Wanna feel old? Epic time travel masterpiece Back to the Future celebrates 30 years in 2015, and there's a new documentary in the works called Back in Time that will investigate the cultural relevance of the original trilogy. Expect interviews with the actors, filmmakers and crazy, nut fans that are still keeping Doc's dream alive. Back in Time is slated for October 2015 release, but check out backintimefilm.com if you can't wait that long.
Lesser known but much more subversively awesome, the Garbage Pail Kids are also celebrating 30 years with a new documentary called 30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story. What started as a collection of illustrated trading card/stickers making fun of the Cabbage Patch doll craze ended up doing the '80s version of going viral and every kid everywhere became obsessed with disgusting, snotty, puke-y and even murderous characters with names like GuilloTINA, Luke Puke and Leaky Lindsay. There was even a The Garbage Pail Kids Movie released in 1987 and if you ever wondered what a low-grade drug flashback looks like you should check that out on the biggest screen available. It's the download of the week.
What makes the Garbage Pail Kids culturally important (moreso than Back to the Future I'd say) is that these cards introduced lowbrow art to a generation of elementary school kids who probably grew up to be the artists, trendsetters and shit disturbers of today. The illustrations and wordplay of Garbage Pail Kids were utterly brilliant, and the gross-out humour made it both appealing and rebellious. Banned in many schools, a stack of Garbage Pail Kids cards would become most kids' first-ever art collections, and alongside Mad Magazine they introduced that Rock 'n' Roll spirit to kids whose parents wouldn't buy them an Iron Maiden album. 30 Years of Garbage is slated for release sometime this year. Check out 30yearsofgarbage.com for more.
One interesting thing about both those documentaries is they are crowd funded via online platforms like Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Although it's mainly for docs and short films right now, crowd funding is changing the filmmaking game by allowing fans of a project to directly fund it. Locally, filmmakers Sharai Rewels and Angie Nolan just used crowd funding to re-edit, re-grade, and re-sound mix their Crazy 8's short film The Twisted Slipper in preparation to screen it at the biggest event on the cinematic calendar: the Cannes Film Fest. So if Sharai and Angie come home with a three-picture deal from Harvey Weinstein (manifest that!) it's because of their fans, the good people of the Sea to Sky, and the magic of crowd sourcing. (And if you see them on the gossip blogs partying with DiCaprio on a yacht, that's just because they're awesome.) Either way, we all win.
In the theatres, Ex Machina opens this week (just not in Whistler) and it marks the directorial debut of Alex Garland (writer of 28 Days Later, Sunshine, The Beach). With a plot about a tech geek being whisked into isolation to work for a strange billionaire, Garland dishes up a minimalist take on the classic theme of artificial intelligence by giving us one location and only four characters to think about. Even better, one of them is a topless android named Ava played by Swedish actress Alicia Vikander.
Ex Machina is all mood, tension and (maybe) secret agendas, but there's plenty of slick filmmaking and strong social commentary on things like femininity, patriarchal oppression and the narcissistic weaknesses of humanity. Released just before a summer that will surely contain more than enough explosions, robots and villains, Ex Machina's intelligence is admirable, artificial or not.
At the Whistler Village 8 this week, The Age of Adaline stars Blake Lively (Savages, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) as a woman who crashes her car into a river while simultaneously being struck by lightning and ends up immune to the effects of aging. Stuck as a hot 29 year old for almost eight decades, Adeline is kinda like Benjamin Button with cleavage (Benjamin Un-Button?). Desperate to preserve her secret, Adeline eventually falls for some dude whose geriatric father (Harrison Ford) actually remembers her from his own youth and the creepy dad scenario gets a new twist.
In any case, The Age of Adaline is as good a chick flick as we've had this year and Lively, who's never had to carry a film yet, does OK. Or so I hear. I'm re-watching The Garbage Pail Kids Movie instead for some pre-CGI effects at their finest.