In my family, we collected stray people like some people might collect decorative porcelain figurines. Even today, when I come home, I still never know who I might run into in the bathroom when I’m brushing my teeth. Normally, I liked the revolving-door nature of our home but at times, especially around the holidays, the mass of strangers in the house could prove to be a bit much. One Christmas, I snuck away from the pack and sought refuge in my room. Providence allowed a four-hour long epic film to be starting just at that moment. Nobody else wanted to watch a historical epic set around the Russian revolution. By the time the movie had finished, everyone had left the house. I’ve been a fan of Dr. Zhivago and its female lead, Julie Christie, ever since.
This Sunday, Christie will be in Belfast to introduce her latest film, Away From Her. This is the directorial debut of Sarah Polley, who worked with Christie on the under-rated film, The Secret Life of Words, which also happened to be filmed in Northern Ireland. Sarah Polley is a gorgeous and under-stated actress who doesn’t shy away from films with difficult and dark subject matters. Away From Her, which centers around a couple dealing with Alzheimer’s, is no exception. If she brings the same level of sensitivity to her directing as she does to her acting, the result will most likely be both nuanced and heartbreaking. There’s a definite dearth of female directors, especially young ones. Sarah Polley is a welcome addition to a very small club. Go and check out what Sarah Polley and Julie Christie have created at Storm Cinema at 8:00 PM.
Also on Sunday…
There are three choices of music documentaries highlighting three very different genres—punk, rock, and pre-fab. The John Hewitt is showing a documentary called Love Story about the band Love, who Labour backbencher Peter Bradley described as “the world’s greatest rock band”, in the afternoon at 3:00 PM. Loud Quiet Loud, a documentary on The Pixies, is on at 7:00 PM. And if you’d prefer to watch the comings and goings of Beatles rip-off band, The Monkees, you can see the eponymously titled documentary at the Black Box at 7:30 PM.
(Photo taken by Jett: Woman behind a counter, Film Festival Venue Queens Film Theatre)