a back-to-back sob-fest. Goddesses‘ preview really leads you to believe that it’s a buddy comedy, and while it is….it really isn’t. Regardless, it was the kind of unexpectedly devastating movies that requires you to just hang out in your seat until the theatre clears up a little. Maudie was equally as dehydrating, a sweet little love story about a most unlikely couple. A despite-the-odds tale about artistic expression. (And the #KFF2017 Audience Favorite!) 


Weirdos was very nostalgic and sweet. Paterson, while so lovely, it was also like a shot morphine.  Admittedly, I took a little snooze during that one. All those scenes of sleeping and beds only served to augment my exhaustion. I j’adored Ville-Marie. The film within a film was an emotional intersection of humanity at it’s most raw and vulnerable. Monica Belluci’s emotional undoing is a revelation.


Note, all these years I’ve been said “Monica Bella-lucci” and when filming videos for the festival, Sam, friend and videographer, said “Um no. It’s Bell-uci.” “Oh. Really?” “Yes, really.”  “Well…I prefer Bellalucci.”

After the film ended, I wandered out into the streets, feeling like a chic yet maudlin Montrealer in my green peacoat. Over a solo lunch, sighing deeply while staring out the window of a sushi restaurant watching the snow fall, feeling beautifully blue.

Once the last film credits had rolled, I got a little lump in my throat. It was partly related to 20th Century Women, but as always, it’s that end of an era feeling. The closing of another festival year. There’s so much time spent preparing for it, and suddenly it’s just like popcorn  and discarded ticket stubs on the floor.


Then, of course, is the party, so you just shirk off your sentimentally for the moment. Chatting all things films, events, and special guests with other partygoers; gin and red carpet photos and shaking it like a polaroid picture on the dance floor. What a way to celebrate another season with all the fabulous film festival folk that helped make such a magical time happen.

KFF group


For more information about Kamloops Film Festival refer to the website or follow the link for a detailed account of the #KFF2017 

Photos courtesy of Alicia Ashcroft, Jen Randall Dustin, Robin Phelan & Chris Warner.

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Red Wine Meets White Carpet

After a hectic work day, I was driving home in the rain with crumbs all over my lap.  There was a lone bran and berry muffin left in a Tim Horton’s box from the morning staff meeting.  Standing alone in the staff room, I stared at it the way a predator hones it on its prey before attacking.  That muffin didn’t stand a chance.  I snapped it up and just sort of shoved the peak into my trap.  I wanted to hurry home, so I continued the attractive mushing of muffin into my mouth from behind the wheel.  Loose and reckless morsels of muffiny goodness; this kind of eating is not a tidy enterprise.    This is exactly how Audrey Hepburn looked whilst feasting.  Classy as hell.

Love in the Afternoon (1957) - Audrey Hepburn, Gary CooperSome bastard pulls out in front of me, and I bark an obscenity out, mouth full of muffin.  I catch a glimpse of my reflection.

Girlfriend, you look so stressed.  And you are seriously just covered in crumbs. Like, it’s all over your face.  

This was totally understandable, as I was all but chewing of the muffin lining.  This is what I was doing when I got cut off, and when I snapped out loud to no one in particular.  Behold, my finest hour.

Naturally, I stopped by the liquor store for a bit of vino.

After a hot shower, and a proper meal, and two glasses of the California red blend, I was feeling far less crumby.  Relaxing with my husband, watching a movie, I took a sip of water, and intending to put it back on the table, I  clink it into the wine glass–cheers darling–knocking it over, the scarlet liquid cascading onto the cream colored carpet.


This isn’t a huge surprise.  These are things you need to know about me.  I cry all the time.  I mix past and present tenses when I write.  I’m terrible at basic math, I’m incapable of giving directions, and I’m a certifiable food and beverage spiller.  That’s why I wear so much black, it’s 5% wanting to be chic, and 98% wanting clothes I can wear again after an inevitable staining.

One night, when Ben and I were first together, I was all tucked up in bed in one of his t-shirts and sipping a huge glass of water.  I don’t quite know how I did it, but I just kind of relaxed and let go of the glass.  Water everywhere.  I just sit there in the spillage, not quite sure how to proceed.  Ben came in, smiling at his new girlfriend, the ‘super soaker’.  He climbed into bed, and he puts his hand down on the mattresses, and his smile wavered as his eyebrows turned into a “what the…hell?” kind of squiggle.  I’m holding the empty glass, soaked through the sheets, down to my knickers, smiling like it’s a beauty pageant, and the other contestant’s name was called over mine.

But he’s used to it by now, and it was absolutely not a surprise to him when we were assessing the crime scene last night.  “With the amount of wine that goes through this house, I’m only surprised it didn’t happen sooner”.  I am seriously one klutzy son of a bitch, in fact, that would be my rap name “DJ Spilly Britches” or “Notorious SOB”.  Although truth be told, as you can tell by my rap names, the closest I could get to being a rapper would by being the old lady in the opening credits of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.  That’s another thing you should know, I don’t rock that hard…at all.


The wine is spilled, and there is this split second moment where we looked at each other, and looked at the mess.   We then lunge into action, attack the stain with paper towels, hoping to lure the liquid from the clutches of the carpet.  I search the internet for stain removers.  There are a variety of options, but here’s a step-by-step approach of what worked for me:

1) Panic

2) Lament your bumbling butterfingers.

3) Paper towel that shit, while wondering if Nestle still makes Butterfingers.

4) The internet recommends vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, laundry detergent.  I suggest layering all of these ingredients and scrubbing like a post-regicide Lady Macbeth.

gp-Macbeth_t614My god woman, how much wine did you spill?

My favorite tip was to pour white wine over the red, which sounds a bit wasteful.  But hey, maybe carpet sangria has yet to sweep the nation–what do I know?  It seemed to me that it was a bit like putting out a fire with more kerosene.  Plus, I’m not much of a chardonnay kind of girl.

Once the stain was out, I congratulated myself with a little Butterfingers re-con.  Good news y’all, not only is it still a thing, but they are putting it in ice cream now.  So that’s just another thing for me to bring home and spill on the carpet.  The possibilities are endless really, my clumsiness knows no bounds.

pin up boozeiAll Images Courtesy of Google