Friday, October 02, 2009

Raindance Screens House of Numbers

"A stunning piece of filmmaking!"

That’s what Canadian filmmaker and Raindance Film Festival founder Elliot Grove said this week about Brent Leung’s documentary House of Numbers. Having worked on 68 feature films and over 700 commercials, Grove knows what he’s talking about.

Objecting to the wasted resources and union bureaucracy that prevents aspiring filmmakers from getting their features off the ground, Grove moved to London in the late 1980s and launched the Raindance Film Festival in 1993 – a festival devoted to independent filmmaking and its emerging talent. He has written books about, and lectures on, screenwriting and filmmaking throughout the UK, Europe, North America and Japan. In 1992, he set up the training division of Raindance, which offers nearly two dozen evening and weekend master classes on writing, directing, producing and marketing films.

After the film’s screening, Grove said:
I’ve just come out of screening of House of Numbers Brent Leung’s film… I hadn’t seen it until now. I was a bit skeptical because of all the furor around the film that has swirled around Raindance, but I’ve gotta say that it was just a stunning piece of filmmaking…
In another coordinated attack on free expression, the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing goons tried to pressure Grove into spiking the film:
We were flooded with hate mail, emails, legal letters couriered from the States from all sorts of people threatening us and accusing us of being prissy and smug about showing this film obviously from people who obviously hadn’t seen it accusing this film of being an “AIDS denialist” film and I’ve just seen the film and it’s obviously not an “AIDS denialist” film at all. It’s just a brilliant piece of filmmaking – journalistic filmmaking which, anyone who takes the time and effort to see it should completely re-examine their view of the whole AIDS/HIV question… I think history is gonna be re-written or should be re-written and perhaps this… film is one of the first steps.
This explains why the makers of deadly AIDS drugs and dangerously unreliable testing kits are so fearful of Leung’s film. Grove wasn’t deterred:
Regardless of the topic… as the way the film was put together, the journalistic approach and the skill of the filmmaking, the post-production, the music and everything reminded me of a British documentary… called Man on Wire… I’ve got to say that Brent’s film, House of Numbers was right up there – and Oscar season isn’t far away… It’s extreme, it’s honest… a really good piece of filmmaking.
Hollywood Gumshoe has posted more on the film here.
Here’s Grove's full interview:

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