Monthly Archives: March 2012

Win #5: a pair of tickets to the Vancouver Women In Film Festival!

Here we are in March and I’ve already won five contests: a Canucks t-shirt; a pass to the opening of Arctic Air; tickets to Colourful World with the Turning Point Ensemble; a bag of goodies at a friend’s Oscar party (I guessed the winners of 13 categories correctly); and my most recent win, a pair of tickets to the Vancouver Women in Film Festival, courtesy of 24 Hours.

I was allowed to go to one festival screening of my choice and I selected Hopes, Dreams + Schemes. I chose this screening because it showcased a series of short films from various countries and I have always enjoyed international films and have wanted to see more short films.
While watching all the films, one thought kept resounding in my mind: the roles that a woman takes on are seemingly limitless: artist, intellectual, nurturer, friend, adventurer, etc…We move so seamlessly from one role to the next, too. I know this may seem like an obvious idea, but the suddenness of this realization made it very powerful. I was in awe of my own gender, my own femininity in a way I never have been before.


The two films which I enjoyed the most were Move Out Clean and The Soldier Game (Le Jeu des Soldats). In about 12 minutes, Move Out Clean encapsulated the reflective and transformative nature of cleaning. Before you say, “Huh?” hear me out. Yesterday, when I cleaned an orange spot off the kitchen cupboard, I remembered the ripe, juicy mango I ate the day before. This morning, when I swept up pieces of thread, I recalled that I sewed up my coat pocket which ripped when I jammed my hand into it on a cold winter day. And, as I emptied the shredder into the recycler, I watched the half-remembered pieces of words and phrases tumbling into the bin, thinking I should write this review tonight.


Move Out Clean is about this experience. An artist cleans out the apartment he shared with his girlfriend. He plasters up holes in the walls and remembers how he put them there. He cleans up the empty beer bottles, recalling how they transformed him into someone he ultimately decides he doesn’t want to be. In the end, the apartment is clean and he has reached a new level of awareness. He knows who he was and what it cost him: the love of a wonderful woman. He can now resolve to be his best self as he starts anew.

The Soldier Game was beautiful. First, it was a visual indulgence. The green fields of Northern France. The home with its vintage charm. The storybook that Antoine, the boy at the centre of the story, reads. Yet, at the same time, it was also beautiful in its poignancy. Antoine’s world is turned upside down when his father leaves to fight the Nazis, so he decides to secure his home with the help of his grandfather and the Napoleon of his imagination. Through all this, his mother tries to comfort him, telling him they are safe from invasion. Yet, no one feels safe. In the end, however, it is Antoine who offers his family comfort.

A truly enjoyable evening for me. I wish you good luck this morning, as we all attempt to “spring forward”.