Friday, August 18, 2006

Out On Screen starts with an outrageous romp

The opening night Gala is over, sigh, but that just means there are ten more nights of movies left to enjoy! Well, not for me, since I leave on Sunday, but if you book your tickets today you'll get to see a bunch of great movies. In its 18th year, Vancouver's Out On Screen presents a blend of international, art and documentary films, and the resulting concoction is just right: a little froth, a little seriousness, and a lot of great movies you'd never get to see otherwise.

Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims, the opening night selection, was ca-RAY-zee! An anachronism-filled, self-aware, genre-bending samurai flick, Yaji and Kita is like a live-action version of my favorite anime series, "Samurai Champloo." If Jin and Mugen were Gay, that is. This has "cult movie" written all over it, and I'm going to have to add it to my library for my samurai Saturdays.

The pre-movie cocktail reception featured sushi -- naturally -- and a chance to rub elbows with the creme of Vancouver's Gay scene. The after party at Celebrities Nightclub was pulsating long past my bedtime (my movie ticket got me in without a cover, as well as a free drink! Yum!) and while the rush at the bar was a little like trying to buy a drink at Babylon -- be pushy, ladies, like Debbie Novotny -- I was still able to get enough in me to pour myself into bed.

Yesterday was so busy I've hardly had a chance to check out my digs. I'm staying at the Sandman Suites on Davie, literally a block from the after-party so I didn't have too far to pour. It's fab staying in Vancouver's West End, the heart of the Gay district. Every "Suite" is like a mini-apartment, with a full kitchen and even a washer/dryer! After a night at the club, I think I might take advantage of that perk.

Tonight there are Out On Screen movies at the Emily Carr Institute on Granville Island: Loving Annabelle (7:00 pm) and That Tender Touch (9:30 pm). I'm off to explore the city some more -- no, I'm not allowed to spend any more time or money at Lush -- then I'll be at the Cinemark Tinseltown (88 Pender Street) for a full night of film: a collection of shorts called Groupe Intervention Video (5:00 pm), 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous (7:00 pm) and the Spanish Queens (9:30 pm). You'll see my review for Queens in a few weeks, since it's coming to town in September. Then I might hit the after-party at the "Festival g-Spot," The Honey Lounge at the Lotus Hotel (455 Abbott).

I can barely restrain myself, there's so much to tell you about Vancouver! But I think that first I'll go back to my patio, finish my cup of coffee, and enjoy my impressive view of English Bay. See you tomorrow! (Updated to add: photo from balcony at Sandman Suites - above. Stunning, nu?)

Vancouver photo by Lorelei; Queens photo courtesy Out On Screen.

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