At Muk Gong Saturday Gala (2005-07-26)

Two days after the Opening Night Gala we attended the first Saturday Gala, another film and reception. The film was Muk gong/A Battle of Wits and the reception was at the Hilton.

Although based upon a novel and manga, Muk gong was live action rather than anime (whereas Paprika was anime). I went expecting strategy and stunts, and was not disappointed. The score for films I liked versus films I disliked is 3 to 0.

At the reception our group of a half-dozen guys noticed a SIFF guest that one of our friends suggested had been in Paris, je t'aime, in the segment "Le Marais" directed by Gus Van Sant. I consulted the full cast and crew on the Internet Movie Database on my phone. Since Ryan was sure it wasn't Gaspard Ulliel, we decided it was Elias McConnell.

As he walked away for a cigarette break, I intercepted him and verified his identity. "This party is lame," he said, "there's no one my age." I pointed to two of our friends and said they were his age. "There are no girls my age," he amended. Nevertheless the five of us talked--about Portland, his past and present photography, his role in Elephant, his ongoing friendship with Gus Van Sant (and the roles Elias hopes to play), clubbing in Paris around the filming of Paris, je t'aime, and the Luxembourg filming of House of Boys--until it was time for our friends to leave the party.

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