Resfest Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Clap if you believe in the neutrality of design. The eighth annual Resfest, the über-glossy inter- (or is that multi-?) national media empire that incorporates an arts magazine, a bi-monthly DVD sampler of innovative, mostly independent film and music, and a 33-city touring festival of same, descends on Toronto this weekend, gaslights flickering.
And if you can gag back the cognitive dissonance of a Panasonic-, Apple- and Nike-sponsored event that screens The Corporation and at the same time champions the transcendent artistic power of what it calls "branded entertainment" (that would be commercials), there's plenty here that's worth seeing.
On the international front, there are tons of good shorts and music videos, notably Brian Lee Hughes's entertaining Rock Star Scars, in which rock stars describe their scars, and the Beta Band's Assessment, in which the history of war, including helicopters and nuclear devastation, is narrated in one long camera pull.
The Canadian program (Sunday, October 24, 9 pm) reveals gothic identity as the most compelling new theme of the national cinema, with Chris Grismer's adorable video for Broken Social Scene's I'm Still Your Fag (teen goth gets first kiss from quarterback, in black-and-white with subtitles) and Floria Sigismondi's lush stop-motion decay seething around Robert Smith in the Cure's End Of The World. Friday to Sunday (October 22 to 24, at the Royal.