A&E » Film

Mountain flicks and Oscar pics



Well, the Oscars are this weekend so don't expect much action at the theatres. Wanderlust opens (with no prescreenings). It's a Jennifer Aniston/Paul Rudd fish-out-of-water comedy but it's directed by the guy who made Old School, so it has that at least.

The good news is there are lots of killer mountain films coming to Squamish on Thursday, Mar. 8 as highlights of the Telluride Mountainfilm Fest come to town.

Kadoma is about Hendri Coetzee, a South African kayaker who embarks on an expedition into the Congo with American paddlers Ben Stookesbury and Chris Korbulic. It's one of those gnarly "Heart of Darkness" type missions but the trio find bright points and all is well until Coetzee gets eaten by a giant crocodile. I don't know what happens after that but they had me at "eaten by a giant crocodile."

Other people's tragedy doesn't always make the best entertainment but by all accounts Kadoma is also uplifting, inspiring and even contains a sweet David Hasselhoff impersonation. Life is tragedy, and the rest is comedy — what can you do?

Cold is a short film about a trio of climbers taking a run at one of Pakistan's 8,000-metre peaks (Gasherbrum II — 8,035m/26,362ft) in the winter. Nothing like hunkering down and sitting out a storm at minus 43 Celsius. This one is short but personal, it utilizes a lot of POV cam and it works. Cold will make you glad it's spring (in Squamish at least).

Of course if you're still looking to milk some turns this winter The Desert River, a short ski flick from Sweetgrass Productions (Solitaire), will stoke your fire.

Yosemite Falls High-Line is a slacklining short with a pretty self-explanatory title (like Snakes on a Plane) but the camerawork, drama and simple beauty is all there.

Lundberg Loses It is a cool time-warp longboard skate film; Way Back Home, a flick out of the U.K., ties the landscape into the sport of biking as well as anything; Dark Side of the Lens is another U.K. flick (and a visual feast) and Wild Water, an American kayak short, is just bonkers.

Mountainfilm In Squamish goes down at the Eagle Eye Theatre. Doors open at 6 p.m., the show starts at 7 p.m. and I'm hosting. Tickets are $25 at Valhalla Pure and Escape Route Squamish and the entire evening is a fundraiser for Squamish Search and Rescue.

Good flicks and a good cause in B.C.'s fastest growing community. (Now if only we can find a way to lure some light industry and business into town and turn Squamish into the Silicon Valley of the outdoor industry...)

Download of the week is also straight out of the U.K. The Guard is a fun take on the odd-couple, buddy cop comedy premise starring Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Don Cheadle (Boogie Nights, Hotel Rwanda, Hamburger Hill). It's like a darker version of Santa Monica Cop (or Beverly Hills Cop) that enjoys parodying its predecessors but maybe doesn't love them quite enough.

But what about the Oscars? The Artist should do well and I also like Scorcese's Hugo both are odes to the dying art of cinema and the Academy voters will love that. Can Brad Pitt take Clooney for Best Actor? He's due...

Will Nick Nolte pull it off for his relapse-alcoholic scene in Warrior? (I hope so). Will Canada's Monsieur Lazhar win best foreign? (I doubt it — the Academy hates Canada because they think we take their jobs). Will host Billy Crystal rule or suck? (I'm going with suck.) Most importantly, what will Angelina wear? (Her Kung-Fu Panda 2 is a lock for best cartoon.)