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Canadian Film Institute
Moving images.
An Evening with Sook-Yin Lee
dir. Sook-Yin Lee
Canada, 1990 - 2009, 150 minutes
English

Auditorium, 395 Wellington St., Saturday, May 5, 2012, 7:00 pm
The CFI is pleased to present the work of the multi-talented writer, musician, broadcaster, performer, Sook-Yin Lee. We are also happy to welcome Sook-Yin Lee to Ottawa. She will attend the screening, introduce her work and participate in a question and answer session.

Born in Vancouver, Sook-Yin Lee quickly established herself within the local music scene as the lead singer of the alt rock band Bob's Your Uncle. Since then, she has remained immersed in the spotlight of the Canadian art and media world. Describing herself as a performer from a young age, she has worked in a variety of fields. During the 1990s, her status as public figure and entertainer reached new heights when she worked as a VJ at MuchMusic. Her resumé soon expanded to include acting, writing, producing, directing, and radio broadcasting. She can be seen in numerous high-profile films including her starring role in James Cameron Mitchell's controversial 2006 sex-comedy Shortbus. As a filmmaker, Lee has enjoyed a similar level of success—her short films have been screened internationally, and in 2009 she wrote and directed her first feature film, the semi-autobiographical Year of the Carnivore. Already she is working on her second feature, a supernatural ghost story titled Ferrera is Dead. Lee is currently based in Toronto where she works at the CBC hosting Definitely Not the Opera (DNTO), a radio show that celebrates her lifelong love of a good story.

THE FILMS OF SOOK-YIN LEE
Tonight’s programme includes three short films by Sook-yin lee, followed by her critically acclaimed debut feature film.

Escapades of One Particular Mr. Noodle
Canada, 1990, 9 minutes
ESCAPADES is a meditation on growing up Chinese-Canadian in British Columbia. Told as a self-portrait of cultural self-discovery, the film deals with the difficult question of assimilation vs. alienation in a decidedly tongue-in-cheek way. Working as the mascot for a noodle shop, Sook-Yin Lee tries to recreate a meaningful (and distinctly Chinese) childhood experience recounted by her father, but she soon learns that affirming her own cultural identity isn't so simple.

Girl Cleans Sink
Canada, 2004, 10 minutes
With a fast pace and clever dialogue, Sook-Yin Lee pieces together an unconventional one-night stand. When a young woman picks up a guy at the laundromat, what should be a straightforward sexual encounter quickly becomes a string of offbeat, unpredictable exchanges between two people who are far from what they seem. At once dark and uplifting, GIRL CLEANS SINK ruminates on sex, gender, and loneliness.

Toronto Stories (Segment: "The Brazilian")
Canada, 2008, 21 minutes
Toronto Stories tells four separate stories, loosely connected by the city of Toronto and the mysterious presence of a young boy. Willia (played by Lee) tries to define her relationship to Boris, the new man in her life. Never sure what Boris is looking for, or what it will take for him to commit to a serious relationship, Willia desperately searches for answers wherever she can.

Year of the Carnivore
Canada, 2009, 88 minutes
What Sammy Smalls (Cristin Milioti) wants more than anything is her best friend Eugene's affection, but when he tells her that she needs more experience, Sammy begins to explore the strange and unfamiliar world of relationships and life away from the family home. This witty coming-of-age tale that doesn't shy away from its subject matter is partly inspired by Lee's own memories of girlhood sexual confusion. Sammy's search for requited love quickly becomes one of sexual self-improvement with the help of a colourful cast of offbeat partners. Named as one of Canada’s Top Ten films in 2009. “Exquisitely paced and written...the film’s pervasive sense of affection and its quizzical, befuddled humour makes it one of the more winning debuts by an English Canadian filmmaker in recent years.” Steve Gravestock (Toronto International Film Festival)