Canadian Filmmakers Festival Rating: NNN
Oh, Canada, your film industry is eager, anxious, cash-strapped, hardworking. It labours prodigiously only to be swamped by a tsunami of Spider-Men from the south. Here's our chance to show we care - 10 domestic programs over four nights.
The opening gala, Expiration (Thursday, July 15, 6:30 pm), is Gavin Heffernan's convoluted drama about a tangle of characters whose lives intersect fatefully one night. An impressive achievement, but you wish Heffernan had had a collaborator to tell him when he's being being very clever and when he's being slightly ridiculous.
Saturday (July 17, 11 pm) is Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning, the prequel to the 2000 cult hit. Set in 19th-century Canada, it attempts to explain the origins of the werewolf in aboriginal legend. Unfortunate sisters Brigitte and Ginger encounter creepy children, evil priests and ruthless soldiers before finally, and unsurprisingly, confronting the wolf.
The film looks great, but the weirdly stiff and anachronistic dialogue would have worked better in a comic book. (Royal, July 15 to 18)