Sunday, July 19, 2009

My MIFF 2009 list

Successive years have MIFF have taught me not to be in any particular hurry to book my sessions, unless I see a film is selling fast. And that's not so much for myself - I have a Screen Legends membership and can get into sold out sessions - but for sessions for the missus, who has a mini pass. My MIFF preparations for the last week or two have involved laying out the session information in a way that places everything I need in one Excel spreadsheet. I find it frustrating to depend on the MIFF program, which has one flipping from one page to another trying to cross-reference disparate pieces of information. I put more time into my preparation than most, but the result is that I have little to do during the festival other than turn up for the sessions I've booked.

So here's my list. It's my theoretical maximum, as I tend not to turn up for some sessions if I need a break. I also sometimes change a session around based on word of mouth on a particular film. Given that there's 41 films in the below list, I'll be lucky to see 40, which is the number I try to keep it limit myself to. But I'm also attending a couple of non-screening events.

[Edit 31/7/09]: I'm now adding links to my reviews for each film as I see a film and write about it. As you can see, the list has grown a little.
  1. 35 Shots of Rum
  2. Alphaville
  3. Anna
  4. Away We Go
  5. Balibo
  6. Beaches of Agnès, The
  7. Best of the MIFF Shorts
  8. Blind Company
  9. Bluebeard
  10. Chinese Roulette
  11. Dogtooth
  12. Double Take
  13. Eastern Plays
  14. Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl
  15. Fish Tank
  16. Hansel and Gretel
  17. Home
  18. Hurt Locker, The
  19. Katalin Varga
  20. Lake, A
  21. Maid, The
  22. Man Who Came With the Snow, The
  23. Morphia
  24. Pierrot le fou
  25. Red Riding: 1974
  26. Red Riding: 1980
  27. Red Riding: 1983
  28. Still Walking
  29. Sweet Rush
  30. Tales from the Golden Age
  31. Tony Manero
  32. Villa Amalia
  33. Whispering of the Trees, The
  34. White Ribbon, The
  35. Who's Afraid of the Wolf?
  36. Woman is a Woman, A
  37. Zift


GGBlog said...

I'm jealous! That's a good list. After Roger's blog regarding Hurt Locker I'm now very keen for its wider release. I confess that I have always struggled with Fr New Wave films but I'm sure you'll love them. Enjoy the Festival!

Paul Martin said...

I also heard good things about The Hurt Locker and added it on someone's recommendation. I don't know if you noticed, but Michelle Carey, the MIFF senior programmer mentioned it briefly as one of her recommendations at the Meet the MIFF Programmers evening last week. All the titles she mentioned I'd already heard good things about, and made sure I included them on my list. She said she has so many more so I emailed her and she's sending me her full list of recommendations. I may ammend my list.

brickski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brickski said...

In the past I've always used a spreadsheet to plan my MIFF attack, but this year I was able to save time by using the handy session planner at An added benefit of the site is the social planning aspect - you can see the film choices of other users and they can see yours.

Chris said...

that site is brilliant bricski!!!

If only I had it a week ago. My cat shredded the middle pages of my guide so I'd been making up my own spreadsheet and trying to figure out my sessions via that. I'm using the site now to finalise my schedule.

Chris said...

just to add, the site mentioned is everything I've wished MIFFs booking section was

brickski said...

Aside from look and feel issues, I totally agree with you Chris. MIFF should hire the guy who made that site.

Chris said...

Well, I've now almost completed my list. It's pretty busy at 58 movies, if I see them all, which invariably I do not. Like Paul I'll ditch sessions if I feel fatigued or if something else comes up. My name on that site is simhanada for anyone who may have an interest.

Paul Martin said...

While that calendar is a clever demonstration of web development, it doesn't have the flexibility I require and the public sharing of details with strangers is very clumsy.

brickski said...

Paul, do you mean that the fact that your details are shared at all is clumsy or is it more the manner in which they are shared? I personally like being able to see the collective wisdom (or otherwise) of the site's users. I do think the developer could have made it more obvious that your data is going to be shared and allow you to opt out if you don't like it.

To be fair though, I do think he probably just made it for himself and his friends. I don't know the guy personally and only found the site through the #MIFF hash-tag on Twitter. I did ask him if he minded the link being shared around. He basically said the more the merrier.

I'm a web dev myself and agree that the site could certainly be improved but, like Chris, I think the main point of interest comes from how it highlights the flaws in the official MIFF booking site.

Paul Martin said...

Paul, do you mean that the fact that your details are shared at all is clumsy?


brickski said...

I certainly do agree that not informing users that they are sharing and not offering any privacy options is pretty clumsy. The site is called 'FestivalSession Programmer' after all, not 'FestivalSession Publisher'.

However, you (very kindly I must say) already share your MIFF list with strangers here on your blog. As with any social networking tool, you choose to trade a little of your own privacy for a greater sense of community and connection with those who share your interests. The rise and rise of social networking in the past few years shows that this bargain is one that can work very well for those who don't abuse it.

It is always going to be hard for any such site to compete with your own custom planning solution. I guess it would only be the additional social aspect that might make using an online planner like this one worthwhile. Each to their own though.

Paul Martin said...

Brickski, I've posted a list of the films I'm going to, which is a lot less specific than posting which sessions. I have other resources that I share with my friends, that I don't post on here because it is public domain.

That calendar looks like a good resource among friends, a bit like your Google Calendar a couple of years ago. For it to go to the next level, it needs more functionality for people to have some privacy and to be able to choose who they share information with, just like social networking sites.

brickski said...

For it to go to the next level, it needs more functionality for people to have some privacy and to be able to choose who they share information with, just like social networking sites.


That's what I said.