STEFFANIE LING is a writer, critic, and curator at VIVO Media Arts Centre in Vancouver, Canada. Her books are Nascar (Blank Cheque, 2016) and Cuts of Thin Meat (Spare Room, 2015).
Being a young correspondent at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) means you don’t get to queue in the ticketholder line, but that you must arrive extremely early, to claim one of the limited spots allotted to passholders and stand in line with gregarious, though often confused, industry people.
In a conversation between filmmakers James Benning and and Sharon Lockhart after a screening of their films L. Cohen (2017) and Rudzienko (2014), Benning starts things off with a little joke. He sets it up. Two planets. The first planet says, “I have people,” and the second responds, “Don’t worry, that will pass.” The joke is over. The audience laughs. We can derive humor from the idea (the fact?) that the human race is a blight on any environment unfortunate enough to appear bountiful before us, but I suspect that Sharon Lockhart actually kind of likes people.