See a movie, count your cash

This cracked me up this morning:  http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/movie-guide/film+fest+After+your+taxes+helped/5405616/story.html

It’s maybe the worst piece of arts journalism ever published in a mainstream rag.

Now, even though I posted the link I urge you not to read it.  It just encourages them.  But so you don’t miss out I’ll summarize the piece; you might as well go to the Vancouver International Film Festival because some of your tax dollars went into it.

Here’s how the editorialist (who I suspect is Fazil Mihlar.  It has his trademark bad writing, poor argument and robotic point of view) put it: “taxpayers may as well attend a screening and see how their money is being spent”.

Taxpayers?  To see how their money is spent?  Send this guy to shake up the Arts section.

That’s it.  Maybe the most backhanded bit of boosterism ever written.

One thing I love about this editorial is it comes from a paper that would be dead if it weren’t for ad placements by the provincial and federal governments.  And there would be no Postmedia if it weren’t for the federal competitive protections that apply to the Canadian media sector.  Can you say hypocrites?

But forget all that.  This piece is so tone deaf and so misses the point it stands out in a world of bad criticism.

Unless it’s a parody?  But no, it’s too earnest for that.

Think about it.  When was the last time you saw a movie to get back at tax policy?  Say your buddy suggested, “Why don’t we go see how taxpayers’ money is being spent tonight and catch a movie?”   You’d be the first at those god-awful ticket machines, right?

Here’s why people will attend VIFF in droves.  To catch a great film that would never have crossed our path without the Festival; To open our eyes to others and their experience; to see something that looks beautiful, whatever you think that looks like; to get the heck scared out of you; to see love blossom; to see it die…  There’s no end to the reasons.

I love documentaries.  The husband does not.  Last year I spent a week at the Palm Springs Film Fest seeing every doc possible, including an amazing documentary about a hidden trove of Russian modernist paintings in a broken down museum in Uzbekistan.

Who in their right mind would pick that in a guide?  Not me.  A friend convinced me and it was an amazing discovery.

That’s what a film fest is about.  Not toting up your narrow little grievances in your ideological hovel.

See something, anything at the Film Fest.  It’s one of Vancouver’s best cultural events of the year.  Right after that go hear something at the Writers’ Fest.  Don’t let them narrow your mind.

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2 Responses to See a movie, count your cash

  1. Norm Farrell says:

    Gee, Postmedia forgets the (CNR/BC Rail) BC Liberal friendly McLean family is one of the biggest investors in film production services in BC and many of their buildings would turn into u-stor warehouses but for those government subsidies to the industry.

    If Fazil Mihlar was writing, he should have phoned his old employer, the Fraser Institute, for help. They would have provided or written a paper explaining that government programs benefiting the wealthiest of plutocrats are fine, it’s money spent on initiatives touching ordinary citizens that are wasteful.

  2. PG says:

    Look at the money that is spent on Quebec and the arts festivals there by both the provincial and federal governments. All supported by people with well attended events and a thriving cultural mosaic.

    In BC our taxpayer dollars go to hockey games and plenty of government advertising during the NHL playoffs. Perhaps the Van Sun would like us to watch those ads to justify the tax dollars spent or attend tax funded tv screens in downtown during the world cup of soccer. No critics on those events unless they go mob mental…

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