I Heart Regina
Directed by Brett Bell, Mauricio Carvajal, et al.
I Heart Regina premiered at the 2010 Montreal World Film Festival in September, but made its way to its hometown this past weekend.
The film presents a series of short vignettes that take place here in the Queen City. It is a collection of thirteen individual stories that are strung together by shots of the Regina cityscape. The stories themselves are short glimpses into the lives of the citizens of Regina.
While they are all shot within the Queen City, the city’s actual involvement varies with each story. In some of the vignettes the city plays an indispensable role, with the seemingly minor idiosyncrasies of Regina such as the climate or specific locations substantially affecting the narrative, and in other instances the individual pieces could have easily been filmed in another locale.
Each story varies in genre, veering from comedy and romance to drama. There is even a peculiar horror film included in the compilation. Typically though, the stories each have a comedic side to them.
Regina has some notoriously cold winters, but I Heart Regina doesn’t just focus on our especially frigid six months of the year. I Heart Regina starts in winter, and then the stories move through the spring, summer, autumn, and conclude once more with the winter months. In addition to the shots of cityscape interspersed between each story, the focus on the seasons helped give the film a sense of continuity and smoothed the transitions from one plot to the next. The resulting film is reminiscent of an eavesdropped conversation, heard from a stranger as one walks past them while traveling through the city; the listener hears just enough of a conversation to comprehend a basic plotline and story before the stranger is passed by.
The strange characters of I Heart Regina may be telling separate incidents, but together their stories reveal the personalities and thought processes of our prairie city’s inhabitants. I Heart Regina has a feeling of familiarity about it – the setting augments the experience but the film still maintains a strong balance between setting and plot. The focus of the film as a whole may be the city, but it never overwhelms or interferes with the individual storylines. I Heart Regina is an interesting film that all residents of the Queen City can relate to and identify with.