katrinaolson.ca - KO @ CUFF 2013

Posted on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 06:00 PM

This past week was the Calgary Underground Film Festival!. This year’s CUFF opened with the film BIG ASS SPIDER! (Mike Mendez USA, 2013). It was a BIG hit with the audience. It was a hilariously terrifying film that pulled from many genres of horror film leaving you gasping and laughing simultaneously. The synopsis is a giant alien spider escapes from a military lab and terrorizes the city of Los Angeles. When a massive military strike fails, it is up to a team of scientists and one clever exterminator with his adorable Mexican side-kick to kill the creature before the city and his love interests life is destroyed. The exterminator, played by actor Greg Grunberg, will always hold a special place in my heart because he played Sean Blumberg on one of my childhood favourite tv series Felicity. After the film there was a Q&A with director Mike Mendez and the actress who plays Lieutenant Karly Brant, Clare Kramer. Let me just say, the energy in the room was buzzing with excitement after the film and it was SO refreshing having a director visibly excited and super enthusiastic to screen his film! It sounded like this film was just as fun to make as it was to watch!

Photo Courtesy of Epic Pictures

Director Mike Mendez and I outside the CUFF opening gala at Vern’s

Tuesday I watched Café Café, from Pat Downing an ex-Calgarian and Eric Amber. The film is about a writer who meets a student waitressing at the Cafe he spends his days at, and their struggle to define their time spent together. The exploration of defining their emotions through poetry to contemporary dance in Montreal’s underground art scene test the boundaries of their budding relationship. This comedic drama was filled with great music and scenery from urban Montreal. This was Café Café‘s world premiere.  The packed theatre was full of love and everyone was out to support the local talent who was in attendance for the screening. Café Café was adorably romantic and grittily Canadian. There were scenes of this film that made me laugh hysterically because I could relate to the characters and just some of the situations the characters found themselves in. I hope I get a chance to see this film again in the future.

Photo Courtesy of Café Café‘s Facebook Page

Thursday was the Alberta premiere of Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, USA 2012), the film I was anticipating the most this year. Frances Ha impresses with an all-star Brooklyn hipster cast lead by a personal favourite of mine Greta Gerwig ,known from her role in Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love. As well as Adam Driver who plays Adam Sackler, Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) love interest on my favourite t.v. show HBO GIRLS. The film explores a 20-something’s post graduate life with her roommate and best-friend Sophie (played by Mickey Sumner), when she decides to move out for the trendier address in Tribeca which Frances couldn’t afford. Frances (Greta Gerwig) struggles to find her own identity now that her living circumstances have changed and her career as a contemporary dancer comes to a stand still. Frances Ha‘s black and white charm contributed to it’s artsy interiors. Though the plot dragged on in the last half of the film, the ending was completely delightful and I left the theatre warm hearted. The director and writer of Frances Ha Noah Baumbach also has written some of my favourite screenplays like Greenberg and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Photo Courtesy of Pine District Pictures

Saturday Morning Cartoons on a inclement, snowy spring morning (only in Calgary) was a great treat for myself and my little ladies. We crawled out of bed, and arrived at the Globe in our pajamas, to be greeted by Toucan Sam (Brad Goddard) the Fruit Loops Mascot and oodles breakfast cereals. The retro cartoons from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s brought me back to simpler times in life, and it was nice to share that sentimentality with the little ones.


The programming of this years Calgary Underground Film Festival surpassed my expectations from previous years. It was a fantastically programmed 10th year and I only wish I had had more time to watch every film in the line-up. I can’t wait for CUFF 2014!



NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.