Last night World Movies headed down to Sydney’s most picturesque cinema for the Opening Night of Possible Worlds – the 7th Canadian Film Festival. Greeted at Dendy Opera Quays with Québécois beer and maple cookies, the Festival was launched with a premiere screening of Starbuck -Canada’s highest grossing film in 2011.
The film tells the story of David, a slacker for whom the only thing worse than his pregnant girlfriend dumping him are the violent gangsters looking for repayments on his burgeoning debts.
When David is informed that his anonymous stint donating sperm 20 years earlier (under the alias ‚ÄòStarbuck’) ended up creating 533 children, his world is turned upside down. While his children file a lawsuit demanding for his identity to be revealed, David grows curious and tracks them down – never revealing his identity but slowly being drawn further into the lives of his enormous new family. Is mass fatherhood a disaster, or could it be the best thing that ever happened to David?
It was the perfect film to open this diverse festival, underlined by the raucous laughter of the audience throughout. The many saccharine moments of sentimentality or unlikely coincidence were balanced with dark humour, unpredictable plot twists and a beguiling performance from Patrick Huard as David. Starbuck is a film even the most cynical could surely not resist, and is set (somewhat predictably) for a Hollywood remake with Vince Vaughn.
The Canadian Film Festival continues until this Sunday 19 August in Sydney, and there’s plenty to see. Some of our recommendations include:
Monsieur Lazhar – Tonight (Tuesday 14th August at 6.30pm)
Bachir Lazhar, a 55 year-old Algerian immigrant, is brought in as a substitute teacher when a Grade 6 class in Montreal must deal with their last teacher’s suicide. An Oscar-nominee and a must-see film. If you miss it tonight then check out our current giveaway for more tickets.
Surviving Progress – Wednesday 15th August at 6.30pm
In the vein of The Corporation and An Inconvenient Truth comes a damning documentary about the modern pace of life and our lifestyle of exponential consumption. Based on Ronald Wright’s bestseller A Short History of Progress, this is an informative and illuminating film that looks at both sides of progress, evolution and social change.
Collaborator – Wednesday 15th August at 8.30pm
When liberal playwright Robert Longfellow (Martin Donovan) spontaneously arrives in LA, he catches up with old friend Gus (David Morse), a right-wing ex-con who still lives at home. They settle in for a drunken night in until Gus pulls a gun on Robert and decides to take him hostage – resulting in a tense, unpredictable and utterly compelling showdown between two men who couldn’t be more different.
Roller Town – Friday 17th August at 8pm
The screening of this hilariously camp homage to 70s roller-disco cinema is set to be an all-out celebration in Newtown, so wear your vintage disco threads and prepare for a wild night of DJs and burlesque performers.
Francine – Sunday 19th August at 6.30pm
This poignant portrait of a woman released from prison stars Oscar-winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter). Francine struggles to find her way in an unfamiliar world, and moves into a small shack in a rural town where she must learn to reconnect with people.
For the full program and tickets visit the Possible Worlds website.