At Cannes earlier this year, I spent a few hours in the company of a very unlikely movie star: Mark Peranson, former movie critic, founder and editor of Cinema Scope magazine, programmer for the Vancouver International Film Festival and - full disclosure - my first cousin.
Peranson has attended Cannes numerous times as a journalist and programmer, but this was his first experience appearing as what we call "the talent". He'd played Joseph, father of the infant Jesus, in Albert Serra's black-and-white experimental comedy El Cant Dels Ocells, also known by its English title, Birdsong.
Birdsong (reviewed here by Paul Ennis) was tapped for TIFF, where it's screening in the Visions program; the film's presence here means Persanson is once again pulling triple duty as Cinema Scope editor, Vancouver scout and visiting talent.
In one of the more surreal moments of my career, I found myself conducting a formal interview with the newly minted movie star yesterday afternoon - between my sit-downs with Kristin Scott Thomas and Arnaud Desplechin - on a bench at the northern tip of Philosopher's Walk yesterday afternoon.
I was going to break it down into the standard conversational interview transcript, then realized that the whole thing speaks for itself pretty well.
Peranson's time on the flip side of the festival circuit hasn't ended yet. He's putting the finishing touches on Waiting For Sancho, a feature-length documentary about the experience of making the film, which premieres at Vancouver next month. Take a look at its website, if you're curious.
In his capacity as non-auteur, Peranson will be participating in another Birdsong Q&A after the film's final TIFF screening this afternoon. It's happening at 5 pm at the AMC 4. Rush tickets should be available at the venue an hour before showtime.