Well, here it is. The Provincetown International Film Festival kicked off last night with a number of really good films, several of which I was able to see in advance. I have to say, I have seen a lot of good work so far this year. If you missed Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur or Brazilian filmmaker Ale Abreu’s Boy and the World, you can still catch them in the festival. These are two very different, but really wonderful films. The first (which screens again at 9:45 pm on Thursday, June 19) is another great Polanski film about a stage director casting for a play he’s written about the sado-masochistic book Venus in Furs. The film version is based on David Ives’s play, and it is primarily an ongoing dialogue between the director and the actress auditioning for the lead role. Embedded within that dialogue are provocative ideas about sex, gender, and power. The other film, Boy and the World, (showing again at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 20) is an animated featured with a nearly wordless script–almost the polar opposite of Polanski’s film. The visuals are imaginative and fluid and there is an attention to cinematic details in a similar vein to The Triplets of Belleville (2003), only with stronger emotional resonance as it explores a young boy’s journey to find the father he misses deeply.
For that issue of the magazine, I was also able to interview Canadian director David Cronenberg, who is receiving the Filmmaker on the Edge Award this year, and American director Jonathan Demme, who will be attending the North American premiere of his new film A Master Builder, right here in Provincetown this Sunday, June 22 at 7 p.m. That film is based on and adaptations of the Ibsen play The Master Builder by the brilliant Wallace Shawn, whom you might know from his numerous character acting roles in films such as The Princess Bride, or from TV’s Gossip Girl, or, if you’re a cinephile, from the 1983 Louis Malle film My Dinner with Andre, in which he starred with Andre Gregory. Both Shawn and Gregory are in A Master Builder, which Demme tells me was shot in one week. That might seem extraordinary, but Gregory (himself a legendary avant garde theater director) had worked with Shawn and the cast for 10 years preparing the staged version, which was only slightly changed for the screen. You can read the full story on A Master Builder on the Provincetown Magazine website, as well as my interview with David Cronenberg.
Well I’m off to see some more movies today. I hope you are, too!