Don’t Snuff at the CUFF — Review on Opening Night

Lights, Camera, Action… Hello, Hello all you beautiful people!  Today is a rainy day, perfect for blogging and a cup of coffee — liquid gold.  I’m super excited to tell you about my latest adventure at the Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF). Firstly, let me clear up a little mystery for you, the festival is not ACTUALLY underground… we’re not mole people! The Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring contemporary and unique films to Calgarians.  One of the great things about CUFF is that they choose films that aren’t usually released to mainstream theatres and cover a variety of genres from sci-fi, to horror, to comedy & documentaries.  While they have events year round they have two annual events — The Underground Film Festival and the International Film Festival. Last week marked the beginning of the Underground Film Festival and I got tickets to opening night — that’s right anything for my readers! The films were screened at the Globe Theatre on Stephen Avenue, in downtown Calgary. The Globe (formerly Towne Cinemas) has been a Calgary staple since 1955 specializing in arthouse and independent films. For more information about the Calgary Underground Film Festival click here.

This year, to mark the beginning of the festival they chose a film that originally screened at the Sundance Film Festival called Little Hours.  This bizarre movie was produced by Aubrey Plaza, written & directed by Jeff Baena and starred Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly & Aubrey Plaza — yes she produced the film as well as acted in it!  You may know Aubrey Plaza from the movie Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates or the popular TV show Parks & Recreation — personally I’ve never seen the show but I do know that it was very popular and reached it’s seventh season before ending.

Little Hours is a movie that takes place in the middle ages and explores the frustrated emotions of nuns in a convent.  While this movie is hilarious and creative in it’s own right it is by no means a family film….there is plenty of nudity, sexual content & swearing.  The movie follows three Sisters (not by blood but by the church) & shows their interaction with a man who is running for his life and introduced to the nuns as a deaf mute (but isn’t actually a deaf mute).  The sexual tension, lack of outside visitors & the intrigue makes for a cringe worthy but nonetheless funny film! I don’t want to say too much in case I spoil the film for you, for more information on casting and synopsis click here.

One of the special features of this event was the fact that Aubrey Plaza & Jeff Baena attended the screening….they watched the movie with us in the theater AHHHH!  The only other star studded event I’ve been to is the Juno’s last year.  It’s unfortunate that this didn’t have the red carpet feel to it like the Oscars does (which PS I would love to go to).

Once the viewing of the film finished, Jeff & Aubrey participated in a question and answer session from the audience!  Aubrey, though lovely, is actually fairly awkward in real life and she let Jeff field most of the questions.  Apparently during the shooting, the donkey in the film was pregnant & they named the baby after her…she didn’t seem too thrilled by this and at one point she stated she didn’t even believe that this truly happened.  However, awkward or not they are super nice and approachable people, I even got a picture with them!! How exciting is that… I’m pretty much famous now! ( Sorry about the poor quality picture… The screen was blindingly bright).

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be anymore fun associated with opening night it got better.  The question and answer session was then followed by an after party at The Derrick (just across the street from the Globe) for drinks and appetizers.  Both Jeff & Aubrey also came and mingled with the viewers after; the whole venue was a buzz.  Overall this event was great I give it ♥♥♥♥ out of 5 hearts.

XOXO,

Trotting Traveller ♥