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Notes from the Back Row

Retro snow films on the big screen

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This is Whistler's biggest movie week of the year and the esteemed Village 8 is embracing the 10 th annual Whistler Film Festival with open arms - which means it won't be opening any new Hollywood movies this week.

The new Darren Arnofsky/Natalie Portman ballerina flick Black Swan comes out in Vancouver but it should be up here soon enough. In the meantime lets focus on the 80-plus films showing on local screens this weekend.

Sunday night, operating outside the official boundaries of the Whistler Film Festival (and therefore well inside the boundaries of "shit yeah" coolness) the Troutsmen are a throwing a Food Bank fundraiser and presenting a special screening of two seminal pieces of local culture - Whiskey 2 and Parental Advisory

The Whiskey series of snowboard films are legendary not only because they're bonkers-awesome, or because they captured a brutally honest side of the birth of modern snowboarding, but because Boozy the Clown's miscreant shenanigans were actually at the forefront of a new style of do-it-yourself, balls-out rogue filmmaking that evolved through the Big Brother skate flicks, the CKY videos and, ultimately, spawned the Jackass empire, which everyone agrees is comedic genius. Whiskey 2 is chock full of solid skating, riding, and utter badassery including the sheep bit, the Reservoir Dogs intro, Boozy's big backflip, and Kearns' killer pow segment (which has aged incredibly well, seeing as snowboard-film pow segments are all but extinct.)

Parental Advisory was about as badass as skiing got and it also stands the test of time because the flick was made right here with heart and soul (and shots and gas masks). Besides launching a few local careers and introducing a few now-seasoned pros, Heavy Hitting's first effort is also enjoying its 10 th anniversary (shit maybe we were the Whistler film tipping point) and it's gonna be a real treat to watch it on the big screen alongside a classic like Whiskey 2. It all goes down Sunday night at Merlins. Bring a nice donation to the Food Bank or pay five bucks (minimum donation) at the door.

The other best thing going this weekend is the big Whistler Film Festival Gala featuring the premier of Bruce McDonald's Hard Core Logo 2.

First of all, McDonald is the bee's knees - not just because he has three features playing at this year's festival (see also Music from the Big House and Trigger ) but because the main character of the first Hard Core Logo blew his head off on camera at the end and now there is a sequel. And it's gonna rule. See you there.

The DVD of the week is, obviously, Hard Core Logo . It's either the best Canadian movie of all time, the Best Rock and Roll movie of all time, or the best Bruce McDonald movie of all time. Or all of the above.

The other DVD of the week is 12 Monkeys just because all this Wikileaks stuff reminds me of that film and we all know life imitates art, not the other way around.

Finally, sadly, lets all pour some on the block for Leslie Nielsen, a good Saskatchewan boy who recently called it a day. Nielsen began his movie career as a dramatic actor and was in over 100 films, but he'll perhaps best be remembered for his roles in Airplane and The Naked Gun series. He was the Brando of spoof flicks with genius timing. All I can say is,  "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley." The man was a gift and will be

 

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