by Maggie Van Ostrand
by Maggie Van Ostrand
Well folks, the Montreal World Film Festival pulled "Karla" from its schedule, thereby bowing to pressure from anxious sponsors.
Karla, the infamous Canadian killer, got yanked but good Wednesday as the upstart New Montreal FilmFest introduced Toyota Canada and Quebec cable giant Groupe Videotron Ltd. as the main corporate sponsors for its inaugural edition in September. Sponsors have committed more than CAN$3 million to the festival, and another CAN$4 million has been pledged for the 2006 edition.
The Festival previously announced that it would screen the film. Now, however, MWFF will not screen "Karla," a biopic of the country's most notorious serial killer, Karla Homolka. Liar, liar, pants on fire.
The film chronicles the actions of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, the Ken and Barbie of killers. He was an accountant and she, a veteranarian's assistant. Karla "gave" her unsuspecting kid sister to Paul to make up for the fact that she herself was not a virgin. What they did to the late sister is not fit to be written about in a respectable family magazine like this one.
Karla repeated the gift with another girl, as a wedding present to Paul, who finally agreed to marry her if she continued to placate his sexual desires in the same manner. "Here, take my sister. Wait till I give her some doggie anesthetic. Otherwise, she might not like this. She's dead already? Okay, here's a new girl."
"In light of the reaction to its proposed showing of the film 'Karla,' and the discomfort expressed by clients of its sponsors, MWFF organizers have decided against presenting the film," the festival announced in a statement.
Earlier plans to release "Karla" in Ontario were postponed after a public outcry in the province where Homolka and Bernardo committed their grizzly crimes in the early 1990s. Their torture and murder of two schoolgirls gathered international attention because the rapes of the young girls were video taped. A lawyer for the families of Homolka's victime also threatened to seek a legal injunction against the screening.
MWFF founder, Serge Losique, defended his programming of "Karla" by arguing that "notorious criminals" from Hitler to the Boston Strangler had been portrayed on film. So why not Karla Homolka? Obviously, he lost the debate.
President and director general of NMFF, Alain Simard, said his event will favor French and other European films over Hollywood movies in its upcoming first edition. He added that his event would follow the MWFF in including Latin American and Asian sections.
"We want to distinguish ourselves from Toronto, which is a big market. It doesn't have competition. We're going to have an international competition," Simard said. He will attempt to bring back French films and has enlisted Air France to fly in major French and other global players.
Poor Laura Prepon ("That '70s Show") as Karla, and Misha Collins ("24") as Paul, won't have the career launch pad they had counted on for the U.S. fall theatrical release.
Good thing sponsors didn't try to yank "Monster," about the U.S. infamous female serial killer, Aileen Wournos. If they had, who'd have won the Oscar instead of Charlize Theron?
Let's all jump up and down on a box of Cheerios and call ourselves cereal killers. Maybe we'll get a shot on Oprah.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, 8/4/5