HIFF 2021

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HIFF at Home 

Follow this guide to see intros and video interviews about the movies

Movies are listed on the home page of this website

The HOW WHY WHEN and WHERE of

HIFF AT HOME.

WELCOME

QUEBEXIT Intro
 

QUEBEXIT Interview to watch
AFTER THE MOVIE

 

ANOTHER ROUND

INTRO

ANOTHER ROUND

TRAILER

ANOTHER ROUND

REVIEW TO WATCH AFTER

ARAB BLUES

INTRO

MINARI

INTRO

HOW TO BUILD A GIRL 

INTRO

ARAB BLUES

INTRO

BLACK BEAR INTRO

INTRO

Comment from Youtube

long explanation, but here's my take: Theory: This is a story about one thing -- a woman writing a story while alone at a cabin. The only ‘real’ scenes are where she sits on the dock and gets up to go to her desk and starts to write, or when she’s in her room already, trying to write. Everything else – the other 90+ per cent of the movie -- are things she is writing. We are inside her head as she writes and makes changes on the fly. Part One of the movie is her first draft -- simple, with few characters and a tired trope about infidelity. Part Two is a second draft – much more complex, with many more characters, two of whom have switched places from the first draft. She starts to write a third draft, a Part Three, at the end of the movie and looks into the camera at us. The bear represents her struggles in writing the story, and the extent of its presence (sometimes only heard, sometimes seen) represents the degree of her writing difficulties at specific points. When the bear is heard, the plotline is stalled, takes a turn and quickly ramps up (usually not for the better). The two times the bear is seen, the story ends. The writer is crumpling up her paper, tossing out the draft and starting over. Clues: The movie opens with Plaza sitting on the dock. She gets up and walks to her room. It is quiet. There is no sign of anyone. Even the windows she passes by show no sign of life. She sits in her room, opens a notebook. It’s still dead quiet. It’s the same every time she leaves the dock and goes to her room – no noise, no people. She’s alone. These are the real scenes. Sitting at the desk, she writes something, then underlines it strongly – the title of a story or chapter. So her writing begins and … we cut to see her arriving at the cottage and being greeted by the couple. This looks like a flashback to her arrival at the cottage, but I think it’s the start of the story she is imagining and writing. We’re now in her head. The husband drops her off in her room and he vanishes when she turns around. She soon ‘sees’ the couple arguing as they walk beneath her window. They don’t see her even though she’s right in the window, because they’re not really there. She’s looking out the window and imagining the scene. She then lies on the bed, gets high, and goes for a walk. She’s back on the dock, again alone. She smiles as if an idea has come to her, she gets up to leave and … suddenly it’s nighttime and she and the characters are together. We’re back in her head as she imagines and writes down this scene. It’s a pretty straightforward scene about an awkward and awful couple. It’s not really going anywhere when we suddenly hear the bear overturning trashcans. Suddenly, the plot ramps up and we get the angry dinner scene. Plaza’s character is saying all sorts of wild things that will later be changed – she’s anti-feminist, her mother died, she can’t cook. The dialogue here, to me, shows that what we are witnessing is characters being written on the fly inside the writer’s head – pretty meta, eh? The wife accuses the Plaza character of being ‘uncomfortable with emotion’ and other things. Plaza agrees with some. Plaza’s character starts off as the cool girl, now she’s insecure. Another change on the fly. Two characters argue over which one is going to bed. Where is the storyline going? The wife goes to bed, the husband is cleaning up, and the plot appears to be at a standstill. Suddenly, we hear the bear again and the plot ramps up. The Plaza character goes for a swim in her underwear. The husband walks out to join her, they retreat to the out-building where the Plaza character retracts all the things she said earlier (mother not dead etc). They start to have sex, the wife discovers them, there’s sudden violence and the wife is injured. The husband is now going back and forth on whether he loves his wife. The plot is off the rails. “I love you so much. I don’t know what’s wrong with me” the husband says in yet another clue that we are seeing characters developed and changed on the fly. It’s not the only time we see a character wondering out loud what is wrong with them as if the writer, in her head, is trying to figure things out. Very meta. Now we SEE the bear, the car crashes and the entire storyline ends. This, to me, is the writer crumpling up her paper and starting over. And so we suddenly cut to…. PART TWO Plaza is now back on the dock. This dock scene, in my opinion, is the only dock scene that’s not ‘real’. It is part of the story she’s writing. She doesn’t go to her room this time. Instead, it is shown that she is an actress on a movie set with a large camera crew. This story is a flip of the first one – a second draft -- and it’s much more complex. Her character is now the wife, and the wife in Part One is now the apparent third-party love interest (although the husband seems much more interested in her than vice-versa). Plaza’s character even wears a kimono dress that the Part-One-wife wore. Plaza’s character gets drunk. She’s jealous of the other woman. The husband has asked the other woman to fake being interested in him to rile Plaza’s character. The other woman agrees and genuinely seems to not want anything more with the husband. Plaza’s character drunk-walks/ is carried toward the part of the cabin where a scene of the movie-within-the-movie is being filmed. We hear the bear very faintly. She goes past the film set and goes upstairs. After an on-set meltdown and after the final scene of the movie-within-the-movie is shot (a long scene that includes, in the background at one point, a crew member walking around with a bear head prop), Plaza is brought upstairs. This part is filled with dialogue between Plaza’s character and the husband character that, to me, shows again that Plaza The Writer is figuring things out on the fly. “She’s better for you. I’m too much.” “This movie is going to change your life” (very meta. The Part Two story about the movie has changed Plaza’s character). “Do you think we could go back and just be normal people? Or did we kill them?” Now there is a swimming scene with the roles from Part One switched. Plaza’s character wakes up after passing out and starts walking around to look for her husband. She sees another couple, leaves for another part of the cabin, starts walking around outside. The plot is plodding along when we hear the bear again. The plot ramps up. Plaza’s character stumbles upon her husband having sex with the other woman, which is a bit weird because the woman has not shown much interest in the husband so far. Plaza’s character is struck still. What should she do? She turns around and we SEE the bear for the second time. The story ends there. Plaza The Writer has crumpled the paper and tossed out this draft as well. Cut to Plaza The Writer at the dock again, alone. She stands up and goes inside to her desk. Again, there is neither sight nor sound of anyone else around. She starts to write again. Is a Part Three coming up? She looks directly at the camera, at us. The movie ends. -30-