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ReelWorld: PAPER MOON AFFAIR (Viewer's Pick)

Abandoned souls find each other in PAPER MOON AFFAIR.

The ReelWorld Film Festival opens its doors tonight at the Paramount and runs till this Sunday at the Rainbow Market Theatres. There are a lot of features, documentaries and Industry Series workshops to check out. For more information, see the official website for events that interest you.

For those of you undecided of what to see, I suggest Saturday's screening of Canadian Feature PAPER MOON AFFAIR with short film BIG GIRL. They're both kinda chick-flick-ish mind you, but sometimes you're in the mood for that sort of thing.

This was the third film my friend and I screened. Both of us were very pleased to know that the third was indeed very charming.

A small fishing village on a remote corner of the Pacific Northwest is stunned by the arrival of Keiko, a mysterious and radiantly beautiful Japanese woman, accompanied by her cold but wealthy Chinese husband. Abruptly abandoned in an isolated beach house, the fragile and seemingly inept young woman proves to be a disrupting and exciting influence. She forms an intense bond with the local authority, Vern, who is trapped in an unhappy marriage; then starts a platonic friendship with 19-year old Hart. Innocent and earnest by nature, Hart chafes at the burden of care taking an alcoholic father and the pettiness of small town gossip. His dreams of life beyond his depressed island community intensify in the company of the exotic, artistic and overwhelmingly attractive older woman. When Keiko decides to leave, their relationship turns torrid.

Written and directed by music video/commercial director/producer David Tamagi, PAPER MOON AFFAIR parallels Keiko's and Hart's journey with the mediative practice of Origami - Japanese folding art. Like Keiko, I used to fold paper into boats, birds, frogs, stars, all sorts of characters ... when I was a kid, much to the annoyance of my father.

In the film, it's to the annoyance of her husband, played by John Lone who doesn't seem to understand her need for practising it. Hart, however, is interested in learning, even though he feels a bit silly doing it. What results isn't just a paper bird, but the friendship and attraction that grows from it.

Performances were consistently strong throughout. Misa Shimizu's enigmatic Keiko fills the screen with such emotional depth, you feel like you're drowning in her sorrow sometimes. Brendan Fletcher's hopeful Hart brings a necessary grounding and naivete to what could've turned into a bleak love story. Tamagi fills the screen with the lushness of the BC forests and meadows accented by the Rockie mountain tops in the background. This gives the film a sense of new beginnings and hope.

PAPER MOON AFFAIR is preceded by short film "BIG GIRL" by Canadian Film Centre director Renuka Jeyapalan. 9 year old Josephine and her mom's new boyfriend engage in a series of competitions to determine if the boyfriend is allowed to keep seeing her mom.

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I highly recommend this afternoon screening to see some of the best Canadian cinema has to offer.

PAPER MOON AFFAIR plays a Regular Presentation with short film "BIG GIRL" at the ReelWorld Film Festival
Saturday, April 22 - 4PM @ Rainbow Theatres


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