Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed and Stranger In A Strange Land

Time travel and being displaced was the topic of my Saturday night this week! I managed to complete a double movie screening with Tanya, through us both winning tickets for the screenings.

First on the bill for the night was the preview screening of Safety Not Guaranteed, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. In this, a journo and 2 interns set out to investigate a classified ad seeking a partner to time travel - wishing to check out if this guy thought he could time travel, and why, the team stake out Kenneth until one of the interns, Darius, decides to answer the ad to get the scoop.

A look at regrets and the idea of going back in time to change something about your life - and whether that would really work. This is a funny, lovely movie, with proper laugh out loud moments, produced by the same people who gave us Little Miss Sunshine. Aubrey Plaza's Darius is a highlight, as is the delivery of some of the one-liners. The guy who actually posted such an ad, and thus whom the movie's plot is based on, makes a cameo picking up mail from the PO Boxes.

This is going to be a movie that generates real buzz over the coming months, so look out for it!

Once this movie ended, we took a short subway ride north, to the U of T campus, and the Isabel Bader Theatre for one of the screenings of a collection of short films for the Worldwide Short Film Festival. Stranger in a Strange Land had the theme of transition, movement and being out of the familiar territory.

Seven shorts in all, two were animations and were stand outs. One done with block, white and blue only - Ursus - which worked really well, the other had a very biblical look about it, and a clever parallel story depiction - The Changeling.

My favourite of the screening was Odysseus' Gambit, a mini-doco on a displaced Cambodian man, making his life by playing chess in a park in NYC. Saravuth compares chess moves and strategies to those of his life, the removal of orphans to the USA just before the fall of Pol Pot, and his ongoing limbo status as a citizen in either country now. This is a powerful process of understanding his plight and experience, and that of many displaced persons around the world.

The session ended with a Q and A session with several of the film makers, which was handy as this helped us understand what the imagery used in a couple of the shorts was all about, some quite out of left field, and also gave an insight into the process of short film making.


  1. There's a contest going on on the Alliance Films Facebook wall right now for this movie where you can win a Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono watch valued at $1,350. Check it out! http://www.facebook.com/AllianceFilms/app_323137037763615

    1. Great, thanks for sharing! Now just to think on my answer!!
      What was yours?


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