Ingrid Veninger, “Canada’s DIY queen of indie filmmaking” is back with her 5th feature He Hated Pigeons and once again she has created another deliberately intimate film, this time a remarkably well-measured tale of love and loss. Her film opened the 14th annual Female Eye Film Festival (FeFF) this past Tuesday. The screening featured a live score performance by the incomparable Jane Siberry; an unforgettable screening…
I had the pleasure of seeing He Hated Pigeons in October last year, with live score by Ohad Benchetrit and Justin Small. The film encompasses all things that I enjoy from a great cinematic experience. The minimal cast and dialogue complement the Chilean landscape so perfectly, the tone of the film is one of loss, love, and starting anew. Beautifully shot from the Atacama desert to Patagonia’s ice fields by cinematographer Dylan Macleod, and starring newcomer Pedro Fontaine, He Hated Pigeons is utterly devoted to exploring a young man’s confrontation with grief, travelling through the varied landscape of Chile to satisfy a mission and achieve resolution. Watching the film with the live score only enhances the experience hundredfold. The mood and pacing of the film become a different experience with live music.
At the FeFF screening this week, the film took a different tone for me. I enjoyed Siberry’s live score quite a lot, even if at times I was not sure where the music would take the film. Veninger takes great risks with He Hated Pigeons by inviting different musicians to live score it. At this screening, I learned ll musicians performing with He Hated Pigeons receive only one request from Veninger, “no music in the first six minutes.” After the opening, musicians have total freedom and Veninger hears the music for the first time with the audience. She has seen the film 22 times with 22 different live scores!
From the very start, Veninger conceived He Hated Pigeons to be presented with an ever-changing, improvised live score. “[This] has been the most beautiful ride,” said Veninger, “from large bands to soloists, everyone has done their thing… it makes a huge impression. Everyone [of the screenings] has been one of a kind.” I could not agree more.
The Female Eye Film Festival is celebrating Veninger, and her work, at a special Tribute as Honourary Director on Saturday, June 18 at 10am . This event is open to the public, and is FREE. All are welcome.
FeFF continues through to Sunday, June 19. I highly recommend checking out the line up of short films on both Saturday and Sunday. For more information, I suggest clicking here or calling the box office at The Theatre Centre at 416-538-0988 .