TIFF day 4 – Monkey Warfare 2nd screening

Another low-key day except for the super second screening of Monkey Warfare. Here’s Cindy getting set to ride her little bike to the festival. She has fabulous outifts, n’est-ce pas? This is an opportunity to point out that not only is she IN Monkey Warfare, she also has a band called The Tennessee Twin.

After my third day of TIFF I finally started getting an understanding of how tickets work. I think. Apparently cast and crew need to use their passes to go and get tickets to their own screenings for themselves, even though they’re free for them, just because that’s how the accounting works or something. I think. I have been treated to a whirlwind bubble not of celebrity, but of Reg and Cindy’s hospitality. I’ve hardly had to think the whole time, so get easily confused the moment I have to think for myself.

[Steve Gravestock introduced Jennifer Jonas, Reg Harkema, Cindy Wolfe, Nadia Litz and Leonard Farlinger]

Anyway, it was a good screening, I like the editing more and more each time. There is one cut especially which reminded me of the best cuts in “Goodfellas.” When Don McKellar lets Nadia Litz buy a certain item at a garage sale, she takes them and then is suddenly moving away on her bike. There’s a bike bell, I believe, that covers the edit, even though it’s not meant to be a diagetic bike bell (Reg’s favourite word is “non-diagetic.” In fact, Reg himself should fix that Wikipedia entry since it’s not only a stub but contains pathetic references).

The bike bell subconsciously paves over the discontinuity, I think, but it also reinforces it. The way Nadia moves and then suddenly reverses direction is a direct cause-and-effect but not a realistic, narratively continuous one. It’s the ultimate example of cutting out excess action and keeping just the bare minimum to convey the story, so concisely that it becomes stylized. Kathy Weinkauf is a rock’n good editor.

The Goodfellas edit it reminds me of is the one where Ray Liotta walks out of the house from screen right, walks over to his car at screen center, grabs the door handle, then there’s a “clunk” and we cut to a different location, just after he’s slammed the door on his way out of the same car. The “clunk” could either be the door opening or closing, or maybe a hybrid of both sounds, but it drives the edit. The second shot is composed so that the car is in the same spot on screen, he is still heading towards screen left, but now he’s apparently passed through the car. His motion from screen right to screen left isn’t interrupted by the tedium of getting in the car, doing his seatbelt, driving to the new place etc. He just reaches for the door handle and then slams it behind him without a moment’s delay; he never stops walking.

Anyway, it’s one of the fanciest edits ever, and Kathy / Reg have done a similarly marvelous one here in Monkey Warfare.

I’m tired now. It’s time to go back to Vancouver.

Next stop for MW is apparently Sudbury, but for me it’ll be VIFF.

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